This question has been circulating around the internet and, although it would be impossible to know the exact answer, a commonly given response is 37 billion. Now, that’s a pretty big number.
According to the University of California Museum of Paleontology, if someone wanted to count to one billion and could say the next number every three seconds, it would take them more than ninety-five years to count to a billion—and the estimated number of wheels in the world is thirty-seven times that. So, if you figure that the average lifetime of a person is eighty years, they’d need about forty-four lifetimes to count to 37 billion (95 x 37/80 = 43.9) as long as they didn’t eat, sleep, work, or go to school. Or take deep breaths.
Now, let’s leave behind the idea of counting to 37 billion and reverse engineer how this number was calculated. First, when people calculate the answer to the question of “How many wheels are there in the world?”, they are typically considering a few types of wheels: car wheels, bicycle and motorcycle wheels, and ones on toys, including toy vehicles.
Figure, for example, that there are nearly 1.5 billion cars in the world today. Then, consider that the average car could have six wheels, including the four being used to drive, the steering wheel, and car transmission wheels—and that takes us to 8.7 billion when just considering car wheels. (And, something we don’t see in these calculations: what about all of the vehicles that carry a spare tire in the trunk? Don’t those count?)
Plus, the number of 37 billion doesn’t include truck wheels or those on vans, SUVs, and so forth. This number also doesn’t include ones on wheelbarrows, grocery carts, chairs with caster wheels, and so on. Then, what about used wheels and replica wheels used as part of restaurant and bar décor? Prize wheels spun at festivals, fairs, casinos, and so forth? Doesn’t anyone use mill wheels to grind corn, wheat, and other grains anymore? What about the six wheels on NASA’s space shuttle landings? Have people even considered the wheel used on the Wheel of Fortune game show?
Okay, this may sound absurd. But these thoughts back up our conclusion: although 37 billion is a great starter number to the question of “How many wheels are there in the world?”, the real number is much, much larger.
Considering Car Wheels: Are You Ready for This?
We’ve shared how, when people have calculated there are 8.7 billion car wheels (not counting spare tires on wheels), they’re talking about wheels already in use. But, what about OEM wheels on vehicles that haven’t been released by manufacturers yet? Unsold vehicles at dealerships? Car wheels and truck wheels at vehicle shows around the country and world?
What about aftermarket wheels? Whether they’re OEM wheels or made by someone other than the original manufacturers, they exist. So, they count, too, right? What about aftermarket truck wheels?
(Just by considering the wheel inventory that Hubcap Haven has access to, that’s millions of additional OEM wheels!)
What about refurbished wheels/refinished wheels that are on display in car repair shops? Remanufactured wheels that haven’t left their place of repair yet?
We could debate the question of “How many wheels are there in the world?” for years to come, but what really matters is having access to the right OEM wheels/aftermarket wheels—the ones you want and need—and that’s where Hubcap Haven comes in.
Count on Hubcap Haven for Your OEM Wheels and Wheel Accessories
Hubcap Haven Auto Wheel & Trim offers a full selection of OEM/aftermarket wheels for cars, trucks, and SUVs along with rims, hubcaps, center caps, and tire pressure monitors. We also have replica wheels, refurbished wheels, and more, and you can order directly from our website from the comfort of home.
We make it easy to find what you need from more than forty of the most popular brands and, if you have questions, you can contact us online or call 877-482-4283. Our expert team loves to talk about wheels, and we’re here to help you find the perfect products for your vehicles.