Even the best drivers make the simple mistake of damaging their wheels – sometimes it happens through no fault of our own. If you’ve been wondering how much an alloy wheel refurbishment costs, we have the answer so you can get your alloys looking brand new again in no time.
The average cost of an alloy wheel refurbishment is anywhere from £50 to £120*, depending on the size of the wheel, the amount of damage, and the kind of car you drive. Your alloys can be damaged by driving on poor-quality road surfaces, or impact such as hitting a curb or a pothole. Having your alloy wheels refurbished can increase the value of your car, improve your car's safety and handling, as well as looking smart and aesthetically pleasing.
How Much Does Alloy Wheel Refurbishment Cost?
The cost of your alloy wheel refurbishment depends on the car, the size of the wheel, and the extent of the damage. You can choose to have a single wheel refurbished, or all four at the same time, which will usually end up cheaper than having all four wheels refurbished separately.
The price for alloy wheel refurbishment for a wheel up to 20” can cost anywhere between £50 and £100 per wheel*. If you have alloy wheels over 21”, you can expect to pay slightly more, anywhere from £60 to £120 per wheel*. This means the average cost of having all 4 of your alloy wheels refurbished is typically somewhere between £250 and £400*, depending on the size of your wheels.
What Causes Alloy Wheel Damage?
There are several different ways your alloys can be damaged. Simply scuffing your alloy wheels on a curb whilst parking or pulling in can leave damage or hitting a pothole unexpectedly. These issues can also cause the need for a wheel alignment over time.
Your alloys may also be damaged over time simply from driving on surfaces such as gravel or poor-quality road surfaces, which can cause small chips and scuffs.
Although small scratches and curb rash may be cosmetic damage more than anything else, repetitive damage to your alloys could lead up to cracks, bends, and breakage, which could result in further damage to your tyres and car. If you hit a pothole at a particularly high speed, you should take it to a garage to be inspected for internal damage.
Common Alloy Wheel Damage
There are several different types of alloy wheel damage you may find yourself with.
When alloy wheels are made, they are usually finished with a coating which prevents the material from corroding due to the elements. If you’ve chipped or scuffed the alloys, this top layer has probably been removed, exposing your wheels to the moisture and chemicals in the air, causing them to corrode.
If your wheels are corroding, they will start to show white and dull marks across the alloy. It leaves them looking unsightly and also allows for further damage, as the material is weakened and potentially prone to cracks. If your wheels are corroded, you should look into getting an alloy wheel refurbishment.
Curbed Alloy Wheel Damage
You’ll struggle to find a driver that hasn’t accidentally hit the curb whilst parking. It’s easily done, but leaves scratch-like damage in the metal, often where the concrete of the curb has scraped the metal.
Luckily, this kind of damage is easily fixed, as a trained technician should be able to buff away the scratches to reveal shiny, like new alloys.
Cracked Alloy Wheel Damage
Cracks in your alloy wheel may happen for a variety of reasons. It could be that the alloy has been bumped several times already and has weakened over time. Another cause could be a large amount of pressure from the car. Any impact taken by the tyres will transfer to the wheels, which can cause cracking.
Cracks can come in a variety of variations – you may have a small ‘hairline’ crack, or if the impact is large enough, you could end up with a full break through the alloy wheel.
A crack in your alloy wheel can be welded back together, then refurbished so you can’t tell there was ever any damage. It is important you get any crack looked at, no matter the size – even a small hairline crack could lead to danger when driving, as another small bump could cause it to break completely.
Bent or Dented Alloy Wheel Damage
Again, this kind of damage is usually caused by impact. Collision with curbs, potholes, or other vehicles may leave dents in your alloy wheels. You can have these fixed by having an alloy wheel straightened as a part of your refurbishment. The technician will use machinery to straighten the bend and restore it to its original shape.
It is important to have any dents or bends tended to, as driving with dented alloys can cause a multitude of issues. It can throw your steering off balance, which can lead to tyre damage and uneven wear, and even the need for a wheel alignment, all of which will cost you more money in the future.
Can You Refurbish Your Alloy Wheels At Home?
You can refurbish your wheels at home yourself, however, it is not a straightforward process – you’ll likely have to purchase items in order to complete the job. You’ll need supplies such as sandpaper, metal-reinforced putty, a respirator, and goggles, as well as the correct paint, primer and thinner.
It is a fiddly job and if it is not completed properly, it can end up looking messy, or you may miss parts. We recommend you take your alloy wheels to be refurbished by a professional who had the relevant equipment and experience.
Diamond Alloy Wheel Refurbishment
Diamond cut is a type of finish applied to alloy wheels to leave them shiny and dual-toned. They are an attractive finish to have on your car, and look impressive – however, they are more delicate than traditional steel alloy wheels, and therefore more prone to damage.
During the production process, cuts are made to the alloy to achieve the dual-tone effect. Because of this, you can only have your diamond-cut alloy wheels refurbished twice. If you have damaged your diamond-cut wheels after two refurbishments, you may need to have them replaced completely.
This should be considered when deciding whether to have a diamond cut on your alloys – it is not recommended for drivers who live in areas with poor road surfaces.
They are also more expensive than standard alloy wheels. The average cost of diamond cut alloy wheel refurbishment treatment starts at around £115 per wheel*.
Benefits of Having Your Alloy Wheels Refurbished
Refurbished wheels don’t just look good, they have a number of unexpected benefits too:
- It improves the appearance of your car. Scuffed wheels can really cheapen the aesthetic of your vehicle and can look unkempt and unattractive.
- It is less expensive in the long run. It is much cheaper than completely replacing your alloys and can help them last longer.
- It improves the safety of your vehicle. The wheels carry the weight of the car, so if your alloy wheels are in poor condition, you could be putting your own and your passengers at risk. Damaged wheels can also make the car more difficult to control.
- It increases the value of your car. If you decide to sell your car, having freshly refurbished alloy wheels can add to the value of the vehicle, meaning you can sell it at a higher price.
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* = Prices taken from Checkatrade.com.