Best Hubcaps: Protect Your Wheels in Style

Hubcaps are a great way to ensure that your wheels are both protected and personalized

Best Overall

u0026nbsp;Pilot Automotive Universal Fit Spyder Wheel Cover

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Best Value

OxGord Snap-On Hubcaps

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Honorable Mention

u0026nbsp;BDK Hubcaps Wheel Covers

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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.

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

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

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.

Rims

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.”

Top Brands

Pilot Automotive

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

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

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.

Hubcap Pricing

  • 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.

Key Features

Retention Mechanism

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.

Decoration

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.

Other Considerations

  • 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

Best Overall

Pilot Automotive Universal Fit Spyder Wheel Cover

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Best Value

u003cstrongu003eOxGord Snap-On Hubcapsu003c/strongu003e

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Honorable Mention

u003cstrongu003eBDK Hubcaps Wheel Coversu003c/strongu003e

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Best Universal Fit

Alpena 58259 VR Carbon Wheel Cover Kit

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Honorable Mention

Drive Accessories KT-950-15MBK

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Tips

  • 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. 

FAQs

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. 

Final Thoughts

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.

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When she's not at the keyboard, Noelle unwinds by exploring the northeast in her classic German sports car or custom Indian Scout. She's written about the joy and hardships of vintage car ownership for Porsche Club of America's e-Brake News. You can read some of her articles about the motorcycle lifestyle in an issue of MotoSpirit magazine.