How to Save Money on Buying Tires

Published on February 17, 2014 By Lauren

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  • Recently, a few readers have asked about How to save money on buying tires..  I view tires as more of a maintenance item; they aren’t something I look to go out and buy, rather something that you have to buy every few years (or even more frequent depending on how often you drive).

    I have done my fair share of shopping around.  Based on that experience, here is what I’ve found:

    • The price is often negotiable.  Just ask.  I bought tires a couple months ago for my car, and I thought that the price I was given was a little too much.  So I simply said “that’s a little more than I wanted to pay.”  Just by saying that, he immediately cut my price by $40.
    • Warranty on tires – I don’t buy extended warranties on any product, and warranties on tires are no exception.  But think about this one for a minute.  If you just spend $400 on a set of tires, would you spend another $60 for a ‘just in case’ your tire fails?  I’ve never had a tire (with a fair amount of tread life left) fail, nor have I known anyone who has.  And if a tire did fail, what would be so bad about spending $100 to get a new one put on?  Take your chances and don’t buy the warranty.
    • Buy 3 get 1 free deals – you have probably seen these deals advertised.  I’ve never done one of these deals before for a couple reason.  1 – the deal is usually for a higher priced tire that I’m not too interested in.  2 – what the tire dealer generally doesn’t tell you is that to get the free tire deal, you have to buy the warranty, which is usually about $60.  After you factor in that it is a more expensive tire and the warranty, it usually ends up being $50 – $100 more than a set of ‘budget’ tires.
    • Does brand make a difference?  In my experience, not really.  But I’m not a race car driver and I don’t own a ‘performance – hug the road’ car… and most of you don’t either.  Some people swear by Goodrich, Firestone etc… and maybe it does make a difference.  I’ve owned several brands, and to me, they all simply do what they’re supposed to do.  (However, with winter tires, I’ve found brand can make a difference)
    • Online tire dealers like – I’ve purchased from them, I think that these sites are great… not necessarily for buying tires, but for checking out reviews on a particular brand of tires.  I’ve gone through too.  The problem with these sites is that you have to pay for shipping on top of the tax (which is usually between $50- $60 for 4 tires) and then have a garage install the tires (another $40 – $50).  It is usually better to simply use a set of tires that a garage has in stock.  However, there are some deals online, and even with the shipping, you may end up with a good deal, so shop around.
    • Winter tires, should you buy them? – If you live in upstate NY or other areas that average 100+ inches of snow a year, and you drive daily… I would HIGHLY recommend them.  All-season tires seem like they should be fine for winter based on their name (ALL SEASON), and they are definitely better than summer tires in the winter.  But compared to dedicated winter tires, there is no comparison.  Even a cheap set of winter tires will easily out-perform an expensive set of all-seasons in the winter.  It’s not just the tread that is different in winter tires, they are made of a softer type of rubber that will grip ice and snow.  But because of the softer rubber, they will wear quicker when it warms up.  Therefore they should be put on no earlier than November, and taken off no later than early April.  Another advantage is that the life of your non-winter tires will be extended since you will be driving them less; since your tires will be changed more frequently they will also be rotated which is good for wear on your tires.

    Some of you probably have much more experience than I do when it comes to buying tires, so feel free to add your recommendations.

    Do any of you have any other tips for saving money on buying tires?


  • Check out rnrwheels dot com, you can find a great selection of tires at really affordable prices. Personalized payment plans are offered with as little as $20 down, and no credit card necessary.

  • hi!
    You’re bound to encounter more than a few inconsiderate drivers. We’re not talking about trucker on trucker conflicts here, as it’s the non-trucking population that most often struggles to share the road with commercial vehicles

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