5 Tips for Purchasing Car Tires

a rack of car tires

One of the most expensive parts about owning a car is having to replace the tires. The price of new tires can range anywhere from $300 to $600 depending on what kind you need. Before you drop hundreds of dollars on new tires, read these five tips to make your tire shopping experience less of a hassle.

Check the Tread

Before you buy new tires, you should test the tread of your old tires instead of trusting the opinion of a salesman. Instead of using the old mileage rule, do a simple penny test. Grab a penny and stick it between the tread of your tire with the head facing down. If you can see all of Abe’s head, you need to purchase new tires. If the tread goes up to his forehead, you’re in the clear (for now).

Choose the Right Tires

Choosing the right tires for your car can be difficult since not all models are made the same. Your sedan may need different tires than a truck or SUV. To figure out what type of tire you need, look at the ones currently on your vehicle. Embossed on the tire, you should see a letter followed by a series of numbers. This code is your tire size.

For example, you may see a number that looks similar to P195/65R15. “P” indicates the type of tire; “195” is the width of the tire across the tread in millimeters. The number “65” is the aspect ratio of the sidewall compared to the width; “R” is radial construction.” Finally, the “15” is the diameter of the rim in inches. You will need to know this full number when purchasing new tires.

Shop Around

Not every company offers the same prices for new tires. While one may charge $500 for four tires, you may be able to find the same set offered at a new tire sale for $150 cheaper. The best way to shop around is to call different companies and give them your tire size. Then ask them what tire they would recommend for someone on a budget. Some companies offer better discount tire prices than others. Before long, you should have a nice list to help you determine the best business to use.

Check the Weather

Where you live plays a huge role in what kind of tire you should purchase. If you live in a mild climate where you don’t have heavy winters, you may consider buying an all-weather tire. This type of tire is great for freeway driving. Another type of tire that is fairly popular is a performance version. These are perfect for consistent highway driving. Performance tires are designed to give more traction while driving at high speeds while also maintaining comfort.

However, if you live in an area that tends to receive large amounts of snow, you should definitely purchase a winter tire for your car. Winter tires provide more traction when compared to all-weather versions.

Buy a Full Set

Even though they can be very expensive, you should never purchase just two tires. Tires are made to be used as a complete set. For maximum effect, you’ll have to buy four of the same tire. Additionally, it’s important to rotate your tires every so often to maintain efficient use. Full sets of tires increase your fuel economy, ride comfort, and are less likely to cause issues down the road, such as blowouts.