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You’re looking to save on tires so it’s as painless as possible — I get it. Nobody wakes up excited to drop a few hundred dollars on rubber shoes for a vehicle.
Don’t worry — you’re in luck, because between tire coupons, deals, and price matching options, you can absolutely save money buying this necessary evil for your car. And to be fair, good tires will save you money in the long run, because if they last, you’ll replace them less often.
If you’re like me and you’d rather spend the money on a mini-getaway with friends or toward an extra house payment, here’s how to buy tires without feeling sick to your stomach.
1. Tire prices are generally the same across retailers.
For example, the Michelin Defender T + H tire is a popular model, and it’s the same price (within pennies) across five retailers.
The name of the game when it comes to tires isn’t regular prices, it’s what deals and rebate offers you can find, or what sort of price matching magic you can pull.
2. Check rebates and tire coupons at manufacturer websites if you can’t find a retailer deal.
Manufacturers like Goodyear.com, Michelin.com, BFGoodrichTires.com, and others offer promotions directly on their websites. You’ll need to buy tires from one of their approved dealers or tire shops and then submit for the rebate online.
This is a great option for times when you can’t find a store offering a deal.
Here are a few examples:
- Goodyear: $200 back on a set of four tires.
- Michelin: $70 off a set of four tires.
- BF Goodrich: Up to $70 off a set of four tires.
3. Buy four Costco Tires when they’re offering a manufacturer savings deal.
How much are Michelin Defender T + H tires when you apply this deal? If you include the Costco savings card you receive with your purchase, it’s $110 in savings on four of this model.
This price beats Sam’s Club, Discount Tire, Walmart, and TireRack.com by $70, since all of these retailers offer these tires for around $740.
TIP: Tires with an available offer sell out fast (looking at you, Michelin), so when there’s an offer available, be one of the first in line.
4. Discount Tire offers price matching — even on a sale price!
Discount Tire is so serious about being the lowest-price option that they’ll match any other price for tires or installation, and they’ll give you the savings Costco offers (minus the Costco member savings in warehouse, of course).
So if you miss out on Costco’s deal because they ran out of stock, just show Discount Tire Costco’s offer (website is fine) and you’ll get that deal anyway.
If you’re shopping at DiscountTire.com, just tap the “Found it Lower?” button on the tire’s listing, and you can enter the information to get a price match online.
TIP: Sam’s Club also offers price matching on tires. But they won’t honor a promotion — they’ll only match another store’s lower, regular prices. Plus, you have to be a member.
5. Discount Tire offers deals galore at any given time.
These savings come in the form of mail-in rebates or pre-paid cards for the most part. Some require you to pay with a Discount Tire credit card, so I didn’t include those here. You’ll find deals for brands like Goodyear, Firestone, Cooper, and more. Here are some examples:
- Rebate: $100 off Goodyear tires
- Rebate: $80 off Firestone tires
- $130 off Cooper tires when you sign up for a Discount Tire online account.
6. Determine what size of tires you need to purchase. Bigger tires are more expensive.
Any time you try and shop for tires online, you’ll be prompted to enter the details about your car, and you’ll probably need a rough idea of your tire size, since many cars have only a few options you can choose from.
Open your driver’s side car door and you’ll see a sticker that looks like the one above. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see “Front” and “Rear” tire sizes. My car is a Subaru Outback and my tire size is P225/60R17.
TIP: If for some reason you have a choice between two sizes, check for tires in both sizes and go with what’s cheaper!
7. Next, pick a type of tire based on what your climate is like.
In order to decide what type of tire you want, you’ll need to look mostly at your local weather.
Three main categories of tires exist: all-season tires, winter tires, or summer tires. Most people go with an all-season tire — that’s the simplest option, and if you don’t live in an area with harsh winters, it’s definitely the way to go!
8. Walmart Tire Center offers the cheapest price on installation.
You’re just not going to beat $15 per tire for installation. Costco, Sam’s Club, and Discount Tire all hover around the $20 per tire mark. All things being equal, Walmart wins on installation cost, unless of course, you use Discount Tire’s price match policy, which covers installation, too.
