What is Wheel Offset?

Customizing your car is fun. You can change the wheels to make it your own.

You may not know what wheel offset is (or don't remember), but it is a measurement of how far the wheel sticks out from the center of the vehicle. The farther out, the more likely you will be able to fit larger sized tires which can help if you want to go off-roading or just need more grip for winter weather driving.

Wheel offset such as on https://wheelssize.com/ is the distance from the center of a car's wheel to where it meets the ground. You want your car's wheel to be as close as possible to the ground so that you can stop better and be more safe when driving. If there is not enough space between your wheels and the ground, then you will have a hard time stopping.

Offset is how your car wheels are put on. They can be offset to the inside or outside of the car.

- Zero wheel offset is when the hub mounting surface is in line with the centerline of a wheel.

- Positive wheel offset is when the hub mounting surface is in front (more toward the street side) of the centerline of the wheel. Most wheels on front-wheel drive cars and newer rear-drive vehicles have positive offset.

- Negative offset is when the hub mounting surface is behind the wheel centerline. “Deep dish” wheels are typically a negative offset.

Your car's wheels need to have enough space between them for the wheel width and offset. If you want to put on new wheels that are wider than what your car came with, you need to make sure that your backspacing is correct.

Getting offset and backspacing measurements right means you’ll get a wheel and tire package that offers the looks, handling and performance you’re after.

Common problems from too much positive offset

- Expensive damage from the inner edge of the wheel and tire rubbing against the bodywork or suspension

- Interference with brake parts

- Risk of tire failure

- Poor handling

- Making your car unstable

Problems from too much negative offset

- Increased steering wheel kick-back

- Additional stress on the entire suspension

- Poor handling