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How To Buy Tires For Less Money

Updated on September 3, 2012


For some reason, lots of folks out there driving around don't seem to understand the importance of good tires on their cars, trucks or SUVs.  At least not the way they perhaps should understand it.  But it's not all their fault.

Most cars come equipped with the cheapest tires possible on them.  What is that about I have to ask? 

In actuality, the phrase "everything's riding on your tires" couldn't be more accurate in this scenario. 

Tires are probably the most important piece of equipment on your car.  Think about going at high speeds and having cheap tires on your car. 

What if you need to do a panic stop?  What if you're on wet pavement or ice and snow?  How are the car's tires going to hold up if they're the cheapest grade possible?

In the case of most SUV's that roll off the assembly line and into consumer garages, they're equipped with no better than car tires!  With an assembly that's the equivalent of a small truck and they have car tires on them!  Brilliant!!

When it comes time to start thinking about replacing any vehicle's tires, there are some important things to know and some important shopping tricks to know about while you're at it. 

Let's look at the best ways to get the best tires for your vehicle.



If and when you start shopping for tires, first consider what kind of driving you do.  Is it mostly in-town on dry pavement?  Or do you do a lot of off-road driving such as rocky terrain or hilly driving? Or do you drive in a climate where there's a lot of snow and ice? 

All these things matter because if you do live in a terrain that has wide fluctuations between winter and summer driving conditions, sometimes it's worth having 2 sets of tires.  One for winter and one for summer. 

Also keep in mind that all season tires are not all terrain tires. 



Before you run out to the tire store and buy your tires, investigate your car and see if you need 1 or 2 tires or if you need a full set.

Then start price shopping. Tire ads are usually in the paper in the sports section of the newspaper.

Also price check online....check at least 4 or so stores and see what the best deals are. There are some places that offer "buy 3 get 1 free" deals, others that will give you a deal on the tires, mounting, and balancing with a lifetime protection plan.

Get the best plan for the money and don't get scammed by not getting the "complete" price or the out-the-door price!

Take into consideration how many miles the tires are guaranteed for. Most people in the know say that a tire should be guaranteed to give you 50,000 to 70,000 in terms of miles driven.

A quote of about 2 cents per mile on average is the "perfect tire" at the best price.  Don't be fooled by discount tires.  You want tires at a good price, but you want safe tires.  You also want tires that are going to last your 50,000 to 70,000 or they're not worth the money.

Base the tires that you pick on the recommended tires for your vehicle.  The appropriate tire is appropriate to the weight of your vehicle and should not ever vary by any more than 5%.  However, they say that with SUV's, you can deviate as much as 15% with over-sized tires. 

I would err on the side of caution because tires have to be able to handle the weight of your vehicle......period. Again, pick the type of tire based on the worst or harshest weather you will be driving them in. 


When you've found a tire that is the right season, the right size, and the right number in terms of drivability miles that you can plan on getting from them, then start crunching numbers. 

Go to one tire store (or go on line) and get a price quote.  Next, take that number to another tire store and get their quote.  Ask them to meet or beat the price.  Usually tire stores will try and beat someone else's price because they want your business. 

You can end up saving hundreds of dollars this way and the one story I read about a man who did this saved $350 on a set of 4 tires....simply by getting 4 tire companies into a bidding frenzy over his business. 

Ask for mounting, balancing and the lifetime protection plan on your tires to be included. 

TIP:  Don't turn in your old tires unless they are simply ready to be trashed.  If they still are okay with some tread left on them, don't leave the tires behind at the store.  They will charge you per tire to dispose of them anyway! 

Take them home and post them on Craigslist.  The fellow in the above scenario who saved over $350 on his tires also made $40 on his tires so his savings on his new set of tires just went up another $40 to $390.  Almost $400 in savings because he knew what to look for and how to bargain to get the best price!  Fabulous!

Always consider safety first.  Do your homework and check out these sites for safety ratings (always remember the Firestone fiasco and the Ford Explorer horror stories)

Lastly, consult your driver's manual for information on your tires and even consult with a dealership to make sure you're not getting the wrong kind of tire for the car.  

Once you get your tires, be responsible with them.  Always check for any defects from time to time.

Inflate them to the right pressure and do this regularly.  It increases the mileage that you will get from your tires and also improves safety. 

Have the tires rotated and balanced regularly.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

Have any and all flaws or imperfections examined immediately.  Don't take chances with your vehicle's tires.  Remember, there's a lot riding on them!



There are many ways that we can cut costs in these troubling financial times. Saving money on things for your car is a great arena to look to save money in. However, that said, saving money is one thing and being safe is quite another.

Do your homework and see if some of these techniques on saving money on tires can work for you to get you a better deal.

Above all, don't let cheap be a trade-off for safe though and make sure the tires you purchase are the best that you can afford.

Wishing you a happy tire purchasing experience!

If you have any further tips and tricks on getting the best deal on the best tires, please leave your comments below to enrich this article.


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    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      ASB - definitely those stores are some of my favorites...just be sure of what you are getting and make sure they are appropriate for your car. I had no idea about the weight factor!

    • AllSuretyBonds profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Hub. First thing I would do is definitely shop around. Warehouse club memberships are a great place to look. Sam’s Club and Costco stores offer tires. While selection may be limited, Sam’s promises an instant $70 off a set of four Michelin tires. Costco knocks $70 off the sale of four Bridgestone tires.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      Genna - I know - I learned a lot but I'm very glad we had already replaced our SUV tires or I'd be a little worried about now!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Informative hub; wish I had read this before I purchased new tires for my CRV.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      Good point, Will - or in my case in the old days....maybe a good way to get out of the ticket! ha ha!

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Good Hub!

      Be aware too that deviating from the manufacturer's recommended tire size will cause the car's speedometer to read wrong, and sometimes enough to earn a speeding ticket.


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