How Much Does It Cost To Refurbish Alloy Wheels

Alloy wheels can be refurbished in different ways, depending on the type of wheel and the extent of the damage. Professional refurbishment is recommended and can cost from £50 per wheel for wheels under 20”, while a DIY repair can cost under £50 with an alloy wheel repair kit. Alloy wheels can corrode, and this must be monitored as it can have serious implications for the safety of the car if left ignored.

Alloy wheels that are scuffed, dented or scratched can really spoil the look of any car. Thankfully alloy wheels can be refurbished in different ways, and are an excellent way to spruce up the look of a car. Read our guide to find out the different methods and how much alloy wheel refurbishment costs.

How to refurbish alloy wheels

Most alloy wheel damage can be repaired or refurbished. There are a few ways alloy wheels can be refurbished, this will depend on the type of wheel and the extent of the damage. Your budget also plays a role in what option to go for. You will have the choice to get your alloy wheels refurbished by a professional or try a DIY repair.

If you have curbed your wheels or have suffered pothole damage and want to save time and hassle then there are many alloy wheel repair specialists around throughout the UK that offer the service. You will undoubtedly be able to find yourself a deal that suits your budget.

As alloy wheels are much softer than the standard steel wheel and consequently much weaker, they are more prone to serious damage. If your alloy wheels are very damaged then it is highly recommended to go to a professional who will be equipped with powerful equipment to do the job to a high standard.

Cost of Refurbishing Alloy Wheels

There are many variables that the repair service takes into consideration when calculating the cost. The going rate of an alloy wheel refurbishment with a specialist starts at approximately £50 per wheel for the wheels under 20”. Bigger wheels, however, will cost more to fix than a smaller one. A large 21” wheel can quickly cost over £100. That also means the difference in repair cost between a 10-18″ wheel and a 22″ wheel can be around £100.

Another more extensive refurb option is getting the wheels diamond cut, this will usually cost over £100. Additionally, if the wheel requires any kind of welding or extra repairs you must expect another fee on top.

Powder coating is a finishing process used on alloy wheels. It involves applying a dry powder, which is typically a polymer or a combination of polymers, onto the surface of the metal. The powder is electrostatically charged and sprayed onto the metal object using a special spray gun after which it is placed in a curing oven where it is heated to high temperatures to create a durable finish. You can expect to pay anywhere from £40 to £100 per wheel if you opt for this method.

Can you refurbish alloy wheels yourself, and how much does it cost?

By doing a DIY repair on alloy wheels you can save money, but be prepared to be very time-intensive to get a satisfactory result. In some cases, alloy wheels may be too damaged for DIY refurb, and it is then best to go to a professional to not risk further damaging the wheels. Aside from time and lots of elbow grease you can probably repair a wheel yourself for under £50 if you buy an alloy wheel repair kit.

Black alloy wheel on Porsche

How to refurbish your alloy wheels at home

If you decide to go with the DIY option there are a few steps to take:

  • Jack up your car
    You will need to get your car jacked up off the ground to remove the desired wheel(s) from the car.
  • Clean and scrub the wheel
    Then the wheel will need to be completely cleaned, next the tyre will have to be masked and likely deflated.
  • Sanding the wheel down
    Sand the wheel down to prepare it for the next steps.
  • Filling dents and smoothing out the surface
    Before you can progress to the next step of painting the wheels you will need to fill dents with filler and sand back the surface again so it is completely smooth.
  • Apply a primer
    Preparing your wheel for painting by applying a primer is super important to help ensure the paint will stick to the surface and will help in achieving a smooth finish eventually. You will likely need to apply several layers of primer, and may need to sand down parts once again to ensure it is all smooth.
  • Painting the wheels
    Finally, after all the preparatory work it is time to coat the wheel in the desired colour. If you’re looking to colour-match other wheels it is worth finding out the manufacturer’s colour code, so you can be confident you don’t end up with a wheel that doesn’t match the rest.

The DIY method is fairly labour-intensive and will likely take several hours but again could be a solid cost saver. Spending a bit of time and effort on refurbishing can also boost the resale value of the vehicle.

“Professional refurbishment can cost around £50 per wheel for wheels under 20 inches, while larger wheels can cost over £100,” says Scott Greensmith, a certified technician, ClickMechanic. “DIY refurbishment can be time-intensive but may save you money. However, I recommend getting it done professionally. Diamond cut wheels, which have become very common in recent years, are impossible to refurbish at home as they require specialist diamond cutting equipment. However, they look outstanding when freshly done!”

Alloy wheel corrosion repair cost

Alloy wheels don’t rust, as technically alloy as a material doesn’t rust. However, they can corrode, and white patches may then form on the wheel. This usually starts once the wheels become scratched or damaged and the protective layer gets damaged.

Alloy wheel corrosion is something that must be carefully monitored as it can have really serious implications to the safety of the car if left ignored. The wheel can actually fail if the corrosion progresses too much. This will pose a serious risk to the safety of the driver and fellow road users.

Is it worth refurbishing alloy wheels?

Refurbishing alloy wheels is often more cost-effective than buying new wheels, especially if the damage is mostly cosmetic. However, if the wheels are structurally damaged, replacement might be safer. If you’re looking to sell your car soon, newly refurbished wheels can increase its resale value. Refurbishing is also more environmentally friendly compared to buying new.

Marketing at ClickMechanic

Meet Kurt, an automotive industry expert with over 13 years of experience. He currently leads the Marketing & Growth team at ClickMechanic, of which he has been an integral part of for the past decade. He has been involved with most parts of the business helping grow the company to new heights, from the creation of the innovative quote engine, and operations, to content and growth marketing automation.

With his extensive background in car repairs and customer support, Kurt is well-positioned to share his expertise on automotive technical topics. A car aficionado from an early age, his physical journey in the automotive world began with his trusty VW Golf 4, which took him on memorable adventures throughout Europe during his student days.

Outside of work, Kurt is a maker, as well as a design and technology enthusiast, embodying a unique blend of creativity and precision with an international outlook. He has a keen interest in the latest advancements in car maintenance and clean vehicle technology, as well as a heart for classic cars. His favourite classic cars include the Lancia Fulvia Series 2 and the Citroen DS, showcasing his appreciation for timeless automotive craftsmanship.