Alloy wheels are a major part of a car’s image. You can’t really miss them, and car makers spend millions of pounds creating and producing new designs for their latest models.
A ‘must-have’ standard component on most new cars, alloys are also big business in the aftermarket sector with tempting and tantalising designs available to improve the look of your current motor.
But wheels have a hard time and are susceptible to damage – scratches, scuffs and gouges – almost every step the way. So keeping them pristine and undamaged is a tough task. Even the most careful of drivers can easily fall foul of an unseen pothole, a damaged road surface, raised kerb, or narrow multi-storey car park entrance.
And before you know it, a lovely alloy wheel doesn’t look so good any more. Replacing or repairing a damaged wheel can be an expensive business, with a new one running into the hundreds of pounds and repairs costing £50 or more per wheel.
But there is a way to insure against this motoring cost and it doesn’t have to come from your car’s standard cover (which could cost you your no claims discount or increase your annual premium). It’s called alloy wheel cover –a specific type of insurance product that reimburses you if you damage a wheel and require a repair.
The Car Expert has put together this list of potential sites that offer alloy wheel cover to keep your car and its wheels looking good all year round.
They say: We MotorEasy
Motoreasy is well known for Gap insurance cover but the company claims to offer help making the experience of owning a car simpler and that includes covering components – such as alloy wheels.
To get to alloys insurance go to the ‘Protect’ drop-down on the landing page and there, among all sorts of cover, is ‘alloy insurance’. To get started, go to ‘Get a quote’ by typing in your car’s registration number. MotorEasy provides cover for most cars up to five years old and with less than 60,000 miles on the clock.
New and used car wheels are covered including private purchases. Expensive diamond cut repairs are included and repairs can be done at your home or workplace.
Up to four claims can be made per year, there’s £100 allowed for ‘skimming’ a wheel to repair it and £150 towards replacement if it can’t be fixed. There are two or three year terms to choose from. The site is easy to navigate and includes some interesting tips and advice and a blog section.
They say: How much could you be short?
Another big insurance provider specialising in motoring matters, ALA’s website includes cover for a number of areas such as GAP, vehicle replacement, key, scratch and dent, vans and motorhomes.
From the landing page, and under ‘Additional Cover’, drop down to ‘Tyre and Alloy Wheel Insurance’. ALA gives the option of one, two or three years polices, paid for as a stand-alone deal or with one of their GAP polices – in which case you can pay for it monthly.
Your car can’t be older than seven years and must have done less than 100,000 miles to be eligible. It does not cover pre-existing damage and you have to supply photographs of all four wheels to prove this before you start.
Some of the more expensive alloy wheels are not included and this is clearly pointed out with the help of useful pictures showing ‘covered’ and ‘not covered’ wheels. There is an on-line quote button for an instant estimate plus the option to chat live with an adviser.
They say: We can’t be compared
Go to Car2Cover’s website and you will see instantly a list of their services across the top of the landing page. There’s Gap insurance, scratch and dent cover, upholstery protection and, of course, alloy wheel cover.
It’s situated in the ‘Tyre & Alloy Wheel Insurance’ section but you can insure just the alloys if you’re not interested in covering your rubber. Car2Cover provides for up to four claims per year up to a maximum of 10 claims over the period of cover you have arranged.
There’s up to £150 per claim available and up to £1,500 in total if you were to make the maximum number of claims. The insurer does not ask for any excess (an amount found by you) to be paid.
The easy-to-use website offers an ‘instant quote’ which asks you for information such as make of car, its age and value, and what it is mostly used for. Or there’s an option to request a call from a company representative.
Total Loss Gap
They say: Complete Wheel Insurance
Total Loss Gap works with a panel of insurers to find and select comprehensive and flexible policies for its customers. Specialising in Gap insurance the company offers ‘Additional Cover’ too which can be found in a drop-down on the clear but simple website.
