Replacing tires can be inconvenient and costly. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the average cost of a new tire is about $100 for a standard car, $175 for an SUV, and $200 for a pickup truck.
Here are the best options for buying new tires and tips on how to care for your tires.
The Best Place to Buy with a Warehouse Club Membership
Costco is a membership-only retail store known to offer various perks. A tire center is one of them. Though it slightly differs from online retailers like Amazon, Costco has reasonable prices. It has free maintenance services, such as inflation pressure checks, tire balancing, tire rotations, and flat repair. Additionally, they can inflate your tires with nitrogen instead of compressed air, thus increasing the tire’s lifespan and saving fuel for your car. These savings make the $60 annual membership at Costco worth it.
Sam’s has one of the cheapest price points for tires, and installation costs $20 per tire for most vehicles. Members have access to services and extended manufacturer warranties, including road hazard protection and lifetime tire repair, emergency road assistance, and road hazard protection. Other free services include wiper blade installation, TIP balance and rotation, air pressure & tread depth check, 50-mile re-torque, battery installation, and battery check.
Tire Barn Warehouse
Tire Barn Warehouse has a wide selection of tires. Installation includes mounting and balancing, TPMS inspection/rest, precision wheel torque, and alignment check when you buy tires from it. Store-bought tires are also eligible for lifetime perks like rotations, rebalance and tire repair. It guarantees the lowest price too, beating the competitor’s total quote by 5%. There are 30 locations of Tire Barn in the US across Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee.
Best Physical Stores to Buy Tires
Local Tire Shops
When you buy from a small local tire shop, you are helping a small business thrive. You are also supporting your community to create more job opportunities in your area. Local shops are not always expensive. When buying a tire, bring your quote from a nationwide tire chain to the local tire shop to be offered a Price Beat Guarantee. You will be offered a lower price and get to avail the service of homegrown customer-oriented tire experts. There is no need to wait in a long queue to avail of the service.
With more than 2,200 stores across the United States, there is surely a Firestone near you. Firestone offers various tires with a 90-day try-and-buy guarantee, allowing unsatisfied customers to return their purchase. They offer a 3-year warranty, aptly named the “Gold Standard Warranty,” covering any manufacturer defect if you buy a set of four tires. Firestone also offers a Road Hazard Protection warranty that is good for the first 2/32nds of the tire tread wear when they or their installer partners install the tires for you.
Walmart is a great shop to buy tires both online and in-store. Check out their website’s special offer tab to get a hold on exclusive deals, discounts, rebates, and clearance prices! There’s a great selection of popular brands that are sold at very low prices. Additionally, they offer installation for only $15, which is cheaper than any other store. If you plan on buying tires in Walmart, make sure to take advantage of the price match if you come across a better deal on an identical item.
BJ’s Tire Center
Tires at BJ’s are among the lowest, with an average of $147 per tire. They install tires at $20 each, with free maintenance like tire rotation, wheel rebalancing, flat repairs, inflation check, and full road hazard warranty. Their tires are also eligible for the road hazard warranty covering tires with large punctures, slices, cuts, or other damage.
Big O Tires
Big O Tires is one of America’s biggest tire shops, with over 500 stores in more than 20 states, mostly located in the West and Midwest. They have a variety of tire brands in store along with their private brand. Purchasing their line of tires entitles you to a three-year repair or replacement road hazard warranty and a 12-month or 12,000-mile Nationwide Limited Repair Warranty. They also offer an upgraded Tire Protection Package for a cost based on the type of tires you buy. Generally, this covers road hazards and replacement issues.
Fountain Tire, a Canadian tire store, has a wide selection of tire brands. They offer interest-free and flexible payment plans for 6 to 12 months. They also include an extensive tire and road hazard warranty with benefits, including a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, free rotations, and road hazard protection on most tire purchases. These are included in their National Limited Warranty Program. You can also get some money back by claiming rebates from the following manufacturers: Goodyear, Toyo Tires, Kumho Tires, and GT Radial.
Best Place to Buy Tires Online
On opening Tire Rack’s website to shop for tires, you need to enter your vehicle’s make, model, and year along with your zip code. After selecting the tires you need, you can choose whether you want tires picked up from the distribution center, shipped to an installer, or delivered directly to you. You get discounts when you pick up the tires, but the two other shipping options are free. Shipping usually takes 1-2 business days. Tire Rack’s prices are quite high, at an average of $161 per tire. It includes a limited warranty and free two-year road hazard protection for most passengers, light trucks, and SUV tires.
