How Many Wheels Are in the World?

Remember when we told you in a previous article that the toy company LEGO manufactures most of the world’s tires? According to Guinness World Records, LEGO made 381 million tires in 2010 alone.

While Guinness tracked this figure for the purpose of awarding the world record to the largest manufacturer of toy wheels, LEGO does actually make more tires and wheels than companies that manufacture wheels for cars, trucks and bicycles.

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But so many other things outside of the toy industry use wheels, too. And that got us wondering just how many wheels are in the world? Well, get ready for the wheels inside your head to start spinning as we try to break down the answer.

Toy Wheels in the World

We bring up the LEGO example because it’s a way to visualize how many wheels are in the world. But that’s if we really simplify it by assuming one tire equals one wheel.

If we assume those 381 million (381,000,000) wheels were all car wheels (meaning each LEGO car had four wheels) that would equate to 95,250,000 LEGO cars manufactured in 2010. Even though we’re talking about wheels from one toy company in one year, that’s a lot of car wheels. But some of those LEGO tires were presumably for other vehicles, like motorcycles, bicycles, etc.

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Of course there are a lot of other toy cars that have wheels, too. Hot Wheels, for instance, almost all have four wheels, and there are about 6 billion Hot Wheels out there. Tonka Trucks have six wheels and in 2007, on the truck’s 60th anniversary, Hasbro said it had made more than 250 million of them. Surely Hasbro has made a lot more Tonka Trucks in the 16 years since. That adds a lot more wheels to our hypothetical total. And we’re still talking just about toys. So what about cars?

Car Wheels in the World

What about the number of wheels when it comes to cars and light trucks? Well, the math works about the same, sort of.

First let’s start with how many cars there are. As of 2022, there were an estimated 1.5 billion cars in the world. If most of those cars had just four wheels that would be about 6 billion wheels. But most cars have a spare, too, so that’s still another wheel.

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Then if we count the steering wheel, plus all the wheels — or gears — of the transmission that you can’t see inside the car, that brings the average number of wheels per car to six wheels. That ups the total number of wheels in the world to 9 billion — just from cars.

But there are still three-wheeled vehicles, too. In Thailand, for instance, there were about 20,000 tuk-tuks in 2018. India had about 1.5 million tuk-tuks in 2018. If you count these three-wheeled vehicles too, that adds way more wheels to our hypothetical total number of wheels in the world.

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There Is No Exact Count

Here’s where we’re going with this — there’s no comprehensive list anywhere (that we’ve found or that we can imagine) that includes an estimation of who makes the most wheels in the world, let alone the exact number of wheels in the world.

We just tried just tallying up how many wheels there are on a few toys, cars, trucks and tuk-tuks, and that number was well into the billions.

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And just think about all the other vehicles and items that have even more wheels:

hand trucks

golf carts

office chairs

razor scooters

shopping carts

baby strollers

skateboards

dumpsters

airplanes

So many other objects in the world use at least two wheels. We haven’t even touched on the more than 1 billion bicycles and added their two wheels in the mix.

Regardless of how you want to break them down (for example, are all toy cars one category or are we separating LEGO, Hot Wheels, Power Wheels and every other type of toy car?) estimating how many wheels are in the world is just too tough.

So how many wheels are in the world? No one knows. If you’re the first to figure it out, well, we can’t wait to hear from you.

Here’s what we feel comfortable saying: There are not more doors than there are wheels. Why does it even matter? There’s a silly wheels vs. doors debate ongoing on social media. It started when New Zealander Ryan Nixon posed a question on Twitter and now it’s become quite a war online. Ah, the internet.

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