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Tire Guides and Advice that make the Grade

Do I Have To Get New Tires With New Rims?

When you get new rims do you need new tires? It depends on the differences between the old and new rims.

Many just want a set of flashy rims and want to avoid having to spend money buying a new set of tires on top of the already expensive rims.

RockTrix RT107 17 inch Wheel Compatible with 01-21 Toyota Tacoma 6x5.5" (6x139.7) Bolt Pattern, 17x9 (-12mm Offset), 106.1mm Bore, Matte Bronze, Also fits 02-22 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, 99-06 Tundra
Aftermarket Truck Wheels And Tires Example

Do I Have To Get New Tires With New Rims?

Only if the new rims can’t fit the old tires. Your old rims will have a certain width and diameter that only tires of a particular size will fit.
  • If you’re changing the diameter of the original wheels, you will need new tires.
  • If you’re changing only the width of the original wheels, you may need new tires if the difference is more than 1 inch.
  • If you’re not changing the width or diameter of your current rims, you shouldn’t need new tires as long as your current tires are in good condition.

Buying rims for your vehicle is a big purchase. It’s one that you want to get right. Not just so you don’t waste money, but to make sure you can safely get from point A to point B.

Let’s take a closer look.

TSW Blanchimont 20x10.5 5x4.5" +42mm Satin Black Wheel Rim 20" Inch
Aftermarket Car Wheels And Tires Example

Do You Need New Tires For New Rims?

The only time you’ll need to purchase new tires when buying new wheels is when the old tires you currently have won’t fit. The two rim measurements that affect whether your tires will fit on your new rims are the diameter and width.

Wheel Size Dimensions
Rim Diameter & Rim Width Illustration


Diameter is the most important of the two measurements. Either a tire will fit or it won’t. There is no wiggle room here.

Wheel diameter is measured in inches and is usually in even increments of a full inch. For instance, you can usually only find wheels that are 20″ or 21″ and not 21.5″.

A tire designed for a 20″ rim will not fit on a 21″ rim. Neither will a tire designed for a 21″ rim fit on a 20″ rim. If the wheel diameter is different than the diameter the existing tires are designed to fit, you will need new tires.


Wheels also have different widths. Wider wheels are designed to have wider tires mounted to them. But there isn’t only one tire width that a wheel with a certain width can fit.

tire size 3 main numbers example
Tire Size – 3 Main Numbers Example

For instance, a wheel with a width of 8″ can accept tires with widths ranging from 215mm to 245mm. It’s best to keep the tire closer to the middle of these measurements though.

If you currently have a tire size of 225/35 17 tires you can continue to use these tires on 17-inch wheels with the following widths:

  • 7 inch
  • 7.5 inch
  • 8 inch
  • 8.5 inch

Below is a calculator you can use to look up the tire width size range for a given wheel width:

Rim Width Tire Size Calculator

Rim Width Tire Size Chart

Rim WidthMin Tire WidthRecommended Tire WidthMax Tire Width
5 Inch155mm165mm – 175mm185mm
5.5 Inch165mm175mm – 185mm195mm
6 Inch175mm185mm – 195mm205mm
6.5 Inch185mm195mm – 205mm215mm
7 Inch195mm205mm – 215mm225mm
7.5 Inch205mm215mm – 225mm235mm
8 Inch215mm225mm – 235mm245mm
8.5 Inch225mm235mm – 245mm255mm
9 Inch235mm245mm – 255mm265mm
9.5 Inch245mm255mm – 265mm275mm
10 Inch255mm265mm – 275mm285mm
10.5 Inch265mm275mm – 285mm295mm
11 Inch275mm285mm – 295mm305mm
11.5 Inch285mm295mm – 305mm315mm
12 Inch295mm305mm – 315mm325mm
12.5 Inch305mm315mm – 325mm335mm
13 Inch315mm325mm – 335mm345mm
13.5 Inch325mm335mm – 345mm355mm
14 Inch335mm345mm – 355mm365mm

This is a complete chart that lists all of the corresponding tire widths that the above calculator displays. Some may prefer to see all of the data at once. You can also download the chart for your convenience.

Can You Buy A Tire With A Rim?

You may want to consider buying new tires even if your existing tires will fit your new rims. If your old tires are significantly worn and close to needing to be replaced, you may be able to save some money by purchasing your new wheels and tires at the same time.

You can buy rims with new tires mounted and balanced from many online retailers. These will be ready for you to easily put on your car or truck yourself without needing to go to your local tire shop and have them do all of the work.