Simple has a wide array of brands and offers flexible financing. Tire prices range from as low as $80 to over $200 for high-end brands. They offer a 5% military discount and 20% off if you sign up for their email and text message program. Tires are shipped for free via FedEx and UPS; hence their shipping time is courier-dependent. One downside of Simple Tires is that they don’t sell wheels and other accessories. So if you’re looking for a package, this is not the best place. Users also complained about their website not being user-friendly.
Tire Mart offers both new and used tires, mainly for cars, SUVs, and light trucks. All used tires that are offered undergo inspection to ensure the tires are healthy and dry-rot-free. Upon selection of tires for purchase, you will be given an accurate quote for your selection. Purchased tires are shipped through FedEx within 16 business days, depending on where you are in the US. Purchases come with a 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee. Members enjoy special prices and exclusive coupon codes.
Tire Buyer boasts 11,000 mobile and in-store installation partners and a competent team. Recently, it merged with Tirescanner.com to create even better customer support. Its website is packed with tools and tips to help you choose the right tires. Shipping is free on all tires, whether directly to you or a local installer, and may take 1-2 days. Price ranges from $18 to over $300, depending on the tires you choose. However, this does not include the installation fee. It allows returns within 45 days and provides free educational tools.
Amazon offers a massive selection of tires, including hard-to-find tires. It delivers orders quickly and accurately for free. Prices are lower, and there is no sales tax to be paid in most states. However, the warranty is a bit confusing. Amazon does not offer any kind of road hazard protection. It only covers faulty materials and uneven wear. You need to register your tires with the manufacturer and use the manufacturer’s warranty instead.
Discount Tire Direct sells tires from more than 55 brands. Its pricing is on the lower end with an average of $144 per tire and offers price matching if you find better deals. Shipping usually takes 2-4 business days, depending on the distribution center. However, buyers need to pay separately for the installation and will have to schedule it in advance. All tires come with the standard manufacturer’s warranty, which includes quality and material defects. Coverage for road hazards or wear requires an additional warranty that will cover your tires for up to three years.
Now, you can buy tires directly from Goodyear by going to their website, which offers expert assistance and a convenient checkout process. They have a 30-day pledge, which means that you have up to 30 days to decide if you want to keep the selected tires or exchange them for a different set of Goodyear, Dunlop, or Kelly tires. They have other tire warranties that you can choose from, but those are not free.
National Tire and Battery, or NTB, has more than 600 stores nationwide. On their website, they offer different tire brands, but you need to pay for installation. You need to pay around $23 per tire with a TPMS repair kit and $15 without. You may avail of a road hazard warranty and lifetime balancing or an alignment warranty for a fee. When you purchase tires from it, you get free lifetime rotations at any NTB or TBC retailer. However, NTB locations only go as far west as Texas, and most locations are in the South and Southeast US. It operates in 26 states.
Priority Tire has been another online tire distributor operating in Allentown, PA, for over 15 years now. You can find more than 1,000 tire brands at the lowest prices on their website, including top brands like Firestone, Yokohama, Bridgestone, Dunlop, and Accelera, among others. They offer a wide range of tires for different vehicle fitments and performance and weather applications. From the distribution of Passenger vehicles, SUVs, and light truck tires, it has expanded to trailers, ATVs, golf carts, racing and motorcycle, commercial, industrial, and farm vehicles. They can directly ship the tires you purchase to your chosen installer. Shipping via FedEx is free if your location is within the 48 contiguous states. They provide a 90 days return policy for new and unmounted tires. Members have the privilege of getting lower prices, exclusive sales, and coupon codes.
How to Find the Cheapest Place to Buy Tires
Ask for out-the-door price quotes, including taxes and fees.
A string of charges and expenses come with buying tires– taxes, extras such as mounting and balancing, and other upsell services. Ask your sellers to quote you a price that wraps all these into one neat price— the “out the door” price – to determine if you are getting value.
The best places listed have great deals for tire purchases, and their benefits vary. Compare the selection of tires (brands, types, models, and sizes), warranty and return guarantee policies and the perks that come with your tire purchase, such as free services and aftercare that add to the product’s cost-efficiency.
Compare prices and convenience.
Find out the average cost of tires for sale in each store, the installation cost, shipping fee, and other overhead costs, including deals, promotions, and rebates, which can significantly differ in the total price. See which stores provide the most convenient way to make a purchase.
How to Buy Tires Online
Have the correct and complete tire information ready for a smooth online purchase.
