The Best Places to Buy Tires

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Tires
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When you’re looking for the best place to buy tires, there’s certainly no shortage of options. But between warehouse clubs, online tire merchants and independent retailers, the prices can vary quite a bit.

Generally speaking, you’ll find the cheapest selections at Walmart and Discount Tire Direct. However, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Tire Center and Costco offer some of the best overall tire-buying experiences including low prices, free services and convenience.

Our team at ClarkDeals.com has been keeping track of some of the best deals available on tires over the past few months, and we recently looked back to see where those deals are coming from.

In this article, we’ll cover where to find the most affordable tires, highlight which retailers do it best and cheapest, and take a closer look at four of the best places to buy.

Where to Buy Cheap Tires

According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Discount Tire Direct offer the lowest median tire prices on the market.

If you plan on purchasing tires, you’ll want to consider a few more factors than just the price, such as the cost of installation and any additional services.

“Buying tires has never been so cost-competitive so it very important to comparison shop,” money expert Clark Howard says. “Service after the sale is really important, especially if you live in a city with lots of potholes.”

Keep in mind that even though you’ll see a low price during checkout, you obviously won’t get installation or additional services if you buy online from a website like Amazon.

The Best and Cheapest Tire Retailers

Consumer Reports polled nearly 50,000 of its subscribers to ask about cost, selection, sales service and free perks when it came to purchasing tires.

Those free perks were defined as including tire rotation, tire balancing, tire mounting, road-hazard warranties and vehicle inspections.

Other metrics the magazine had its readers grade tire retailers on included the quality of installation, wait time for installation, cleanliness of the waiting area, checkout ease and return/exchange policies.

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We compared the results to the stores we’ve posted the best deals from at ClarkDeals.com and looked at the prices of tires across 10 different retailers with a reputable score.

The prices below reflect median price per tire when purchasing four tires at the same retailer:

StoreMedian Tire PriceInstallation Price (Per Tire)Consumer Reports Score
Walmart$102$1481
Sam's Club$139$1586
Discount Tire Direct$144$1990
BJ's Tire Center$147$1887
Town Fair Tire Centers$148$2383
Firestone Complete$149$2483
Sears$149$2482
Tire Rack$161$2489
Goodyear$161$2586
Costco$165$1489

Visit ConsumerReports.com to see the complete list with full rankings on more than 30 retailers.

As you can see, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Discount Tire Direct offer the lowest prices. Still, retailers like BJ’s Tire Center, Tire Rack and Costco offer competitive prices with much higher overall ratings.

Even though Costco is the most expensive on this chart, the original study included median prices ranging all the way through $226. Plus, with additional sales and rebates available throughout the year, you’ll likely be able to grab a great deal in addition to great service at Costco.

Looking for the best deal on tires right now? Check out the latest tire discounts.

A Closer Look at The Best Places to Buy Cheap Tires

We investigated a little further into the tire retailers with the lowest prices and the best ratings in order to determine where you’ll find the best deal.

After looking at the total cost of tires and installation as well as the included services, here are the top five places to consider making your purchase:

Walmart Tires

Walmart Tires

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If you’re strictly looking for a good price, Walmart offers the cheapest median tire prices of the 31 retailers studied.

You can choose from a huge selection of brands including Firestone, Michelin, Cooper, Goodyear, BFGoodrich and more.

The sales service and installation quality have average ratings, though customers agree that the installation time is longer than average and there’s a substantial lack of free perks.

Instead, Walmart offers the Lifetime Balance and Rotation Plan at $12 per tire. For that price, Walmart will rotate and rebalance your tires at no charge for the life of the tires.

Sam’s Club Tires

Sam's Club Tires

Sam’s Club also offers very competitive prices on popular tire brands including Michelin, BFGoodrich, Goodyear, Pirelli and more.

Members can order tires online and have them installed at a nearby location. Customers agreed that the installation quality was very good while the free perks were excellent.

Tire installation at Sam’s Club includes 24-hour emergency roadside assistance, road hazard protection, rotation, balancing and flat repair for the lifetime of the tires.

You’ll also find promotions, discounts and rebates available year-round on select tire brands. For these reasons, it’s definitely worth paying the difference compared to your local Walmart.

Discount Tire Direct

Discount Tire Direct

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Discount Tire Direct is another great tire retailer that allows you to shop online. You’ll always find deals and rebates available, which is a great way to get the best price.

Customers agree that everything from the selection to the sales service to shipping is excellent. Discount Tire Direct carries over 55 tire brands including Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Michelin and more.

As with any online tire retailer, the installation price and services can vary depending on where you choose to have them installed, and you won’t be getting many free perks this way.

BJ’s Tire Center

BJ's Tire Center

BJ’s Tire Center is another great option for buying affordable tires. Customers agree that the selection and installation time at BJ’s are good, with even better sales service and installation quality.

What makes BJ’s one of the best options is the inclusion of free perks with tire installation. You’ll receive free tire rotation, wheel rebalancing, flat repairs, inflation checks and a full road hazard warranty.

BJ’s offers a three-point tire promise, including an incredible value with a $20 installation, top-brand quality and premium service.

Costco Tires

Costco Tires

While Costco isn’t the cheapest option on the list, it is one of the highest rated. Plus, several times a year, the warehouse club will discount select brands of tires by $70 to $80 and offer 1-cent installation per tire (regularly $15 per tire).

Costco’s selection may not be the largest, but there’s a big emphasis on staple brands like Michelin, Bridgestone and B.F. Goodrich, among others. Plus, with every installation job, you’ll receive free inflation pressure checks, tire balancing, tire rotations, flat repairs and a five-year road hazard warranty.

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“I buy my tires at Costco when they offer the double discount of penny installation and an additional incentive for using my Costco Visa card,” Clark Howard notes. “That works out to be a savings of $130!”

For more information, check out these seven things you should know before getting new tires at Costco.

Final Thought

You’ll most likely find great prices on tires at Walmart or Discount Tire Direct, but be sure to know what’s included with that price. For a more inclusive purchase, consider shopping at Sam’s Club, BJ’s Tire Center or Costco.

Be sure to keep an eye out for deals, promotions and rebates online. Many retailers allow you to purchase online and have the tires shipped and installed at your nearest location, and that’s a great way to get the best price.

Of course, know when your tires will need to be changed and plan ahead. You’ll likely find more deals just before the seasons change around April and October. Either way, you’ll have more time to price compare if you know the purchase is coming up!

Where do you go for the best price on tires for your vehicle? Let us know in the comments below! 

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