How to Find the Best Deals on Tires
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One of the many maintenance tasks that comes with owning a car is buying tires. Keeping quality tires on your car and making sure to replace them as they wear out is extremely important – but it’s also expensive.
If you don’t want to spend hundreds on a new set of tires, you aren’t alone. However, different tires make a big difference when you’re behind the wheel, and they’re an important expense.
Minerva Studio / ShutterstockWhy Good Tires Are Important
Having good tires on your car is important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, a good set of tires will lower your risk of experiencing a blowout while driving. Old tires can suffer from several small injuries that, put together, will make them slowly lose air pressure. Since under-inflated tires are more likely to blow out, Popular Mechanics reports, leaving old tires on your car for too long makes it more likely you’ll have to deal with the damage a blowout can cause.
Even if your old tires don't result in a blowout, they can reduce your fuel mileage while they are on your car. As tires age, they begin to drag more and create more friction with the road, which in turn will make your vehicle less fuel efficient. As a general rule, every one PSI below a tire manufacturer's suggested pressure will result in a fuel efficiency drop of about 0.4 percent, according to ProCar Mechanics. Though this may not sound like much, that loss of efficiency can add up over time and cost you money in unnecessary fuel spending.
Finally, worn-out tires can affect your car’s traction and handling. Even tires that aren't entirely worn out can lose a substantial amount of their gripping power, Consumer Reports says. Though this may not be a problem under normal conditions, the lack of traction can pose a very real safety hazard on wet roads and make your car more likely to hydroplane.
How to Save on a New Set of Tires
As important as new tires are, they’re also a significant expense. When you shop for a new set of tires, the first thing that’ll likely strike you is just how much replacing all four of your car's tires can cost.
Luckily, there are some relatively easy ways to save money on new tires. One of the simplest ways to save is to negotiate a lower price. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Consumer Reports, about 20 percent of tire buyers actively attempt to talk down the price of tires. Of those, an impressive 72 percent actually succeed in paying less than the listed price for their tires.
Buying tires online is also a great way to save a few dollars on your next tire purchase. Because online stores don't have the same overhead costs as traditional brick-and-mortar tire outlets, online sellers can pass their savings onto their customers in the form of lower prices. Be sure to comparison shop both between traditional and online sellers and between different online sellers. By doing this, you can ensure you'll find the seller with the lowest available pricing on the tires you want.
Buying tires at certain times of the year can be one of the best ways to find great deals. Typically, The Balance reports, late autumn and spring see the biggest tire sales and discounts. This is because tire companies are trying to encourage customers to purchase new winter tires in the late autumn and new summer tires in the spring, rather than reusing their previous set. As a result, many tire manufacturers and retailers put large markdowns on their products.
Find New Tires for Less
Quality tires are important if you plan on staying safe on the road, and they can affect everything from how your car handles to its fuel efficiency. But as important as new tires are, you also don’t want to break the bank by springing for an expensive set.
These tips are a good starting point to save you money on new tires, but you'll need to do your own research to get the best price on the tires you need. There are a huge number of different tire types and sizes, each of which is a little different in terms of price, availability and the kinds of deals you can find on them. If you're willing to research and comparison shop, though, you should have no trouble finding the right tires for your car at a price that will agree with your wallet.
Like anything, it's always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.