- Tire Size – If you get this information wrong and the tire is not right for your vehicle when it arrives, there can be return shipping charges and delays. The exact measurements are displayed on the sidewall of your current tires.
- Brand – There is a wide range of brands offered online that suit your needs and budget. Top brands like Bridgestone, Goodyear, Continental, Dunlop, Pirelli, and Michelin provide superior performance, but the cost is high. Brands like Cooper, Achilles, Falken, Federal, and Mastercraft also offer excellent performance but are more affordable.
- Select by Categories – Know the type of your vehicle tires. There are eight major categories:
- Passenger – models are made to fit small economy coupes, sedans, sports cars, and crossovers (CUVs).
- Truck/SUV – For larger vehicles like light trucks, SUVs, and Jeeps.
- Trailer – Come in radial or bias-ply to suit trailers. Consider the manufacturer’s recommendation when you buy these tires.
- Commercial Truck- Designed to carry heavy loads for long distances with increased stability and are mainly built for excellent performance in rain, snow, ice, and hot and dry roads.
- Quad/ATV/UTV – Built to handle just about any terrain, some are also designed for snowy mountain paths, desert sands, and heavy mud.
- Lawn & Garden/Golf Cart specialty tires– When buying, specify your driving situation and usage. Driving on dirt may require a different tire than one intended for turf use.
- Construction – These tires have an extensive selection that matches your equipment and desired capability. Forklifts, skid steers, backhoes, loaders, and the like belong to this category.
- Farm – These are durable and puncture resistant and designed to carry heavy loads, provide excellent roading capability, greater flotation, and improved traction, intended for agricultural equipment such as tractors, combines, plows, mowers, and planters.
- Car model – When using your car model to search, use your vehicle’s title to find the year your vehicle was produced, vehicle manufacturer, model and style. Know what your tire size is.
- Customer review – Customer reviews provide you with a glimpse of the brand’s credibility and reliability. List your specific needs according to priority, and use this as a guide when you read reviews, browse tires, and make your purchase decision.
- Payment options – Most online tire stores accept major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, and tire financing options that allow you to pay on credit and make 3, 6, or 12 months payments with corresponding APR percentages.
- Return policy / Warranty – The online store’s return policy and warranty reflect its trustworthiness and the value it gives to its customers. Ensure that the online store has a proper and straightforward system for handling returns or replacements in case of mistakes or problems with your purchased tires.
- Shipping – Depending on your location, these costs can be very high. The good thing is, many online stores offer free shipping as a way to attract customers.
Benefits of Buying Tires Online
Online tire prices are lower and with cost-effective deals, as compared to the local tire stores or dealerships. Depending on the laws in your state, you might also be able to save money as most internet purchases have no state sales tax.
Buying tires online provides access to a vast number of brands that suit your vehicle needs. It allows you to discover new tire brands and uncover new features that match your lifestyle or unique driving situation.
You can visit online sites and browse for the perfect tires anytime. You can do it over your phone or computer from the comfort of your home and from just about anywhere. There is also live chat support that is always ready to answer all your queries.
Most online sites provide helpful information to find the very best tires for your vehicle and budget. They offer general information about tires and wheels and detailed product information for what they do sell. Their tire specialists can give you expert advice to help you make the right purchase decision.
No Aggressive Sales Pitches
You don’t have to deal with aggressive “upselling” and high-pressure tactics. You get to shop at your own pace without a salesperson pressing you to make a decision.
Access to customer reviews
Online tire stores collect and make available on their sites all customer reviews about them and their products. With access to it, you can make an informed purchase decision.
You can pay securely online using your selected payment option, and tires can be shipped to you or directly to your chosen service shop, usually at no extra cost. All you need to do is bring your car to the shop and have them install the tires you purchased.
Car Maintenance Tips
Here is a General checklist of Vehicle parts that we recommend for you to check regularly:
Check your tire pressure every month and before long trips to see if any of the four tires are lower than they should be. Rotate your tires about every six months to evenly balance the treadwear and prevent noise and vibration problems. Check if the treads are already worn out and need replacement.
Check the brake pads each time your tires are rotated to keep you safe. If the pads look thin (less than ¼ inches) and are worn down, replace them. If you don’t, there is a chance you cannot slow down and stop your vehicle when you need to. Old brake fluid can also cause problems. If it is very dark, it is time for some fresh fluid.
