Author Topic: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?  (Read 12840 times)

StartingEarly

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Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« on: July 28, 2016, 02:25:17 PM »
I am looking for a set of 4 235/70/16 tires. I want a more highway tire, but something that is good in snow and ice. I am trying to find out the way to get them the cheapest. I will need the tires mounted and balanced and due to extensive suspension work lately will need a 4 wheel alignment, possibly a new band for a tps sensor because I hear something rolling around in the left front tire.

Shane

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2016, 02:26:35 PM »
Costco

mlejw6

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2016, 03:47:24 PM »
Costco

This. Plus, if you buy tires there, they offer free nitrogen fill ups and rotations every something miles (I forget at the moment. maybe 5000?).


doggyfizzle

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2016, 03:51:43 PM »
I've found America's Tire to be better than Costco on price (just my anecdotal experience); plus lifetime free rotation/balance.

Jack

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2016, 03:54:18 PM »
If you want a Bridgestone or Michelin tire, Costco is the place to get it (even special-order, as I found out when looking for 200-treadwear autocross tires for my Miata).

However, there are tires of other brands (e.g. Kumho) that are both decent and cheaper than anything found at Costco.

renata ricotta

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2016, 04:24:49 PM »
Costco

This. Plus, if you buy tires there, they offer free nitrogen fill ups and rotations every something miles (I forget at the moment. maybe 5000?).

And they have locations everywhere if you have an issue and need to use your warranty. It seems I only have tire trouble when on vacation, so Costco is the bomb.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2016, 04:56:15 PM »
I've found America's Tire to be better than Costco on price (just my anecdotal experience); plus lifetime free rotation/balance.

I prefer America's Tire/ Discount Tire (same place, different names in different parts of the country) over Costco also.  Costco carries brands that tend to be more expensive, and that are probably better tires than what I buy, but my experience has been that I don't see the treadwear or other benefit from buying the more expensive brands from Costco (Bridgestone, Michelin).  I usually end up with the next-tier down, like Goodyear, General, Continental, etc.  I've had mixed luck with Hankook/Kumho.  YMMV. 

Some tips for getting the best deal possible on tires from America's Tire/ Discount Tire:
1) Sign up for Discount's "Car Care One" credit card.  DT frequently runs sales where you get a $60 rebate for using their credit card to purchase the tires.  Pay it off immediately, obviously.  No annual fee.  This is the only store credit card I have.
2) Buy during a DT sale.  They do large sales frequently, usually around the time of holidays -- Memorial Day, July 4, Thanksgiving, etc.  These sales come in the form of rebates, such as $75 or $100 off a set of four tires.  DT processes their rebates quickly, and they come in the form of a debit gift card (e.g. Visa).
3) For those tires you buy on sale, buy ones that are also on a manufacturer promotion.  Important:  DT does not let you stack two rebates from DT, but you can stack a mfr promo with a DT promo.  Example:  $100 off a set of 4 tires (DT promo), plus $75 General Tire rebate (mfr promo), plus $60 Car Care One credit card promo = $235 in rebates.  Look at the rebate forms online before ordering -- you can tell by the address to which you mail the form whether it is a DT promo or mfr promo.
4) Order from discounttiredirect.com, rather than buying at the brick-and-mortar store.  Shipping is free, but the per-tire price may be a little higher than the in-store price.  YMMV on this one, but if you live in a state where they do not charge sales tax for the web orders, this generally works out in your favor.  Example:  $125 per tire, 8% sales tax on 4 tires = $42 saved.  (If you live in a state w/o sales tax, obviously this doesn't gain you any benefit.)
5) Bring tires to local shop for mounting/balancing.  I use Walmart, which will mount/balance/lifetime rotate + rebalance for about $55-60 for a set of 4.  YMMV for whatever it costs you locally.

I generally buy replacement tires in advance, during a sale/rebate/promo combination, then store the new set in my shed until I need to mount them.

JLee

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2016, 05:22:22 PM »
If you want good snow/ice tires, you're looking for snow tires - they'll get burned up fairly quickly (and won't handle nearly as well) for summer/warm-weather driving.

