Tire Replacement: Is It Better to Buy Just the Tires or a Complete Wheel Kit?

When it comes to changing tires, is it better to buy tires alone or a complete wheel kit (tires and rims): let’s find out together.

For many drivers, the dilemma when changing tires is whether to buy tires alone or a complete wheel kit, i.e. tires with wheels. Which is the best solution? As is often the case with car tires, the most appropriate choice depends on the needs and use of the car and the tires.

For some drivers, it may be worth buying just the tires, while for others, a complete set of wheels is the smarter decision, as it is both functional and saves money, especially in the long run. So let’s analyze both solutions in detail.

Tires and complete wheels: the differences

When we talk about tyres, we are talking about tyres only – wheels, to be even clearer! – while the term complete wheels refers to tyres plus rims, i.e. the kit already fitted. What are the differences when purchasing these two products? If you only buy the tyres, you will have four Michelin Tyres to replace the ones fitted to your vehicle and you will have to remove the rims to fit the new ones. This operation requires manual skill and suitable equipment, which is why it can only be carried out in a workshop by a tyre specialist, who will also have to balance the new tyres. In addition to the savings made on buying the tyres alone, there is the cost of fitting them and the labour, with an overall cost higher than that of buying complete wheels: let’s see why.

Savings with the complete wheel kit

The complete wheel kit is cheaper, despite a higher initial outlay. You will spend more on the purchase because you will also buy the rims with the tires, but the complete wheel kit is easier to install and you can do it yourself. Changing a complete wheel is in fact an operation identical to that of changing a tire in the event of a flat tire, an operation that many motorists have unfortunately had to carry out during their years of driving. All you need is enough space in the garage or yard to remove the tires from the vehicle and install new ones; it is also possible to go to a tire store, which is in any case less expensive than mounting and removing the tires on the same rims, which also saves money.

The complete wheel kit is particularly recommended for those who use seasonal tyres, alternating between winter and summer tyres. Why? With an extra set of rims on which to install the winter tyres, it will be easier to change the tyres twice a year, with the added advantage of not exposing the tyres to risk, which are always at risk of tearing or breaking when removed from the rims. By opting for iron rims, which are much cheaper than alloy rims, the initial investment can be further reduced, making this solution more cost-effective in the medium term. Iron rims are also more resistant and therefore more suitable for the winter period, when the roads are more dangerous and the hazards – such as potholes or other elements on the asphalt – are hidden by mud or snow, which can be dangerous for alloy rims, which are more fragile and therefore exposed to damage and breakage during the cold months.

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