Buying new tires for your ATV or UTV can be a frustrating process. There are so many options. You have to figure out the size you want (see why some people like different sized tires in the front), pick a pattern, knob size and tread depth. While I was working on our awesome guide to picking the right tires for your ATV, the thought came to me as to whether you can use car or other vehicle tires on your ATV and whether that might save you some money or make it better for street use. With that thought in mind, I started doing some research to see if it was possible.
Can you use car tires and wheels on an ATV? Technically, you could, with a lot of work and modifications or some serious research and hunting, put car tires on an ATV, but practically, you cannot use car tires interchangeably on your ATV. The biggest issue with trying to put car tires on an ATV is that most wheels simply do not fit. The lug nuts are not arranged in the same location on car wheels as ATV wheels so you cannot fit the wheel on without making modifications.
Why would you want to use car tires on your ATV?
The reason most people wonder if they can put car tires on their ATV is to save money. However, the desire to save money is usually coupled with a specific goal as well. Most of the time, it is someone wanting to make their ATV street legal or to just get tires that are not going to wear out driving on the streets. Other times where someone may want to save money by using car tires are when they need a second pair of tires for special conditions, like studded tires, or not wanting to wear out expensive tires for frequent, but mundane, use. The problem is that it is hard to actually save money using car tires because the modifications can take a lot of work or extra money such that it is usually going to be easier and cheaper just to get ATV tires that will fit your goal.
What are some options if you are determined?
If you really want to put car tires/wheels on your ATV, there are some ways to do it. If you use any of these methods, you will want to check your clearances first to make sure the tire will actually fit. You want to make sure the tires are going to fit underneath your fenders and that you aren’t going to cause any issues to your suspension as a starting point.
Probably the easiest way to make car wheels work on your ATV to buy spacers, on ebay or somewhere else, that convert the bolt pattern on the car wheels to that of your ATV.
If you get some decent luck, you can find some car tires that will fit on your ATV wheels. This can be a bit of a pain as you will have to mount the tire yourself, which is fine if you know what you are doing, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you already know what you are getting into.
If you are willing to do a bit of hunting or get really lucky, there are certain car models that have wheels that will fit some ATV models. I have never tried these, but I have heard that the wheels from some old Mustangs, Civics, Geos, 250X or Escorts will fit some ATVs. You will want to check the bolt pattern for your specific ATV, but many ATVs have a 4×110 or 4×100 bolt pattern so those are the patterns you would usually look for.
If you are super good with tools, you can manufacture your own spacers, like the guy in the video below. I have no advise whatsoever on this as it is over my head. I would happy spend the money to not have to do this.
What tires should you get for street riding?
If your goal is to just get a good tire for riding on paved streets and don’t want to deal with the hassle of one of the above options, there are some great ATV tires that are designed for street use. A great starting point is to look over our guide to ATV tires as there is a bit in there about street tires.
The big things you will get out of a street tire is better grip and traction on paved surfaces and thicker rubber that will last longer. The easiest way to see if the tires are good for paved streets, just check to see if the tires are DOT-approved.
Below are some of our favorite street tires:
Finally, if you are working on getting your ATV street legal, we have some great material that will help get you there. First, you will want to check out our street-legal guide that has specific information on whether and how you can get street legal in your state. Next, a look at our helpful guide to making your ATV street legal is worth the look to explore what else you need to get done.