I am a huge fan of Discount Tire. They will price match as well.

sisto

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2016, 07:17:22 PM »
I agree that America's Tire is the best. My local one will even beat Costco's prices.

snogirl

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2016, 09:57:35 PM »
My last set of tires I bought off EBay through Discount Tire. Twice a year (Spring & Fall) EBay offers $100 off plus whatever promo DT is running on mfg rebates. I paid $406 for a set of Cooper AT3s 265/75/16s shipped to my door. I had them mounted & balanced for $70 & my shop rotates them for free. They sell a ton of tire sets during that promotion. The next one is in October.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk


JLee

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2016, 10:55:50 PM »
My last set of tires I bought off EBay through Discount Tire. Twice a year (Spring & Fall) EBay offers $100 off plus whatever promo DT is running on mfg rebates. I paid $406 for a set of Cooper AT3s 265/75/16s shipped to my door. I had them mounted & balanced for $70 & my shop rotates them for free. They sell a ton of tire sets during that promotion. The next one is in October.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

If you have a Discount Tire locally, I've had success with them giving me their eBay store discount on their in-store pricing (which was lower than eBay). It worked out beautifully...I got four 255/75R17 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs (installed) for about $600 (vs ~$700 shipped after rebate, plus mount/balance from TireRack).

Choices

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2016, 11:05:29 PM »
Costco is awesome in so many ways and we have gotten tires there, but the problem is that I work weird hours so there have been flats on evenings and weekends when the Costco tire center isn't open. Some other shops don't want to repair Costco tires, and if a tire has to be replaced,  it won't be an exact match for the one across from it.
I don't know how much an exact match matters, but I've always heard that tires should be in pairs.


snogirl

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2016, 05:45:31 AM »
My last set of tires I bought off EBay through Discount Tire. Twice a year (Spring & Fall) EBay offers $100 off plus whatever promo DT is running on mfg rebates. I paid $406 for a set of Cooper AT3s 265/75/16s shipped to my door. I had them mounted & balanced for $70 & my shop rotates them for free. They sell a ton of tire sets during that promotion. The next one is in October.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

If you have a Discount Tire locally, I've had success with them giving me their eBay store discount on their in-store pricing (which was lower than eBay). It worked out beautifully...I got four 255/75R17 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs (installed) for about $600 (vs ~$700 shipped after rebate, plus mount/balance from TireRack).
That's awesome! I wish I had discount tire locally.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk


doggyfizzle

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2016, 09:02:05 AM »
I agree that America's Tire is the best. My local one will even beat Costco's prices.

That's something I forgot to mention; Americas Tire beat Costco's price on both my Michelin MS2s for my 4Runner and 90k treadwear Michelin Defenders for my Prius by 10%, plus gave me a decent treadwear trade-in on the Ecopias that were already on my Prius.

cacaoheart

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2016, 10:05:17 AM »
I'm happy to have come across this thread. I was unaware of the additional discounts I could have been getting via Discount Tire, but still have found them to be consistently cheaper than Costco.

It's remarkable how much more expensive some tire sizes can be compared to others. Tires on my little '98 Saturn run ~$200 for a set of four, while for my wife's '03 Nissan Altima it's always been over $400.

JLee

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2016, 10:24:21 AM »
I'm happy to have come across this thread. I was unaware of the additional discounts I could have been getting via Discount Tire, but still have found them to be consistently cheaper than Costco.

It's remarkable how much more expensive some tire sizes can be compared to others. Tires on my little '98 Saturn run ~$200 for a set of four, while for my wife's '03 Nissan Altima it's always been over $400.

I have unmustachian tastes in vehicle and I'm happy if my tires are under $600/set..fortunately they last a while!

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2016, 12:17:23 PM »
Tire Rack has consistently had better pricing than America's Tire and Costco.  The trick is finding a local tire shop that is in the network that won't gouge you for mount and balance.  I typically find a 10-15% discount going this route.  If I don't want the hassle than America's Tire is a across the street ;) and they offer to beat Costco pricing.

JLee

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2016, 12:52:25 PM »
Tire Rack has consistently had better pricing than America's Tire and Costco.  The trick is finding a local tire shop that is in the network that won't gouge you for mount and balance.  I typically find a 10-15% discount going this route.  If I don't want the hassle than America's Tire is a across the street ;) and they offer to beat Costco pricing.

They should match TireRack for you too - then there's no hassle at all! ;)

Jack

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2016, 01:18:02 PM »
Tire Rack has consistently had better pricing than America's Tire and Costco.  The trick is finding a local tire shop that is in the network that won't gouge you for mount and balance.  I typically find a 10-15% discount going this route.  If I don't want the hassle than America's Tire is a across the street ;) and they offer to beat Costco pricing.

Tire Rack failed to match Costco for me.

A few months ago I attempted to order a set of four Bridgestone RE71R 205-50-15s from Costco, but they had trouble with supply so I ended up getting two from them and two from Tire Rack. The best price I was able to get from Tire Rack was $283.64 for two tires (including shipping, but not including labor to mount/balance). The Costco "out the door" price for four would have been $481, which included a $70 manufacturer rebate (off of a set of four tires). Adjusting the prices to compare apples-to-apples (and fudging a little to account for the fact that it doesn't cost twice as much to ship four tires as it does to ship two), the Costco price and the Tire Rack price would have been about the same, nominally... but the Costco price included installation and the Tire Rack price did not.