Your vehicle’s engine oil lubricates the moving parts, helps act as a sealant against debris, cools the engine, reduces wear and tear, and helps prevent engine corrosion. Keeping it clean for good engine health. Oil and oil filters need to be changed at least every three months or 3,000 miles. If the oil is dark or muddy, it’s time for a change.
Regular monthly checks of your headlights, turn signals, brake, and parking lights ensure clear road visibility and prevent significant inconvenience. It can save you and other passengers’ lives.
Clogged filters make the engine work harder to push air through, thereby affecting performance and fuel efficiency. Some recommend maintenance timeframes based on mileage, but you can use your own eyes and nose to determine if the filters are already clogged and need to be replaced.
If you find any crack in the windshield, check that it does not obstruct the driver’s vision nor affect the operation of the windshield wipers. Check your windshield wipers. If they cannot clear the windshield of water altogether, this compromises your visibility when driving through the rain. Replace windshields or wipers as needed.
Belts and Hoses
A belt or hose failure can cause an overheated engine and the loss of power steering and electrical charging system. If your hoses show tiny cracks and pinholes or your belt shows warning signs like cracking, fraying, and loosening tension, it indicates the need for replacement.
Review car insurance
Review your insurance yearly to ensure that your coverage keeps up with the significant changes or events in your life. Explore how these changes affect your coverage requirements and consider making modifications before renewal.
Wash your car
Washing your car at least once a week protects and maintains its value and appearance. It prevents damage to your car paint from contaminants such as dirt, pollen, tree sap, and air pollutants. It also promotes safety and prevents visibility problems when you drive with clear windows, mirrors that are free from debris.
Keeping up with the regular maintenance schedule helps extend your vehicle’s life, prevent car breakdowns, and ensure safety in your journey. When you neglect maintenance, it gives way to minor problems that develop into major ones, leading to costly repairs and, worst, dangerous situations.
Tips on Keeping your Engine Healthy
- Change oil regularly
The engine oil keeps all moving parts well lubricated, reducing wear and tear and preventing overheating. The most recent standard for modern cars is to change the oil every 5,000 miles. Going too long between oil changes can cause permanent damage to your engine over time. Check oil levels every month and top up if the level is low.
- Check for leaks
Intense heat and pressure will eventually cause engine hoses to fail, allowing your engine’s required fluids to leak out of the engine. Anticipate leak problems by checking under your hood for leaks or smells. Stop and look for any liquids on the ground where you parked. If there’s a leak, have it checked by a mechanic.
- Replace fuel filter
The fuel filter protects your engine from harmful sediments and particles in the gas. If the filter gets worn out, you need to change it to keep the engine running smoothly. A new filter means free flow of clean fuel to the fuel pump and engine, with less build-up inside.
- Fill up your gas before it gets too low
Gasoline has a certain amount of sediment that settles to the bottom of your gas tank. If you consistently run your car down to empty, you are possibly pulling the deposits from the bottom of the tank to the fuel filter and the engine, causing internal damage. It is recommended to keep a half-tank of fuel at all times.
- Keep the cooling system healthy
Always ensure that there is ample coolant in the tank to protect your engine from overheating. A 1:1 ratio of coolant and distilled water is ideal. Monitor the engine temperature gauge, particularly on hot sunny days.
- Follow-up when automotive warning lights come on
When your engine light and other warning lights come on, it can be a problem with the alternator, battery, engine temperature, or other areas surrounding the engine. Not all indicate significant issues, but ignoring them can cause a severe problem. To be safe, run a diagnostic or have a mechanic do it.
- Check spark plugs and wires
Regular maintenance of your spark plugs and wires helps keep your engine firing consistently and your gas mileage up. Change spark plugs at least every 30,000 miles (48,280 kilometers). If your spark plugs and wires get too old, it can cause your engine to run rough.
- Go easy on the ‘Start and Stop’ driving
Constant stops and starts are hard on your car’s engine. It runs much better and lasts longer at a continuous speed. When possible, keep your speed and RPMs at a consistent level. It gives you better gas mileage and extends the life of your engine.
- Check your engine belts
The engine belt is mainly responsible for running the fan, water pump, alternator, and air conditioner. If it breaks while you’re driving, it can cause significant damage to the engine. They usually last long, but when you see a sign of wear and cracks, it’s time to replace them.
- Check engine air filters
Air keeps your engine running so it needs to be coming into the engine continually, without restriction and debris. If the air filters get too clogged with dirt, it can starve your engine of oxygen. When changing your engine oil, also check if your air filters need to be replaced.