We all receive a driver’s manual when we get our learners permit, but until now there was no tire buying guide to help us once we get behind the wheel! Let’s assume you’re an average American who researches all their purchases online before making a decision. It’s prudent, even if it’s a little nerdy. The same thing applies when you’re shopping for a new set of tires. You start browsing online and find that you can order your tires online for much cheaper than you can buy them locally. So, what do you do? Do you have them shipped to your door, or do you spend a little extra to buy local?
Shopping Local vs. Buying Tires Online
When you price shop some of the big online tire retailers – 1010Tires.com, TireRack.com, DiscountTireDirect.com, and others – there’s a good chance you’ll find stellar pricing on tires that fit your car. But there’s a chasm between the different prices you’ll find online and, sometimes, your local tire shop might be one of the more competitive quotes. Check this out:
A 2010 Chevy Malibu LS with 215/55R17 tires this is what you’ll find for General Altimax RT43 tires.
- Discount Tires Direct is $111.23 per tire.
- 1010Tires sells each for $139.99
- TireRack has the same tire for $95.25 per tire.
- And Mavis, a local tire chain, sells the tire for $98 per tire.
Is It Worth It?
If you’re trying to decide between buying tires online vs. local, it can come down to the level of service you require. If you need someone to install your new rubber for you (like most people do), you need to factor installation and balancing costs into the mix.
Is it cheaper to buy tires online? Yeah, it can be. But if you have to sell your firstborn (good riddance) because you’re being gouged on tire installation costs, it could end up costing you more.
If you’re one of the many shoppers who are buying tires online simply because you don’t want to leave home or change out of your sweatpants, that’s cool. But you could have that same level of service through a mobile tire shop like MM Tires. You can have tires installed at your home or office even sooner than delivery from online retailers. With an email, text or phone call, they’re at your door within the hour to install new tires on your ride.
Best Online Tire Retailers
You’ve decided to go the online tire store route. Hey, that’s fair. It’s your call because it’s your car. We’ll still help you out because we’re good like that. If you’re wondering where to buy tires online, we’ve already listed a few of the top online tire retailers, but you may also want to check out TireRack.com, 1010Tires.com, and Discount Tire Direct. All three are highly rated and have great reviews. For online tires, free shipping is important because bulky items like tires are expensive to transport and don’t fit into envelopes. Some retailers will ship for free, while others offer it as a promo at certain times throughout the year.
Now you’re asking how to buy tires online, aren’t you? That’s easy for most people. You’ll need to pay by credit card when you order online, or you can call in to place your order. The big sites offer PayPal as well. If you have a PO box, you’ll need to have the tires shipped to another location – tires won’t fit in your mailbox!
Pinching Pennies Even More…
You want to buy tires but don’t want to spend mucho dinero. The major retailers offer discount brands like Fuzion, Laufenn, Riken, and others. If you’re asking how to buy tires for cheap, or at least cheaper than this, check out the clearance sections on the websites. Older models often get blown out for less, or you can search for alternate tire sizes that will work for you.
Yeah, used tires are a possibility. You can find used tires locally on Craigslist if you’re willing to haggle for a deal. Otherwise, search Car-Part.com for auto recyclers that just might have what you’re looking for. They’ll be less money but who knows if they’re going to hold air…
Tire Buying Guide Question: If I Buy Tires Online, Where Can I Get Them Installed?
Buying tires is one hurdle this tire buying guide has addressed but what about getting them installed? We’ll put them on for you. You’ll have to pay close attention when you’re looking for someone to install tires that you bought elsewhere. When you buy tires online, you can often expect that tire shops will charge you more to install them. Mobile tire shops often have a minimum service call amount, which could be more if you didn’t buy the tires from them.
At MM Tires, we’re fair. We know it’s your money and your decision if you want to buy tires somewhere else. We’re fine with installing tires bought online. Give us a call and we’ll come and install them for you at a reasonable rate. But before you buy tires online, give us a chance to give you a quote for a new set. You can have your tires delivered and installed while you stay in the comfort of your home, all within an hour of contacting MM Tires.