Knowing the best place to buy tires can mean the difference between a safe, comfortable drive–or not.
As per this April 2009 tire report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
“Only a few psi difference from vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire inflation pressure can affect a vehicle’s handling and stopping distance. Poor tire maintenance can increase incidences of blowouts and tread separations. Similarly, under inflation negatively affects fuel economy.”
The tires meet the surface of the road, and must navigate everything from fallen debris like twigs and sticks to weather hazards such as rain, ice, and snow. In short: it’s absolutely critical you have good tires on your car, and that those tires are maintained.
But a tire purchase is a serious investment, so when it is time to buy new tires, it pays to do your homework.
At the same time, buying new tires can be confusing and time consuming. There are almost as many tire stores and ways to buy tires as there are types of tires to purchase. That’s why we put this list together.
The Best Place to Buy Tires
That depends on the individual. Many tire buyers skip the search for bargains and gravitate towards familiar brands who have retail shops everywhere. Unfortunately, while there is a level of comfort and convenience that comes with choosing a familiar name brand, these auto service shops may not be able to offer the best prices for tires. Prices and service after the sale can vary from store to store and city to city. As a result, you can miss out on a great deal simply because you did not look past the familiar.
In addition, consumers often forget that once the tires have been purchased, you still have to pay for installation, and those costs can cancel out any money saved when purchasing new tires. It may surprise you to learn that you can actually find great tire deals online as well as at some of the big box stores like Sam’s Club and Costco.
Sam’s Club offers emergency roadside assistance with the purchase of new tires.
Due to volume, the box stores can often offer much lower tire prices than smaller venues. Plus, online retailers who also tend to have larger numbers of shoppers, have figured out how to partner with local tire installers to offer service after the sale. This can make online tire purchases both convenient and less expensive.
Most shoppers know that Costco and Sam’s Club offer great values on groceries, wine, and beer, but they are also able to offer deep discounts on tire brands. In some cases, Costco offers a discount as low as seventy dollars per individual tire.
When you consider that new tires can range in price from $120 to over $180 each for the best tires, a seventy dollar discount can make a big difference, especially when you are buying four tires. Costco also offers free inflation checks for the life of the tires and provides balance and rotation service as well. They also repair flats. You can shop for groceries while your new tires are being installed, making Costco a convenient and cost-effective option for new tire purchases.
Sam’s Club also offers deep discounts on tire sales. Even more impressive, Sam’s offers emergency roadside assistance with the purchase of new tires. However, in the end, because of the warranty and other benefits, Costco may be the best place to buy tires on this list.
Online Tire Retailers
Purchasing tires online is a recent concept and not one consumers often consider because of the service aspect. However, many online companies have partnered with local installers to make the process almost as easy as buying tires in person.
Tirebuyer.com is an online retailer that offers installation of new tires through their partnership with over nine thousand dealers. Tirebuyer also offers a big variety of tires from which to choose and have worked to make returning tires a simple process. Delivery is free and tires often arrive the next day.
TireBuyer offers free installation at over 9000+ dealers.
They also offer guaranteed installation rates. Tire Rack is another online option to consider and is similar to Tirebuyer. They offer free shipping on purchases of fifty dollars or more, and tires usually arrive at your home or at your installer the next day.
They work with over seven thousand independent installers, so it should be easy to find one near you. Tire Rack offers tires, wheels, parts and accessories that you can purchase by browsing online reviews or by simply looking for the best price for your tire size.
One negative is that both Tirebuyer and Tire Rack offer rebates to help keep tire prices down which means you may have to pay full price while waiting for your rebate check to arrive. Amazon offers the same great discounts on tires as on other items they sell, but you have to do a lot of research to find the best deal for you. Their inventory is huge, so you spend a lot of time scrolling through lists of tire makes, sizes and prices. Plus, their service partnerships with local dealers are not as strong as Tirebuyers and Tire Rack‘s.
TireBuyer and TireRack are tied as the best place to buy tires online. Both offer great services at great prices. Check them out.
Discount Tire Shops
The Tire Barn Warehouse claims to beat competitor’s quotes by fifty percent. They also strive to have locations near most major cities.
Tire Barn specializes in more than tire service. Each time you visit one of their locations, they offer a courtesy inspection of your car’s mechanical system as well as a check of your tires’ treads. They also provide a written estimate for any service requested. This is a nice bonus, and definitely puts them in the ‘best place to buy tires’ running. But Discount Tire Company is also an outstanding resource. More on them below.
Discount Tire Company
Discount Tire Company is another option for low tire prices. They are headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, and serve a large part of California where they are known as America’s Tire. The company was founded in Michigan in 1960, so it has been around a long time. They have over one thousand stores in thirty-five states and sell primarily wheels and tires at discount prices. Their website is discounttire.com.
Name-Brand Tire Retailers
While Goodyear Tire retailers may not always be able to meet the deep discounts offered at Sam’s Club or Costco, you can find one of their dealers just about anywhere.
They also offer basic automobile repairs in addition to tire and wheel sales and service. Founded in 1898, it is one of America’s oldest tire manufacturers.
Goodyear makes tires for cars, trucks, motorcycles, farm equipment and airplanes. In 2017, it was named one of the top four tire manufacturers in the world along with Bridgestone of Japan, France’s Michelin Tire Company and Germany’s Continental. Dunlop Tires are a subsidiary of Goodyear. Because of their longstanding reputation for quality, Goodyear certainly deserves a mention in the list of the best place to buy tires. But prices can be higher then other retailers.
However, the convenience is a plus for some consumers.
The Other Guys
Like Goodyear, B.F. Goodrich Tire dealerships and garages can be found in most towns and cities. If you order from their website, bfgoodrichtires.com, your tires ship free and come with a limited warranty. From a price perspective, B.F. Goodrich may not be the best place to buy tires as their sale prices are generally tied to promotions. Consumers utilizing Goodrich dealers generally choose familiarity and convenience over price.
Cooper Tires is another older, established brand. Their website, Coopertires.com, is uncomplicated and easy to use. They recommend searching for tires based on three things, size of the vehicle, weather conditions, mileage, and how much you will be driving it. Cooper promotes safety as their number one priority and offers a forty-five day drive test warranty with the purchase of new tires.
Les Schwab Tire Center
Les Schwab Tire Centers is another established tire dealer. Although their prices can be high, they periodically offer sales of as much as two hundred dollars off a full set of tires. Additionally, their warranty includes unlimited flat repairs to the original owners of Les Schwab tires, free replacement of damaged tires that qualify, and free air pressure checks for the life of the tires. Les Schwab has over four hundred fifty tire center locations.
Summary: Best Place To Buy Tires
If you are looking for a deep discount with local service, the box stores may be your best bet. If you prefer the ease of shopping online, you can find great deals at Amazon, Tire Rack and Tirebuyer. For those living in more rural areas, Goodyear or B.F. Goodrich may prove to be a better choice. Whichever method and retailer you choose, remember that tires are a crucial. Tires are often the overlooked part of vehicle safety and comfort. The safety of your family could rest with your tire choice.
If you can find a tire installer who offers free tire pressure checks, take advantage of that. The right tire pressure ensures good gas mileage, a comfortable ride and long wearing tires. Similarly, if you can find a dealer who offers tire rotations for the life of the tires, consider them. A good price on the cost of an individual tire is important, especially if you are buying four tires. However, service after the sale is equally as important.