There’s nothing like the feel of driving a car with new tires – it’s more stable, feels more solid, and you can feel it gripping the road so much better. Tire shopping is not that fun though. To help, here are a few things to consider, as well as some resources to keep in mind to find discount tires.
Research helps. One great resource is TireRack.com. There are reviews, safety ratings, and you can even shop by vehicle – which is helpful when you don’t know your tire size.
That said, we often need tires immediately. Whether we hit a curb, or punctured a tire beyond repair, buying tires online isn’t always an option if we want our car back quickly. While there are a number of discount tire stores, and national chains, these don’t necessarily guarantee a good deal.
Cheap tires (low quality, sitting on the shelf too long, dried out, obscure brands) may not cost a lot, but are they a good deal? Probably not. They’ll wear out too fast or not perform properly. On the other hand, paying a premium for a name brand tire isn’t a good deal either.
There are other considerations than just the price of the tires. For example, how much does it cost to have them mounted and balanced? Are there additional benefits such as an alignment, or further discounts if four tires are purchased instead of two.
Quality of service is important too. In other words, it might be best to avoid having tires replaced at a dirty gas station on the outside of town. Who knows what will happen there!
The best way to get discount tires in a pinch is to do two things:
- The first is to ask your tire representative, wherever you are, what your options are. There are dozens of tire brands (all with there own price, perks, benefits). With this information you can make a more informed decision that will meet your budget.
- The second is to simply ask for a discount. Tires are heavily marked up – even the “discount ones” – ask your service center to cut you a break.