Key Takeaways

  • Rims and tires do not come sold together.
  • Tires and rims are sold separately, but are assembled to make one wheel assembly.
  • Consult your mechanic or tire shop to choose the best tire for your rim.
  • Use a VIN number to make sure you’re getting the right OEM rim.
  • Make sure aftermarket rims will be able to fit your vehicle.

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When you buy tires, it’s common to think the tires and rims might come together. But do tires come accompanied with rims?

No. Tires do not come with rims. Tires and rims are purchased separately. But once the tire and rim are assembled, they make up one wheel assembly. While some outlets sell the whole wheel assembly, you can be sure they purchased the tire and rim separately.

I’ve worked in a tire shop for many years. One day a week, our shop received a shipment of tires to sell for the upcoming week. And I’ve never seen any tires come with rims, because rims and tires are sold separately. Tires are sold as tires, and rims are sold as rims. If you wish to purchase a whole assembly, you have to buy each one separately, and then have them assembled at a shop.

Table of Contents

Do Tires Come With Rims?

Tires are the rubber part of the wheel assembly that encompasses the rim. The rim is the metal part that is inside the tire that is bolted to the vehicle’s hub.

The overall purpose of the vehicle is to apply torque to the wheel, which gets the wheel turning. Once the wheel turns, the tire grips the road and causes the vehicle to propel in a certain direction.

The tire, being the rubber part of the wheel assembly, needs to be changed quite often throughout the life of the vehicle, whereas the vehicle’s rim does not.

Since the tire is made of rubber, the tire wears a lot faster than the metal rim. This, among other reasons, is why tires are sold separately.

Tires are disposable. They are material that’s meant to be worn down and discarded, whereas rims are meant to last forever. Or atleast, quite a while longer than tires.

Tire Rim Assembly

Tires and rims do not come pre assembled. The way they come is sold separately. Usually, the rims that come sold with your car can last the whole life span of the vehicle.

In the chance that you have to order rims and tires separately, here’s how they would come shipped.

Usually the rims would come in 4 boxes. Each box would have a rim inside. Inside the box, the rims would be packed inside with some styrofoam protection of some sort.

The tire would either come shipped as a tire with a shipping label slapped onto it. Or if you took your car to a shop, the tire would be pulled out from the back.

Once the tire and rim were confirmed to fit each other, they would be placed on a mounting machine that puts the tire and rim together.

Before the tire is mounted on the rim, a valve stem would be placed inside the rim. The valve stem is what holds air inside the tire. The valve stem allows the vehicle owner to adjust the tire pressure by adding or releasing air from the tire to get just the right amount of tire pressure.

The tire would be placed on the rim and inflated. Once the tire was inflated, the tire and wheel assembly would be complete. After the tire is mounted and complete, it would be balanced, and placed on the car.

This is how the majority of tires are mounted and dealt with.

Choosing Tires

There are all sorts of tires to choose from. Tires should be changed around every 30,000 miles, so you will have to purchase a set of tires a couple times throughout the lifespan of your vehicle.

While there is no ‘best tire ever’, there are some that are better than others. To make sure you're purchasing the best tire you can, you’ll want to consult your local mechanic or tire shop on quality.

There are major differences in tire quality and therefore tire prices.

Tires that cost less usually last fewer miles and lack features like fuel efficiency, increased handling, or inclement weather handling.

As well, the area you live in will play a large factor in the tires you purchase. For example, I live in the mountains where it snows a lot, and everyone purchases tires that are built for snow.

We also get lots of requests for studded snow tires as well. Compared to when I lived on the east coast, we didn’t have a single request for studded snow tires.

But your local mechanic or tire shop sales man will know all this information first hand because that’s what they do all day. They will be able to take your budget into account and offer you the best tire available.

Choosing Rims

If you do have to purchase a new rim, you are in one of two situations.


The first situation is you are looking for a factory rim.  So for example, one of the rims your car came with became damaged and is no longer working.

Therefore, you need to purchase a new one. To do so, you want to contact your local dealership. If you call your mechanic or a local mechanic, they will just call the dealership themselves and upcharge you for the rim.

So it’s best to just call the dealership yourself. You’ll want to write down your vehicle’s VIN number and give that to the dealership so there can be no mistake when they go to order your rim.

Once you have the rim ordered, have it delivered to your house, then take it to the shop yourself. Having the rim delivered to the shop will incur extra unnecessary fees.

Unless of course, you have no way of getting back and forth to the shop, then have the rim shipped directly to the shop.

Otherwise, have the rim shipped to your house, and take the rim to the shop. They will mount the tire to the rim, and place the rim back onto the car for the regular fee.

Aftermarket Rims

The second reason you are purchasing rims is for aftermarket purposes, meaning you are looking for extra style or performance from your wheels.

There is a whole science to purchasing wheels and rims that goes beyond the scope of this article, but make sure you do some research before purchasing aftermarket rims.

You want to make sure they fit your car. It’s very easy to spend a grand on some new rims, only to find out they won’t fit your car.  What a lot of shops will do is a test fit.

A test fit is taking one rim, mounting a tire onto it, then placing the tire onto the vehicle to see if everything fits within clearance.

If so, then all four tires will be mounted. If not, the vehicle owner will have to return the rims and start from scratch. To purchase aftermarket rims, consult with a tire expert at your local tire shop.

Try to find a seasoned veteran who will be able to do the math and see if the rims you want will be able to fit your car.

Do Tires Come With Rims?

About The Author

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks has been servicing vehicles since 2012. After completing the automotive studies program at Camden County College, he was awarded an Associates's Degree in Applied Science. His first job was a lube-tech at Jiffy Lube, and is currently an independent B-Technician servicing vehicles for the United States Postal Service. Christopher is ASE certified and loves rebuilding engines.

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