A some point, most drivers will need to buy a new set of tires. For the safety of the driver and their passengers, it’s very important to replace tires before they age or wear down below the recommended tire tread depth.
Retail tire stores are notorious for charging you MSRP when the same tire can purchased online for less. You probably won’t want to spend hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars on a new set of quality tires when there are many deals and offers available if you research and shop online.
The Importance of Good Tires
One of the major parts of any car is its tires. Tires are continuously in contact with the pavement and provide performance, reliability, and safety to the driver. Unfortunately, a driver never knows what they may encounter when driving – from hitting a pothole, to running over nails, hitting an object on the road, and more. These situations can happen at any time and without warning. Over time, tires can become under-inflated and then they are more prone to blow-outs, which could be disastrous to you, your passengers, and other vehicles around you.
Even if you’re lucky and don’t have a blow-out, worn tires decrease fuel mileage. As they age, tires create more friction on the road and drag more, thereby reducing fuel efficiency. Keep in mind that tires are responsible for a vehicle’s performance, just like a car’s engine. If a car has worn out tires, it doesn’t matter what’s under the hood. According to NHTSA, a driver can improve their car’s gas mileage by 0.6% on average, up to 3% in some cases, by keeping the tires inflated to the proper PSI level. While this may not appear to sound like a lot, the loss in efficiency can add up over time and result in spending more money at the pump. The bottom line is that properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.
Lastly, old worn tires may affect a car’s handling and traction. A tire’s gripping power can also be compromised even if the tires meet the minimum tire tread depth. While this may not be an issue when driving under normal weather conditions, it can pose a real danger in inclement wet weather and cause your auto to hydroplane out of control.
Saving Money on New Set of Tires
As you can see, getting a new set of tires is extremely important, but they are also a considerable expense. You may get some sticker shock when you start shopping for a new set of tires.
Tire buying can be a complicated process. So, what’s the easiest ways to save money? The first way you may not have thought of – negotiate a lower price with the tire shop. Most tire salesmen start off with their suggested retail price and then move down from there. It never hurts to ask for a break. Consumer Reports found that 70% of the people who negotiated saved an average of $29 per tire off the advertised price. Also, if you shop locally, the tire shop may throw in a road-hazard warranty and/or a lifetime tire rotation.
Purchasing a new set of tires on-line is another way to save money. Since on-line stores don’t have the same overhead as your local tire shop, they can pass on their savings to you, the consumer. Why not buy on-line and have the tires shipped to your local tire installer? According to Consumer Reports, the installation cost is about $19 per tire. Do some comparison shopping between different on-line shops and your local retailer. This way you can feel comfortable that you got the best deal. Then bring back these on-line offers to your local tire store and see if they can price match. It’s always nice to support your local community.
Tire companies typically run big specials during certain times of the year- spring and late fall. These are big seasons for tire companies. They try and encourage drivers to buy new winter snow and summer tires. You may see the biggest markdowns during these times.
Bottom Line: How Not to Break the Bank
Keep in mind that quality equates to safety when selecting a new set of tires. It affects fuel efficiency, car handling, and safety. At the same time, you don’t want to spend more than you need. While it may be important to purchase a new set of tires for the front axle, it may not be necessary to purchase a set for your rear axle at the same time.
The tips outlined in this article are good starting points. There are many other factors to consider when selecting tires: all weather grip, length of tread wear warranty, brand, handling, braking, car recommendations, and also how long you plan on keeping your car/budget. We also recommend that you speak with your car mechanic about what tire they would recommend.
There are various tools made available to you, from online resources to speaking with local mechanics to assist you in making an informed decision. Once you have selected your tires, there are many retailers and e-tailers to choose from to make your your purchase. The best stores often have quality installation and compelling prices.
Protect your investment and maintain your tires with these tips and makes sure to shop online to get the price.