Ballpark Estimate: $50 to $300 per tire
There’s no way around it: when your tires are old or in bad shape, it’s essential that they be replaced for safety’s sake. Tires that have the tread too warn down can be difficult to maneuver, especially in bad weather.
When it comes to purchasing new tires, not all are created equal. Since your tires need to be able to effectively handle the weight of your vehicle, you’ll want tires of an appropriate size, diameter, speed and function. This means that Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), trucks and other oversized cars may require larger-sized tires, while racing cars need high performance tires, and people who drive in the winter will want durable tires that can handle snow and ice well. To make sure you get the right fit, a salesperson at your local tire shop can give you some suggestions for your particular car type and usage patterns.
Before you select your new tires, you’ll want to weigh some of the seasonal needs to ensure you get a tire that can travel through different weather conditions effectively. Further, if you live in an area that has snowy winters, you should decide if you’ll be changing them seasonally or need one set that will work for you all year long. If you’re going with a one-size fits all approach, you should choose your tires to work for the roughest conditions, so you’ll be protected regardless of how bad the weather gets.
Ideally, all four of your tires will wear evenly and need to be replaced at the same time. But if one wears before the others, or if you want to replace them one at a time because the cost of buying four tires at once seems prohibitive, you’ll need to proceed with caution. It’s important for all four of your tires to be of similar age and condition in order to ensure both ends of your car will respond together. When one tire is new and the others are old, it’s possible that your car will be difficult to control. Therefore, if you decide just to replace one tire, you’ll at least want to select the brand, size and speed rating that matches the other three. A better option is investing in two new tires and putting the new ones on the back axel of your car to provide you with the best control.
Shopping for Tires
There’s no shortage of places that sell vehicle tires. If you live in a city or decent-sized suburb, chances are that you will have access to many chain stores that sell a variety of tire brands so you can compare tire prices and find a good deal. Some of the places to try include Sears, Costco, Walmart, and BJ’s. You can also visit some discount tire sellers online, such as Discount Tire, Tire Rack, and Online Tires. Many of these options are known for having good prices on tires. Another option is to browse the websites of some of the well-known tire manufacturers to use their searchable directory to locate their own stores and/or local dealers. Some of the popular brands to try include Michelin, Good Year, Bridgestone, BFGoodrich, and Uniroyal.
When considering a tire seller, it’s a good idea to find out if the shop hires technicians that have been trained by the Tire Industry Association, which is an international membership organization providing training to people in the field. You can also find out the ratings on different tire brands and styles through Consumer Reports website.
Look at the Warranty
Don’t forget to find out what type of warranty you get with your tires. They will often be guaranteed to last between 50,000 and 80,000 miles of driving. This means if the tires don’t wear well, they will be replaced at no additional charge.
What It Costs
The cost of tires can run a wide gamut, depending on what you select. The size, expected mileage, tread and warranty can all affect your bottom line line. Here are some ballparks to give you an idea of what to expect:
- If you want a basic tire that’s reliable year round, the price will be between $50 and $120.
- If you want a high-performance tire, the price will be in the $100 to $250 range.
- If you have an SUV or pickup truck, you’ll probably need a bigger size. This cost can start at $75 for a low end model and go up to a cost of $350 for a premium style.
- For a sports car or for other high-end vehicles with special needs, the tire cost can be as high as $500 each or more.
- Some places will include the installation and tire rotation with their tire prices, while others may charge a cost of $50 or more for this.
- Some tire shops may also add in an environmental fee costing between $5 and $10 to dispose of your four old tires, while other places will include this in the new tire charge.
You can expect to pay between $50 and $350 per car or SUV tire, or up to $500 per tire for a high-end sports car.
Beware of Hidden Costs
You may be able to get a discount if you shop for tires online. However, if you decide to go with an online tire seller, there are some major costs you’ll have to factor into the price. For instance, shipping can add another $50 or more into the cost. You’ll also need to pay for installation, which will be much more if you didn’t buy the tires from your mechanic. This can cost between $20 and $50 per tire just to have them on and have them balanced. These extra expenses may make it more expensive to shop online than to buy right in a tire store.
You can also sometimes find some incredible deals on tires in your local newspaper. However, such ads can often be misleading. Therefore, be sure to find out the size and quality of the tire before you buy. Also be on the lookout for hidden costs that can hike up the price quickly.