I want to say that, after negotiating with the Costco service guy (since it was Costco's supply failure that cost me extra) I ended up paying something like $525-550 total -- more than the price if Costco had been able to acquire four tires, but less than the price including installation if I had gotten all four from Tire Rack.

(Incidentally, if you were wondering why I would go through so much trouble over tires, it's because they are the tire to have to win at autocross, and everyone wanted to buy them at the beginning of the racing season.)

rugorak

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2016, 01:58:27 PM »
Where I live Costco doesn't exist. So my best bet has actually been small shops. Usually ones that focus on tires and simple other things. I can get the tire and mounting and balancing from them as cheap or sometimes cheaper than I could order the tire myself. And not crap tires either. I usually go by consumer reports and a few other places on tire ratings.

TL;DR - don't forget sometimes the best prices are from the local places, not the big chains.

Shane

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2016, 10:06:37 PM »
Where I live Costco doesn't exist. So my best bet has actually been small shops. Usually ones that focus on tires and simple other things. I can get the tire and mounting and balancing from them as cheap or sometimes cheaper than I could order the tire myself. And not crap tires either. I usually go by consumer reports and a few other places on tire ratings.

TL;DR - don't forget sometimes the best prices are from the local places, not the big chains.

Where I live the smaller specialty tire shops don't even come close to Costco's prices. I've checked them all, and they want so much more for the same tires that it's still worth it to me to drive 150mi. round trip to Costco to buy tires from them to save ~$200 on a set of tires.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2016, 08:36:35 AM »
Tire Rack prices are often better than Discount Tire - but that's without factoring in the pile of rebates I mentioned in my post. Tire Rack also charges for shipping, but discounttiredirect.com does not (YMMV whether that works out cheaper than going to a DT store).

Tire Rack carries a much broader selection than Discount, especially at the performance end of the spectrum (slicks etc). Probably not something most of the MMM forum is interested in.

Discount carries some no name Chinese tires at the cheap end of the spectrum. I'd avoid those. Not much savings in buying a Nankang vs the more established cheap brands like Kumho, especially when Kumho often offers rebate sales.

rugorak

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2016, 12:28:21 PM »
Where I live the smaller specialty tire shops don't even come close to Costco's prices. I've checked them all, and they want so much more for the same tires that it's still worth it to me to drive 150mi. round trip to Costco to buy tires from them to save ~$200 on a set of tires.

Well I just checked their website and they have very limited selection (8 tires in 3 brands). Comparing to consumer reports only 1 tire that they carried was rated high. That tire was decently priced but I still can save $15 per tire at my local shop (plus the mounting and balancing fee that costco charges). And since I don't go there for anything else I would have to pay the membership fee.

So all depends on where you live and what your local shops are like. I mainly wanted to make a point that Costco/Amazon/Walmart/other big store is not always the best place to save money. Many times it is but I have found many items that my local shops can beat them in price (and for food items many times on quality too). Plus the added benefit of keeping your money in your local/regional community.

MoonLiteNite

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2016, 01:25:55 PM »
I have always used Discount Tires.
Prices are pretty cheap, service is crazy good, and warranty  plan is perfect for me. I get nails and crap in a tire or two every 6 months so it pays for itself.

JLee

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2016, 01:59:00 PM »
I have always used Discount Tires.
Prices are pretty cheap, service is crazy good, and warranty  plan is perfect for me. I get nails and crap in a tire or two every 6 months so it pays for itself.

Side note, Discount Tire will do flat repair for free even if you didn't buy your tires from them.  Their service is ridiculously good.

Shane

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2016, 01:11:30 AM »
So all depends on where you live and what your local shops are like. I mainly wanted to make a point that Costco/Amazon/Walmart/other big store is not always the best place to save money. Many times it is but I have found many items that my local shops can beat them in price (and for food items many times on quality too). Plus the added benefit of keeping your money in your local/regional community.

I agree. If possible, I'd rather buy stuff from a small local shop if they're at all competitive. Maybe it's changed recently. The last time I really called around to see what small shops in my area were charging was 2009. At that time, though, none of the small shops even came close to Costco's prices. If they had, I would've preferred to buy my tires from them, as they were much closer to where we were living at the time. To go to Costco was a 150 mi. round trip drive. To save ~$200, though, it seemed like it was worth it.

