Should I Buy an Extended Warranty on Tires?

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One of the routine expenses that comes with buying a car is maintaining and eventually replacing its tires. 

After you’ve comparison shopped and found a great deal on tires, you may get asked whether you want to buy an extended warranty.

Should You Buy an Extended Warranty on Your Tires?

A listener of the Clark Howard Podcast says she was given the option to purchase “certificates” for each of her tires, which would allow her to replace one for any reason.

As you may know, Clark thinks that extended warranties are, for the most part, a waste of money. When it comes to these tire certificates, Clark says it would be an unwise financial decision for some consumers — but not others.

“This is really for people who live paycheck to paycheck and have no ready access to savings,” Clark says. “The math says you’re better off self-insuring.”

On the other hand, if you don’t have any access to savings, buying a certificate — essentially an extended warranty — that allows you to replace a tire for any reason may make sense.

“The only reason you’d buy that is if a tire died and it was your responsibility to pay for it. And you didn’t qualify under the manufacturer’s prorate [prorated warranty], and you can’t come up with the money it costs you to replace that tire because you have no savings. That’s when you buy it,” he says. “Otherwise, if you’ve got a good rainy day account, this is something that you self-insure for.”

Need some affordable tires? Read our guide on how much you should spend on cheap tires.

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