What is the difference between hubcaps and wheel covers?

In practical terms, the terms “hubcaps” and “wheel covers” are often used interchangeably to refer to the decorative covers that are used to conceal the lug nuts and other parts of the wheel assembly on a vehicle. However, there are some subtle differences in the way the two terms are used that may help distinguish them:

  1. Material: Hubcaps are typically made of plastic, while wheel covers may be made of a variety of materials, including plastic, aluminum, or steel.
  2. Design: Hubcaps are usually designed to snap on to the center of the wheel, covering only the center portion of the wheel. Wheel covers, on the other hand, are designed to cover the entire wheel, including the spokes and rim.
  3. Function: Hubcaps are primarily decorative, while wheel covers serve a dual function of providing both decoration and protection for the wheel.

Ultimately, whether you call them hubcaps or wheel covers, they serve similar functions and are often used interchangeably in everyday conversation.