BrickByBrick

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2016, 04:22:39 AM »
If you're willing to give it a shot you could consider used tires.  I've been buying my tires as used from a small nearby outfit who prefers to do business in cash.  They somehow have the network where they go around and buy lightly used tires at what I assume are steep discounts from stores/dealerships.  My last trip there I bought three lightly used tires (I inspect the tire and tread first) for $110, after I talked them down from $130 (they haggle!), and it was an all cash transaction.  They put them on and rotate them for free if you want them too.  So far I've had about 15k-20k miles on these "used" tires with no issues.  The one I didn't replace needs to be soon and I'll be buying it from them.

Of course, the proof of how well this works out will be how many miles do I ultimately get out of them, and will the cost of two sets still be less than retail, so that does remain to be seen.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 04:27:22 AM by BrickByBrick »

ketchup

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2016, 06:27:08 AM »
I've found Discount Tire to vary a lot depending on location.

I found one in Minnesota that was able to replace my tires on <1 hour notice and was super awesome about it (had old tires 400 miles from home, and I found a giant chunk missing from one a few hours before I absolutely had to leave for home).

The one a mile from home though was a bit scummy.  I placed an online order for certain tires on a certain day, and they said if there was a stocking problem, they would contact me.  I show up for my appointment, and the tires aren't there.  The guy didn't apologize, waved it off as "oh, you know FedEx has been having issues with the storms, blah blah."  Then he insisted that the tires I wanted were garbage, and I really wanted these better, more expensive tires because they were so much better.  He talked down to me and asked if I had done research.  He was willing "to cut me a deal" (still no apology for their fuck up).  I turned around to walk out and he made a far better offer right then.  I made sure that included mounting, balancing, etc. and then took it.  So instead of paying ~$350 out-the-door for a set of ~$350 tires, I paid $399 for a set of ~$470 tires rated at longer life.  I probably did get an OK deal, but the slimy-sales-guy made me still feel like I was getting screwed.  Do they really have that much leeway with prices?  Do they not care that the other tires probably arrived the next day and they'd probably just have to ship them back?  If he had made me the same offer, but framed it as a sorry-for-screwing-up discount, I would have been a lot more OK with the situation.

I've still never gotten tires anywhere else though.

MoonLiteNite

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2016, 01:49:16 AM »
The guy didn't apologize, waved it off as "oh, you know FedEx has been having issues with the storms, blah blah."

Do they really have that much leeway with prices?  Do they not care that the other tires probably arrived the next day and they'd probably just have to ship them back?  If he had made me the same offer, but framed it as a sorry-for-screwing-up discount, I would have been a lot more OK with the situation.


I wasn't there, but if you ever worked at a store, they do sometimes have problems with logistics. It can be outsourced and all sorts of crap can happen, US customs, storms, truck accident. Who knows. But yeah every discount i go they try and upsale to a longer life version of the tire. Which actually i think is better in the long run for the end user. And it is 100% profit for the store, they rather get a big check now and send you on your way, then give OK tires, a small check and HOPE you come back again in a few years.

ketchup

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2016, 12:53:04 PM »
The guy didn't apologize, waved it off as "oh, you know FedEx has been having issues with the storms, blah blah."

Do they really have that much leeway with prices?  Do they not care that the other tires probably arrived the next day and they'd probably just have to ship them back?  If he had made me the same offer, but framed it as a sorry-for-screwing-up discount, I would have been a lot more OK with the situation.


I wasn't there, but if you ever worked at a store, they do sometimes have problems with logistics. It can be outsourced and all sorts of crap can happen, US customs, storms, truck accident. Who knows. But yeah every discount i go they try and upsale to a longer life version of the tire. Which actually i think is better in the long run for the end user. And it is 100% profit for the store, they rather get a big check now and send you on your way, then give OK tires, a small check and HOPE you come back again in a few years.
My main beef was that the online order had explicitly said they would notify me if there was a delivery/supply issue, and then they didn't.  I would have had no problem if they had been straightforward with me and told me there was a problem ahead of time (I could have simply rescheduled).

HipGnosis

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Re: Where do you find the best price on decent tires?
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2016, 02:30:02 PM »
Tire Rack has consistently had better pricing than America's Tire and Costco. 
The trick is finding a local tire shop that is in the network that won't gouge you for mount and balance.  I typically find a 10-15% discount going this route.
Tire rack shows who they are partnered with in my/your area and how much they charge to mount & balance.  I have the tires shipped right to them (I learned to call and make an appt for installation as soon as I get the delivery date).
I REALLY like the reviews on Tire rack too.  I helps me find tires that have the qualities that are important to me.