Finding the best place to buy tires is important because they are one of the most crucial components of you and your family's safety on the road. They are the one thing that connects your car to the rough and uncertain terrains that you travel.
When tires fail, you are in trouble; that's why I've put together a review of the best online tire stores.
Many people neglect these humble staples because they are something that you have to replace before they are completely unusable. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but a worn out tire is a dangerous thing to have on the road.
You have to be able to depend on them to carry thousands of pounds of weight at high speeds in order to keep yourself as well as others safe.
Online Tire Store: What to Consider
When you are looking for new tread, you can visit local stores to see if they have good deals or you can browse quality tires online with helpful search tools. With the second method you can quickly evaluate the costs and deals each online tire retailer has to offer.
Here are some factors to think about while you are searching for a good set of tires online:
- Make sure you buy the right size. Tires are too expensive to accidentally buy a set that won't fit your car. Some sites allow you to search for tires online based on your car's make and model to help ensure that you will get the correct type.
- Consider the season and terrains that your tires will have to handle. If you are driving around in the mountains in the middle of winter you may need different tires than driving on a flat highway in the summer. According to Edmunds, you should avoid driving on your winter tires in the summer because they will wear out faster.
- Look for a store with good variety. Some stores sell only one brand or a few brands. If you like a certain tire brand then this is a good thing but if you are looking for your best value you are better off buying from a store with a wide variety.
Other Factors When Looking for an Online Tire Store
Buying online can definitely be a great way to increase convenience and reduce the cost of replacing car parts. In fact, market research firm Hedges & Company says that online car part sales have grown by roughly one billion dollars each year since 2013. That trend is expected to continue at least through 2018.
Of course, you want the best tire prices you can find. In the end, though, remember that quality and safety should reign supreme.
At the same time, purchasing car tires online also requires attention to the particulars because you aren't just dropping your car off and paying someone else to deal with all of the details. Below I've outlined some of the most important things to keep in mind when shopping for the best tire deals online.
- Safety Matters. As your vehicle's only contact with the pavement, tires are the premiere safety feature of every car. Check reviews of tires for road handling, braking, load-carrying ability and resistance to hydroplaning. Keep an eye out for reports on ride comfort, noise and tread-wear while reading reviews. Depending on where you live, winter traction should be considered.
- Comparison Shop Thoroughly. Pay close attention to each pricing option, especially if you're looking for tires online with free shipping. You may have to go through most of the checkout process to find the shipping amount, just be sure to stop short of clicking the "buy" button until you've made your decision. Complete your price shopping by phoning a local brick-and-mortar tire retailer for a quote on the same tire.
- Pay Attention to Recalls. No matter where you buy your tires, they could potentially be recalled. In 2015 the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) released some concerning statistics on preventable tire-related crashes. This report also brought to light that only 20% of consumers with recalled tires actually return them and have them replaced. Neglecting a tire recall can be a major safety issue.
Of course, you want the best tire prices you can find. In the end, though, remember that quality and safety should reign supreme. No amount of savings is worth driving on unsafe tires.
The Best Online Tires Store
Tire Rack Review
- Intuitive search tools
- Great search filters
- Simple and easy to use site
- Wide selection of tire brands and types
- Seven shipping centers in the U.S. for fast deliveries
- 30-day return policy restricted to unused tires
TireRack.com is a simple website with simple navigation. The site offers a wide range of tires including over 20 brands and several different sizes and types. If you are looking for a very particular tire you have a good chance of finding it.
Trying to find tires that suit your needs is made easy with Tire Rack's helpful search tool. You can search by brand, by size or by the make and model of your care. Once you have entered in your search information you are given a list of tires that you can filter even further.
You can exclude specific brands, you can filter by the price you are hoping to pay or you can search for specific performances like seasonal types. Once you've generated a list of tires to compare you can view star ratings and read reviews as well as compare prices.
There are also some other helpful features you will find on the site. When you search by the make and model of your vehicle, you have the option to save that vehicle in the system for easy access for future shopping. You can also use the site to search for a shop in your area that will install your tires.
Tire Rack is an excellent option to find and choose a tire that works well for your car and environment. The site's simplicity and its intuitive search tool can really help your research.
The search tool offers several helpful filtering features and the ability to search for special promotions that may end up saving you money. The comprehensive search functions and available in-person pickup help to put Discount Tire in the top spot on my list of the best tire deals.
Discount Tire Review
- Intuitive search tools
- Great search filters including by promotional discounts
- Provides reviews of tires and warranties
- Storefront locations around the U.S.
- Redirection to separate domain unless you reside near a storefront
DiscountTire.com is another good tire comparison site that also has storefronts all over the U.S. The site has a very simple layout that makes it easy to use. You can begin your search for tires or wheels by different sizes or brands. You can also search specifically for seasonal tires, trailer tires or by ATV tires.
The site also has a tool that allows you to search by the make and model of your car. This tool is a bit less direct than other sites because it asks for your zip code and if you don't live near one of their storefront locations, you will be rerouted to their shipping site DiscountTireDirect.com. However, when you do finally get to the results page you have a lot of filtering and search tools to help you. You can use typical filters like brands, customer ratings and price but you can also use one of their handy "Quick Filters" to search special promotions, fuel efficient tires and best sellers for your car.
Use a store locator to find out if you live near one of their locations, if so you can schedule a pickup to avoid shipping fees. If not you will have to order them from their shipping site, DiscountTireDirect.com.