However, Discount Tire will only price match installation prices with a tire purchase included. This means, you can get a price match on a set of cheaper, installed tires at Walmart. But Discount Tire will not match Walmart’s $15 installation price for tires you bought online.
9. Walmart is the cheapest place for installing tires you bought somewhere else.
Walmart and Discount Tire will install tires you didn’t buy from them, but you’ll pay more per tire. Be sure to factor that into your decision to shop for tires online.
- Walmart: $25 per tire for installation of non-Walmart tires ($10 more per tire)
- Discount Tire: $35 per tire for installation of non-Discount Tire tires ($13 more per tire)
10. You won’t pay extra for a Road Hazard Warranty at Costco or Sam’s Club Tire.
A Road Hazard Warranty is different from a manufacturer warranty. Where a manufacturer warranty covers only manufacturer defects, a Road Hazard Warranty covers the other stuff like if you accidentally run over a nail, a piece of glass, or pop a tire because you hit debris in the road.
At Walmart, you’ll pay an extra $10 per tire and you’ll get the coverage Costco offers for the first 25% wear of your tire. This means if your tires are 25% worn down (or less), you’ll receive a replacement if Walmart can’t fix your tire — how many years you’ve had the tires doesn’t matter.
At Discount Tire, you can add a Certificate for Repair, Refund, or Replacement for $25 when you buy tires. This warranty covers both road hazards and manufacturer defects — Discount Tire doesn’t care why the tire needs repair.
TIP: One thing to watch out for — Discount Tire offers “flat tire repair” with their installation, but this is different from a Road Hazard Warranty where you can get a tire replaced if it’s unfixable for any reason. With “flat tire repair,” they do care how the tire got flat. Slow leaks are covered, but “Flat tire repair” is more like if your tire has a slow leak. If you want tire repair for any reason, make sure you get a Road Hazard Warranty.
11. All Sam’s Club members get free flat tire service, no matter where you buy tires.
It’s true — you don’t even have to buy tires at Sam’s Club to get free flat tire service! It’s included in your Sam’s Club membership. If you didn’t purchase your tires at Sam’s, you’ll need to bring your car (with the flat tire) into the warehouse shop, as roadside assistance is not included in this member benefit.
Roadside assistance is included in the Road Hazard Warranty, which comes with your tire purchase and installation at Sam’s Club.
12. Use Discount Tire’s military discount to get 10% off.
Active duty military, veterans, and their families can get 10% off tires at DiscountTire.com. This discount comes off at the register, no rebate required!
13. Buy tires at TireRack.com — they’ve got loads of coupons.
TireRack.com offers coupons and promotions from multiple manufacturers. You’ll have to buy through TireRack to get the deals, but if you can’t find a deal anywhere else, check it out before you pay full price! Here are some offers I’ve seen:
- Get up to $80 back on a set of four Bridgestone tires. The rebate will come in the form of a prepaid Visa card.
- Get up to $100 back on a set of four Goodyear tires — rebate is in the form of a prepaid Mastercard.
- Get up to $70 back on a set of four Michelin tires. You’ll receive a Michelin prepaid Visa, or you can choose a Visa virtual account instead.
14. Buy in the fall when you see Black Friday tire deals.
Black Friday is a great time to buy tires, as many retailers offer a better deal than anything you’d see the rest of the year. If you can wait to buy during this time, do it.
Here’s what I saw during Black Friday 2020:
- Sam’s Club: Get up to $140 off a set of four tires from brands like BF Goodrich, Goodyear, and Michelin
- Walmart: Get up to $128 off a set of four Goodyear tires
- Costco: Save $150 instantly on a set of four Michelin tires.
- Discount Tire: Get up to $75 off a set of four tires, plus receive a 10% rebate in the form of a prepaid Mastercard.
15. Believe it or not, you can find tire coupon codes for Tire Rack or Discount Tire at Coupons.com.
Coupons.com isn’t just for Tide and Crest!
Enter “tires” in the coupon code search bar on Coupons.com and choose a retailer. For example, when I select “Tire Rack,” I see promo codes and offers that I can use to buy tires at TireRack.com.