October 1, 2014

Best Time to Buy New Tires


You're at the dealership or auto repair shop for routine maintenance and the service representative drops a bomb. Suddenly, what was supposed to be a quick and inexpensive visit has turned into a nightmare: You need new tires. And not just one, but the entire set.

We’ve all been there, and we all realize there’s a way to avoid that huge hit to the wallet. Keep an eye on your tires for wear and tear on a regular basis. Once a month, do the penny trick and estimate when you’ll need new tires, based on how often you drive. If you can time it right, using our list below, you could get yourself a deal and have the upper hand when it comes to buying tires, instead of being stuck with overly worn treads. Here are the best times of the year to purchase new tires:

When is the Best Time to Buy New Tires

  • April
    National Car Care Month is celebrated during April, and it also happens to be one of the best times of the year to purchase new tires. The reasoning? Retailers know they’re about to get an influx of customers who want to prep their car for summer road trips. By enticing them early with some irresistible deals on tires, they can stretch out a busy season, and you get to have a vehicle in top-notch condition for your long rides ahead. Keep a lookout for manufacturer rebates, usually in the $70-$100 off range

  • October
    Fall Car Care Month, celebrated later in the year in October, is another time tire retailers use to get customers in before the mad rush to get their cars ready for wintertime. Take advantage of these offers and stock up on a brand-new set of tires so you won’t be caught off-guard by the snow and slippery roadways. Keep an eye out for manufacturer rebates, usually in the $70-$100 off range.

How to Save Money Buying New Tires

If at all possible, invest in tires that are designed to withstand an array of road conditions, including heavy rain and snow, to kill two birds with one stone. Also, be sure to check out the other promotional offers that tire stores may be offering on a complete set during these optimal periods. These include:

  • Manufacturer rebates: Usually in the $70-$100 range, rebates frequently come in the form of prepaid debit cards. You’ll usually be required to purchase four tires to qualify, though.

  • Buy three, get one deals: Another common tire promotion is the “buy three get the fourth free” deal. Since most tires cost upwards of $100 each, that can mean significant savings.

  • Discounts on routine maintenance: Depending on where you purchase your tires, you may be eligible for deals on other basic car maintenance like filter changes, headlight replacements, and fluid exchanges.

  • Free oil changes: An oil change costs $30 to $50 depending on the make and model of your car, and you can expect to change your oil one to four times per year. That means the value of free oil changes can quickly add up.

  • Bonus Tip: If you have to buy tires, consider using a credit card with a rewards or cash back program to pay for your purchase. A new set of tires plus the labor of installing them can easily cost $500 or more, so a cash back or rewards program that earns just 1% will earn you $5 back. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s free money on a purchase you have to make anyway.

Planning on waiting until it gets scorching hot or freezing cold outside to swap your rubber? Be prepared to pay the premium since increased demand results in steeper prices.

And if you aren’t purchasing an entire set, make sure the replacements are compatible or you will end up spending more in the long run.

(Writing by Allison M, Analysis by Leah N)

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