Tire Buyer Review
- Easy to use site
- Helpful search tools
- Many search filters
- Deals tab and filter
- Free shipping on many items
- Does not accept mounted or driven tires
Aside from the standard online tire store necessities like an easy to browse site and helpful search tools, Tire Buyer offers several helpful features. After you have searched for tires by the make and model of your car, you are able to select some very helpful features like your preferred price range or brand.
You can also select tabs that only show tires that come with free delivery or special deals. A feature like this can help you save money with free shipping or other deals like mail-in rebates.
Tire Buyer also has many features that are designed to keep you informed as a buyer. You can see star ratings and user reviews of each tire. Plus, there is a learning resource section with articles and guides to help you choose the right tire, view frequently asked questions and get much more information about tire buying and maintenance.
Tire Buyer's installation tab can connect you to a shop near you that will install your tires. They have also partnered with tire shops near you for easy pickup or installation.
Tire Buyer is a great choice for buying tires online with free shipping, and accessing information to help buy the correct tires for you.
- Very competitive prices
- Large selection compared to other online stores
- Intuitive search function
- Customer service lacking
- Some complaints about out-of-stock tires
Onlinetires.com is known for the being a great source of the cheapest tires online. The pricing is the main reason consumers choose this particular website for their tire purchase. In addition they tend to carry some models that are tough to find at other online tire stores. The company claims to have been in the brick-and-mortar business since 1991, boasting 42 locations across California. In my research, however, I found it difficult to verify exactly what company owns this website or the name of the original retail chain.
When it comes to online tire sales, you may want to consider some of the consumer experiences with this site. One of the main complaints you'll notice when you read OnlineTires.com reviews is that sometimes an order will seem to go through fine on the website when in fact the tires are not in stock.
The best way to avoid this problem is to call the toll-free number from the site and confirm that the model you want is actually in stock. My research showed that customers who did this step first experienced fewer issues, and that if the tire is not in stock the company will recommend the next most appropriate choice for the vehicle.
Another concern is that the customer service representatives can be less friendly than they should be. On the other hand, the website is comprehensive and easy to use. In addition, this online tire store routinely offers promotions and specials, which can make all the difference if you really need to keep your budget close to the bone.
While researching for my review of OnlineTires.com I noticed that even though the overall impression given by consumers can seem negative, the store has a loyal fanbase as well. It inarguably has some of the best tire deals available on the net.
You might wonder why I've included OnlineTires.com in my list of the top 5 places to buy cheap tires online. The unbeatable prices combined with prompt shipping are what give this merchant an edge over others. For those who really need to watch their wallet, this company is a solid choice.
- Large selection
- Competitive prices
- Clean, user-friendly interface
- 40+ warehouses country-wide
- 45-day return policy (unmounted)
- No free shipping
- Some complaints about tire age
Tires-Direct.com is an online tire sales portal owned by Delticom, which is based in Germany and also operates Tires-Easy.com. Delticom has been in business since 1999, giving it the advantage of time and experience. The website is very clean and easy to use, with a comprehensive FAQ section that should answer nearly any question you might have about the ordering process. In addition, the company has access to more than 40 warehouses across the U.S., which means that they are able to keep a large selection of tires in stock.
Tires-Direct boasts some of the best tire prices available, and offers customer service via both phone and email. When you're looking for Tires-Direct.com reviews, you may find that some consumers have posted complaints about the age of the tires they received. It's important to understand industry standard in this regard - whether sold in a storefront or on the Internet, tires are typically moved through inventory according to their manufacture date, oldest first. Tires-Direct has a solid collection of information available on their website, including how to find the manufacture date of tires on the sidewall. With their 45-day return policy, you are able to send back any tires with which you are unsatisfied, as long as they are unused.
I gave Tires-Direct.com a slot on my list of the best tire deals online because of the extensive selection, great prices, and length of time the company has been in business.
Online Tire Store - Installation
Once you've chosen the best place for tires and they have been shipped to your doorstep, it's time to find a mechanic to mount and balance them. Just as you've done comparison shopping on the tires themselves, get a price on mounting, balancing and valves before you commit.
Some of the top online tire stores partner with local shops to provide installation. My research found that the mounting prices on the sites may be outdated so it's best to call the shop ahead of time to verify the cost.
Online Tire Store - Maintenance
Even the best quality tires wear out, but you can prolong their life quite a bit if you take some basic measures to care for them.
Make sure your tire pressure is correct on all four tires. If it is too low, the center of the tire collapses and the sides will show premature wear. If your tires are overinflated, the center will bulge, showing premature wear down the middle of the tire. Either scenario is detrimental to gas mileage and traction on the road.
A very good practice is to buy a pressure gauge and stop at an air pump once a month. These are found at most gas stations, and are cheap (if not free) to operate. Keeping your tire pressure where it should be will not only save you on gas and keep your tires alive longer. Monitoring tire pressure can also give you an early warning that one of your tires is slowly losing air if it has much less pressure than the rest.
Remember that your job doesn't end after finding the best deal on tires. Just as you check your oil regularly and have it changed every 3000 miles or so, you should keep track of your car's tire health as well.
Buying the right tires online is important; poor quality tires can lead to a serious accident. Finding an online tire store that can give you a quality product for a good price is definitely worth your time. Take a look at some of these sites to see which one is right for you.
When the time comes to replace other components on your ride, check out our overview of how to find the best auto parts website. When it comes around to renewing your insurance, be sure to check out the best car insurance companies.