Best Hubcaps: Protect Your Wheels in Style
Hubcaps are a great way to ensure that your wheels are both protected and personalized
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON November 27, 2019
Installing hubcaps is a great way to add character to your vehicle and bring it to life. They also serve the functional purpose of protecting the inside of your tires from the build-up and damage that can be caused by dirt and debris. Our buying guide below features the top three hubcaps you can find on Amazon right now.
These wheel covers are adjustable for a secure fit to your vehicle’s tire. They fit most car models, such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Ford, Kia, and Mazda. These hubcaps feature a micro-adjustable retention system.
- These hubcaps are designed with 10 spokes and are made from a rust-resistant ABS material that prevents corrosion from entering the inside of the wheels
- They’re sleek black and silver hubcaps, with designs that give the illusion of rims in addition to being functional
- These hubcaps are only compatible with steel wheels
- Not compatible with alloy wheels
- Spokes and adjustment system will not be able to grip onto alloy
These are replica wheel covers based on the Toyota Corolla, but they’re compatible with both Toyota wheels and any other 15-inch wheel. Features include retention adjustment rings to fit the wheels.
- They are easy to install and easy to adjust and readjust
- They are weatherproof and designed to withstand both heat and frost
- Snap-on installation takes under 10 minutes
- These are great replica wheel covers for the price, but they scratch easily
- Once scratched or cracked, the hubcaps are susceptible to further damage
- Since this product is sold in sets, you cannot buy just one if one hubcap breaks
These BDK hubcaps feature high-quality ABS material as well as a retention ring for better adjustment. The retention ring aids in easier and faster installation and will not fall off while driving. These OEM hubcaps are for the E150, E250, E350, Econoline F-150, F-250, F-35, F-250, and F-350.
- These hubcaps are a great alternative to rims and are both fashionable and functional
- They are coated for protection and will not chip and scratch on the road, as they are made from weatherproof ABS plastic
- They are designed for fashion, function, and durability
- These caps are only compatible with a 16-inch wheel, and the retention ring only adjusts to a certain extent
- They feature plastic tabs that are not as durable in terms of installation
- Hubcaps are plastic, which may not be as durable in more severe weather
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Benefits of Hubcaps
- Protect your wheel hubs. Driving involves a huge amount of debris of all kinds, from dust and rocks kicked up by your wheels to rain and snow getting into your car’s systems and causing corrosion. The wheel hubs, where the wheels attach to your car’s axles, are crucial yet delicate systems, and hubcaps keep them safe.
- Protect your tires. The same debris that can damage your wheel hubs can also shorten the lifespan of your tires. Hubcaps keep the whole system safe and working at peak capacity for longer.
- Decorate your vehicle. Hubcaps are mostly a protective measure, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have style! Many drivers love the chance hubcaps give them to make a statement with their car or truck.
Types of Hubcaps
The term “hubcap” can be confusing since people often use it to include wheel covers and decorative rims. In fact, hubcaps are much smaller parts than they’re popularly considered to be, specifically covering only the wheel hub rather than the whole wheel. Hubcaps sold without wheel covers might be called “center caps.”
Wheel covers are distinct from hubcaps in that they cover the entire diameter of the wheel. Almost all hubcaps now produced are built into wheel covers. A wheel cover that doesn’t include a hubcap is called an “imposter” wheel cover.
As opposed to hubcaps and wheel covers, which are protective coverings, rims are part of the wheel, being the link between the tires and hub. Some drivers prefer to leave them visible for aesthetic reasons, though this sacrifices the tire protection of a wheel cover. Decorations that only cover rims are sometimes called “wheel skins.”
In 1996, recognizing the growing market for DIY wheel coverings, auto manufacturer Wang’s International founded Pilot Automotive as a subsidiary brand. Today, they focus on beating their competitors to the market with high-quality, innovative auto parts. They sell universal hubcaps like this one.
OxGord manufactures and sells both auto parts and home improvement parts and has been in business for more than 15 years. They sell wheel covers like these for a variety of vehicles.
BDK was founded in 1990 to produce and sell aftermarket drive accessories. Over the last 30 years, they’ve diversified into selling everything from all-weather floor mats to steering wheel covers branded with Batman or Scooby-Doo logos. These are some popular hubcaps from the company.
- Under $20: Center caps (hubcaps without attached wheel covers) mostly fall into this range. You’ll also find some lower-end individual wheel covers and other drive accessories.
- $20 to $60: Factory-quality wheel covers will cost somewhere in this range, almost always sold in sets of four.
- $60 to $100: In this range, you’ll find premium wheel covers for mid-range cars made out of more durable materials and with more interesting designs. They are also usually sold as a set of four.
- $100 and up: Wheel covers and hubcaps in this range are built for luxury or specialty cars.
In plain language, this is whatever the hubcap has to hold it onto your wheel. The two main styles are clip-on, where the hubcap slots into a groove, and bolt-on, where the hubcap is secured with bolts and lug nuts. With fewer parts involved, clip-on hubcaps tend to remain secure for longer.
Remember, hubcaps can also be a style choice. While keeping your wheel hubs and tires safe from debris, you can also use them to show your love for an automaker, brand, sports team, or anything else you’re enthusiastic about. Some drivers like wheel covers that aren’t branded but just look cool. There are plenty of exciting designs on the market.
- Make and Model. Not all hubcaps are created equal. Like with any auto parts, different types fit with different sorts of vehicles. Before you buy an aftermarket wheel cover, check and see if it’s made for the kind of car or truck you drive. Fortunately, this is pretty easy to do at the point of purchase—even online.
- Size. Even after considering make and model, it’s important to get a hubcap or wheel cover that’s the correct size for your wheels. Some aftermarket wheel covers work with multiple makes and models but might not be the right size for all of them. Typical hubcap sizes range from 14 to 17 inches.
Best Hubcap Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Measure the diameter and circumference of your wheels to ensure that the hubcaps you buy are compatible and will fit the wheels on your vehicle.
- Determine whether you are looking for hubcaps to suit your functional needs or as a simple alternative to rims. Some hubcaps are made only for style, while others serve a more functional purpose.
- Determine how long you plan to use the hubcaps. They come in sets of four, and if one breaks you may have to buy a whole new set or take them all off your vehicle.
Q: Can I put any hubcaps on my car?
While most hubcaps are adjustable, don’t trust the adjustable retention rings to do the job perfectly. Measure the vehicle wheels properly for the best results.
Q: What is the difference between rims and hubcaps?
Rims are included as part of each tire, while hubcaps can be made from different materials and are installed or snapped-on to the exterior of the wheels. They can also be changed from time to time.
Q: Is it okay to drive without hubcaps?
While many use hubcaps for embellishment, they still serve the functional purpose of protecting the wheels from rust and corrosion. In the long run, this lessens the need to replace tires as frequently.
Our pick for best hubcaps is the Pilot Automotive Universal Fit Spyder Wheel Cover. These hubcaps are adjustable and compatible with most vehicles.
A more affordable option is the OxGord Snap-On Hubcaps.