All you need to do is:

  • Jack the car up
  • Remove the lug nuts
  • Pull off the old wheels and tires
  • Put on the new wheels and tires
  • Replace the lug nuts

It’s not much different than putting on a spare tire. You simply repeat the process until all four wheels have been replaced.

The one tip I recommend you consider is looking in your owner’s manual or online for the torque setting to torque your lug nuts down to for your vehicle. You’ll need to use a torque wrench to do this.

Over-tightening lug nuts can make them difficult to remove later, damage the threads, or even cause brake discs to warp, which can obviously cause problems that will cost you money down the road.

Amazon Basics 3/8-Inch Drive Click Torque Wrench - 15-80 ft.-lb, 20.4-108.5 Nm
A Torque Wrench Should Be Used For Tightening Lug Nuts To The Manufacturer’s Specification

Tire And Wheel Packages

Local tire shops, either mom-and-pop or national chains, will usually offer some good tire and wheel packages for you to consider. These usually cost a little more and may have less variety of wheels and tires to choose from than shopping online. There will be savings compared to the local retail purchase price, but broadening your search to online retailers will usually save you more.

The online wheel and tire buying process can save you money but maybe a little more confusing without someone to have a conversation with about your unique needs. Although most online wheel and tire retailers will have sales representatives available via online chat or by phone. I highly recommend you use these support services to ensure you get what you need.

Wheels tend to be an expensive purchase, especially when bundling with a tire package. Financing a new set of tires with rims isn’t uncommon. I’m not a financial guru and neither do I always make the best financial decisions for myself, but I think we all know that it’s best to save the money for a purchase like this first as opposed to financing it.

Unfortunately, when it comes to our daily transportation, sometimes we may not be able to wait until we have saved up enough money to afford four tires and new rims if the reason for the upgrade is due to damage or some other problem.

A few online wheel and tire retailers to compare wheel and tire package prices and financing options are:

How Much Does It Cost To Put Tires On Rims And Balance?

It usually costs $15 to $30 per wheel for mounting and balancing wheels and tires. This can add up, especially with the more expensive fees, so shopping around on this could save you a bit.

Some places will have slightly better prices on tires but may charge more for other services to help make up the difference. When you’re shopping for a wheel and tire package, be sure to look at the other fees included.

Wheel Diagram With Parts Labeled

You’ll also need to keep in mind old tire disposal, TPMS sensors, shipping (if shopping online), etc.

Do You Need An Alignment With New Wheels?

Alignment isn’t mandatory after purchasing new tires and wheels, but it is generally a good idea. If your new wheels and tires are roughly the same overall size and offset, you shouldn’t need to worry about an alignment unless your old tires weren’t wearing evenly or didn’t last very long.

This is assuming you’ve had an alignment within the last 10,000 miles. We recommend regular alignments to account for alignment drifting over time due to potholes and curb strikes.

If you are replacing your old rims and tires with a significantly different offset or size wheel and tire combination, you should plan to have an alignment performed once you have your new set of tires and wheels mounted.

Can You Put Used Tires On New Rims?

Used tires aren’t something I recommend but I also understand that for many, a new set of tires can break the bank. I drive by a used tire store not too far from where I live often, and they are always very busy.

If your local used tire store has tires that fit your wheels, there’s no reason you can’t have them mount them to your wheels. Just be aware that you don’t know if there are problems with the tires such as broken belts or signs of tread separation, which may not be noticeable until you’ve driven on them for some time.

Also, the lower the tread depth the worse they will perform on wet roads. We recommend replacing tires once they have reached a depth of 4/32″. The legal minimum in most states is 2/32″ but there is a massive difference in wet weather performance between 4/32″ and 2/32″.

The penny test is a convenient method for checking tread depth and is quite accurate.

Penny Test & Quarter Test Chart
Penny Test Chart


Below are some links you may find helpful when learning about tires

Final Thoughts

There are many potential issues when putting different rims on your car or truck. Working with a tire professional to ensure you get a wheel and tire combination that will work well for your vehicle will make sure you get a good result.

Shopping “By Vehicle” online will also help ensure you don’t have issues with an incorrect bolt pattern or an offset that is incompatible.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions at your local dealer or via chat when shopping online. They are there to help you and get you what you want as well as need.

Good luck and happy motoring.

About The Author
Will Creech
Will has been an automotive enthusiast since he was old enough to make engine sounds. Formerly a member of the contract training team at Discount Tire, he is unusually knowledgeable on all things related to tires. He is now the owner of and main contributor to TireGrades.com.
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