A Guide to Alloy Wheel Modifications

Are alloy wheels considered a modification?

Typically, standard alloy wheels that aren’t customised, are still classed as a modification. If your car didn’t come with alloy wheels and you have since added them, you will need to declare this to your insurance provider. Anything that is non-standard on your vehicle in fact, will be classed as a modification.

If your car came factory-fitted with alloy wheels, then you don’t have to class them as a modification. If you were to then have these alloys customised through painting, powder coating or diamond cutting, they then become modifications.

If you modify your alloy wheels in any way, even simply repainting them a basic colour, you should notify your insurer to ensure that your cover isn’t invalidated in the event that you claim for an accident, theft or damages.

Non-standard alloy wheels are actually the most common modifications that drivers make on their vehicles – every insurance provider will be aware of this, so it makes good sense to be honest with them.

Types of alloy wheel modifications

Our team of specialists will discuss your alloy modification options with you and help you to choose the best process for your desired outcome. This could include:

Painting and recolouring

Probably the most basic form of alloy wheel modification, painting or recolouring your alloy wheels can be done as a whole or in localised areas to cover damage. Some people choose to have their alloys repainted with colour-matched paint to keep them looking fresh and consistent, but as to not affect the premiums on their insurance. 

Lacquer tint

Most modification options end with a lacquer coating to protect the new colour and design. There are options to use a tinted lacquer which can further alter the aesthetics of your alloy wheels, on top of painting them.

Alloy wheel wrapping

Alloy wheels can be wrapped with a non-permanent vinyl that covers the original alloy surface. This can protect the wheel whilst also allowing you to change the colour, style and finish of your alloys. 

Alloy wheel wrapping is also a common choice for people wanting to change up the look of their vehicle due to the fact that it’s easily removable. Vinyl wrapping can be removed with ease to either:

  1. Return alloy wheels back to their original state (they will maintain factory condition if they were new before being wrapped), or
  2. Change the colour or style to something different without leaving any residue.

Alloy Wheel Powder Coating

Powder coating is a common technique used to modify alloy wheels through using a spray-on paint formula that fully coats the alloy. This powder dries onto the alloy, is then heated to form a solid gel coating and is finally lacquered to protect the new design.

Powder coating is relatively durable and can protect your alloys from scratches and scuffs. It also offers a much wider range of finishing options, including two-tone colour, glitter effects and paint fleck patterns. 

Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels

Diamond cutting is a more thorough and complex process that requires the use of CNC machinery to cut away the thin surface layers of an alloy to leave a shiny finish.

People often view diamond cut alloys as a sign of prestige, mainly because many of the leading high-end car manufacturers do this as standard on their cars, such as Audi and BMW. 

Diamond cut alloys boast an unbeatable shiny finish, but they don’t offer as many customisation options as the other modifications do.

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