Can You Put Wheel Covers On Alloy Wheels? [Engineer’s Answer]

Can You Put Wheel Covers On Alloy Wheels

We all know that Alloy wheels are meant to use hubcaps which essentially cover the wheel hub and the wheel fasteners to lessen the accumulation of moisture and dirt while adorning the car.

Steel wheels typically use wheel covers and offer relatively higher returns, making many car owners consider whether it is possible to put wheel covers on Alloy rims.

Well, here is the short answer!

Although wheel covers can be installed on some Alloy wheels, it depends on many factors, including the rim, wheel cover, bold pattern, and wheel seal bead design. Protecting the wheels from dust, sun, snow, and water and improving the appearance of the wheels are the main benefits of wheel covers.

Let me explain in detail whether it’s a practically doable thing and if it’s worth doing so by considering both upsides and downsides.

vehicle wheels vehiclefreedom

Is it possible to put a wheel cover on an alloy rim?

Before we start, I hope you know the difference between wheel covers and hub caps.

But lemme remind you…

Wheel covers are especially designed to cover the entire diameter of the wheel while the hub cap covers only the center portion of the wheel, means the hub caps only conceals the wheel lug nuts.

Mr. Madusanka (Engineer)

Okay, back to the topic.

Even though wheel covers can be mounted on alloy wheels, wheel covers aren’t designed to work with alloy wheels.

Since this may depend on many things, examining the following is so vital before making any decision.

  1. The wheel should consist of a sufficient lip to allow for usual hub cap tabs to retain the wheel covers instead of hub caps. However, a flat-faced wheel with no wheel lip makes this impossible, as there is no practical way to fix them.
  2. Some wheel covers use lug nuts to affix the wheel cover. So, having exposed lug nuts makes using wheel covers on alloy wheels possible.
  3. Remember that wheel covers won’t fit all aluminum or steel rims that have essentially the same design as steel rims.
  4. It largely depends on the rim and the wheel cover.
  5. Bolt pattern.

So, the final answer is that wheel covers can be mounted on aluminum wheels but not on all aluminum wheels.

By the way, read this to understand how far the wheels can stick out.

What are the pros of putting wheel covers on alloy rims?

We are about to discover a handful of advantages of mounting wheel covers on your alloy wheels.

1. Keep the curb-induced gouges away

Having wheel covers on the alloy wheels really helps you to keep the curb-induced gouges away unless you’re not parking in the cities with granite or steel curbs.

Yeah, alloy wheels are pretty nice without wheel covers, but if you’re more inclined toward the durability of wheels rather than cosmetic appearance, go with wheel covers.

chrome vehicle wheel

2. Provide significant protection to the wheels

Since wheel covers protect the entire wheel surface, they can protect your alloy wheels from the following.

  • Effects from weather conditions.
  • From abrasions.
  • From scratches.
  • From corrodes.

Further, if your living area is an area that is heavily snowed and you often find the roads are salted with snow, wheel covers can give you enormous protection from the alloy wheels.

Because when you drive through a salted road regularly, you are likely to get your wheels pitted or corroded, resulting in potential air leaks if the pitting or corroding on the wheel seal bead.

This is not a big deal if you live in a dry area. But make sure to install hub caps.

3. Provide an aesthetic appearance

The wheel covers are a great solution if you’re unhappy with the appearance of your alloy wheels.

Because wheel covers are a nice and cheap way to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the wheels.

So, you don’t want to worry about spending money on aftermarket wheels solely to enhance the look because you can buy a set of wheels that covers a fraction of the cost of another group of aftermarket wheels.

Increasing wheel protection is an added advantage.

What are the cons of putting wheel covers on alloy rims?

Let’s find out several drawbacks of using wheel covers on alloy wheels.

1. Scratch the rim

Although the wheel covers can protect the alloy wheels from scratches by external objects, the wheel can get scratched even by wheel covers. So, be mindful.

2. It May diminish the appearance

We all know that alloy wheels are way more beautiful than steel wheels. Wheel covers are essentially made to enhance the appearance of steel wheels while adding some protection.

However, the wheel covers may diminish the appearance of your alloy wheels.

3. It can be hazardous to pedestrians

Installing wheel covers on alloy wheels may be hazardous to pedestrians, especially when there is no 100% fitment between the wheel covers and the alloy wheels.

Because wheel covers are essentially made for steel wheels.

Things to be aware of

There you go. I hope you know if wheel covers can be put on alloy wheels. But I have to share a few more things with you.

1. Care about safety

As I always advise people, DO NOT care about aesthetic appearance over your safety and the other people on the road. Never install wheel covers on your alloy wheel if there appears to be no proper fitment between the wheel and the wheel cover.

2. Double-check the fitment

Suppose the wheel covers fit correctly on your alloy wheels. Consider riding on a road with little or no people as your first ride. Then confirm if the wheel covers promise a 100% fitment. Then, check that regularly for a week or so. Thereafter, checking once a week would be sufficient.

3. Buy good wheel covers

Just because you want a set of wheel covers, always make sure to buy a proper set of wheel covers. Avoid buying bent, even slightly broken, or striped wheel covers.


Most car enthusiasts are desperate to find out if they can put wheel covers on alloy wheels. In this article, we’ve discussed whether it’s possible to do so and the upsides and downsides.

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