There’s plenty of information available about alloy wheel insurance, the different forms it takes and the types of wheels covered (such as diamond cut or laser finished). Cover is available for cars less than three years old, with fewer than 50,000 miles on the odometer. The cover must be bought within 30 days of the car being purchased.
Four claims are allowed per year, with a £10 excess (call-out) charge per claim. If the wheel can’t be repaired Total Loss Gap will pay £150 contribution towards a new one. Repairs are carried out by a mobile technician at your home or work unless specials repairs are needed in which case the wheel is sent away by courier.
To qualify your car must not be used for business purposes and the wheels have to be less than 20 inches in diameter. There’s an automated quote section to begin the process.
They say: Don’t delay, protect them today
As the name suggests, Tidy Alloys are specialists in alloy wheel insurance. But they also offer Gap, cosmetic, tyre and key insurance.
Three different types of cover are offered to suit all needs and budgets. Standard cover provides £100 per wheel repair, Prestige pays £200 per wheel while Complete also covers tyres and wheels up to 23 inches in diameter. Each has a ‘Quote Me’ button or you can chat to a live agent.
There is no policy excess on any of the schemes and you can claim up to four times a year on Standard and Prestige cover and five times a year on Complete cover. A contribution of £150 is made if the wheel can’t be repaired. They pay the repairer direct so you don’t have to find the money first and then claim back.
The bright and easy-to-use website contains lots of helpful information and advice.
Save More Money
They say: Make better financial decisions
The name rather sums it up: this provider has a range of policies available for a variety of needs, and their mission is to save money for customers.
It’s not just about motor related items: there’s home, business and personal cover too. But to find alloy wheel cover go to the ‘Insurance’ drop down, then ‘Motor’ and then on to ‘Tyre and Alloy Insurance’.
The bight, clear website offers a ‘Get a quote’ button and there’s one for ‘More Information’ too. There are two sections under the heading ‘What you need to know’. These are ‘What you are covered for’ and ‘What you are not covered for’. It’s all well explained – vehicles more than seven years old or with more than 70,000 miles on the clock are certainly not included.
Both tyre and alloy wheel insurance policies allow claims of up to three times per policy year with a £15 excess. If you make a claim you can use one of the company’s approved garages or mechanics to get the repairs completed conveniently.
They say: Why not protect yourself?
Like many Gap insurance providers, Direct Gap offers a range of other peace of mind cover too, including tyre and alloy wheel insurance – they can be found from the landing page under ‘Additional Cover’.
The two forms of cover have to be taken together as one package and the straightforward and clear website describes the details: five wheels and five tyres are covered per policy, vehicles up to seven years old are included, it covers malicious damage and there’s a nationwide, mobile repair service offered. There’s no excess to pay and no call-out fee for the repair.
With plenty of advice on getting insurance cover for your wheels, everything is covered – plus there’s a comprehensive question and answer section for any other of the commonly asked queries.
The quote button couldn’t be simpler – enter how many years you want the policy to run for and an instant price is given: from £299 for one year. There’s the option to then have the quote emailed to you, for you to take things forward if you wish.
They say: What can Easy Gap do?
Another big insurer providing cover for cars, vans, motorbikes and components including alloy wheels, tyres and cosmetic cover.
They only cover wheels and tyres together as a package and explain fully what is and isn’t covered on the clear, bright website. Each policy will give you four claims per year on tyres or alloy wheels and there’s £150 towards the cost of a new wheel if the scratched one can’t be repaired. It covers accidental and malicious damage to your wheels.
They are specific and transparent about what is not covered, among them items such as the first £10 excess/call out fee for each claim, no claims for the first 30 days of the policy, damage caused outside the UK and any claims for damage if the car is written off.
There are lots of helpful features containing tips and advice plus a news blog section for some extra reading.
*The Car Expert has commercial partnerships with ALA Insurance and MotorEasy. If you click through to their sites and buy anything, we may receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay, but helps us keep the site running.