21" Hartge Classic II's on a BMW M5 (photo from rtwmotoring.com)

21" Hartge Classic II's on a BMW M5 (photo from rtwmotoring.com)

Nothing bugs me more than someone purchasing the wrong aftermarket wheels for their car.  Poor color choice, size selection and overall style will kill even the most expensive exotics.   Here are a few rules I go by when purchasing aftermarket wheels for my car:

Pick a wheel design that accentuates the car, not a design that screams I BOUGHT NEW WHEELS.
Check out the two cars below and see what I feel are good wheel upgrade decisions by their owners.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage with 21" HRE 790R wheels, staggered fitment

Aston Martin V8 Vantage with 21" HRE 790R wheels, staggered fitment (photo from 6 speed online and Wheels Boutique)

Below is a supercharged Audi S5 from GMG Motorsports in Orange County, CA.  The wheels are 20″ HRE M40’s.

Go big.
The usual rule of thumb is +2 – where your upgraded rims should be about 2 inches larger than the stock rims.  Depending on the car, you can also do +3.  For SUV’s the size will depend on how much money you have and what kind of ride you are looking for.  I would typically go with 22’s, 24’s or 26’s.

Topo's widebody challenger with Asanti wheels (26" rear, 24" front) created for JW Motorsports in Bellflower, CA

Topo's widebody challenger with Asanti wheels (26" rear, 24" front) created for JW Motorsports in Bellflower, CA

You don’t have to spend a ton of money.
There are a lot of wheels out there and you shouldn’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money to get a good set.  TSW and Axis Wheels, for example, makes some very strong, light wheels for a lot of different applications.

Beyern wheel on BMW 5 Series.  Image from d2autosport.com.

Beyern wheel on BMW 5 Series. Image from d2autosport.com.

EXE Crown Wheels on a Mercedes Benz S Class (photo from exewheels.com)

EXE Crown Wheels on a Mercedes Benz S Class (photo from exewheels.com)

Don’t expect the aftermarket wheels to improve the value of your car.
When you purchase your wheels, the last reason you should use to rationalize your decision should be “my car will be worth more after”.  People really don’t care about wheels when they purchase used cars.  In fact, it may hurt the resale value of your car because buyers may wonder what other modifications were made.

ESM

To create Essential Style for Men, mix 2 parts petrol, 1 part secret agent, 1 part rock and roll, 1 part hip-hop and a shot of tequila in a shaker with ice and vigorously shake for 20 seconds. Pour into a martini glass rimmed with explosives and have a supermodel serve for all your friends to enjoy.