Replacing the tires on your car is an unavoidable expense, but there are ways to make sure you’re getting the best available deal. In this article, I’ll take a close look at Tire Rack: a trustworthy option when it comes to shopping for tires online.
I took the time to research the pricing and ordering process at Tire Rack to get an idea of what you can expect when buying your tires from the online retailer.
5 Things to Know About Tire Rack
Tire Rack is an online tire store that’s been in service for 40 years. According to the company’s website, you’ll find 26 major tire and 60 wheel brands that are “ready to deliver by the next day in most cases.”
While you’ll find a great selection and great prices on tires, there are some key factors that you should keep in mind when ordering your tires online. Before you buy your next set of tires, consider these five things to know about Tire Rack:
Below, you’ll find detailed information about Tire Rack including how to place your order, how the prices compare to other tire centers, where to have your tires installed and ways to maximize your savings.
How Does Tire Rack Work?
When you first visit Tire Rack online, you’ll see the option to shop for tires or to shop all products. If you click “Shop Tires,” you’ll be able to enter your vehicle’s make, model and year along with your ZIP code. Then, you can click “View Results” to see the available selection of tires that fit your vehicle.
Once you’ve entered your vehicle’s information, you’ll be able to browse tires that fit. If you’d rather shop by tire size, you can do that too. No matter how you decide to shop, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for at Tire Rack.
“If you go to a tire center, warehouse club, Walmart or a place that just sells tires, there’s a pretty limited inventory. What Tire Rack offers you is massive choices,” says money expert Clark Howard. “You don’t have to worry about them not having your size in a particular style or brand. You’ve got such wide choice, and it’s a discounter.”
While it’s great that Tire Rack offers such a huge selection of tires, the search results can be a little overwhelming. I found 101 tires that fit my Toyota Camry! Fortunately, you can filter your results by delivery date, price, brand, speed rating and more. You can also check the “Specials & Closeouts” box to see current deals and markdowns.
After you’ve made your selection, you can choose whether you want the tires shipped to a recommended installer, shipped directly to you or whether you want to pick them up from a nearby distribution center. You get a discount if you pick up the tires, but both shipping options are free.
When you’re ready to submit your payment, you can use a credit card, or you can use PayPal, PayPal Credit or Affirm.
As you shop for tires at Tire Rack, you’ll find an incredible selection, average prices, free shipping and more. Unfortunately, you won’t find many post-purchase perks such as installation or tire maintenance. Keep in mind that you will have to schedule and pay for these services completely separately.
How Much Do Tires Cost at Tire Rack?
Compared to other tire stores, Tire Rack’s prices are on par with Goodyear and Costco with an average per-tire price of $161. For my 2017 Toyota Camry, tire prices ranged from $88.41 to $207.67 each. If you choose to have your tires installed at one of the company’s recommended installers, you’ll find that the installation prices average around $24 per tire. Still, it’s important to call and get quotes yourself from a few different installers, as prices will vary.
Consumer Reports polled nearly 50,000 of its subscribers to ask about cost, selection, sales service and perks when it came to purchasing tires. CR members can view the full survey online, but you can see how Tire Rack’s average prices and scores compared to other popular tire stores here:
Store Median Tire Price Installation Price (Per Tire) Consumer Reports Score
Walmart $103 $15 80
Sam's Club $143 $20 85
BJ's Tire Center $144 $20 86
Town Fair Tire Centers $148 $23 83
Firestone Complete $159 $27 87
Discount Tire Direct $161 $22 90
Goodyear $161 $26 88
Tire Rack $163 $24 91
Costco $168 $17 91
As you can see, Tire Rack’s prices are on the higher end of the spectrum, but its overall rating of 89 ties with Costco and is only beaten by Discount Tire Direct‘s rating of 90. Still, you’ll probably find cheaper installation at Walmart, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Tire Center and Costco. Walmart is the only tire center among those four that will install tires purchased elsewhere.
Despite not having the lowest prices, Tire Rack’s high CR rating is attributed to its selection, sales service, checkout ease and shipping. The online retailer also earned high ratings for installation quality and waiting areas at recommended installers.
To lower your overall total, be sure to filter your results by specials and closeouts. You can also check out the tire sales and deals page for rebates and offers on wheels and tires.
How Long Does Shipping Take?
Tire Rack offers fast and free ground shipping to most U.S. locations within 1-2 business days. According to the company’s website, Tire Rack has several distribution centers across the United States:
- South Bend, Indiana
- Windsor, Connecticut
- Midway, Georgia
- Shreveport, Louisiana
- McCarran, Nevada
- Delaware (No customer pick-up)
Tires are typically delivered via UPS Ground shipping, and you’ll receive emails with tracking and delivery confirmations. You can choose to have your tires sent to a recommended installer, delivered to your door or you can pick them up at your nearest distribution center for additional savings.
Where to Have Your Tires Installed
Obviously, you can’t have your tires installed by an online tire center, so Tire Rack has partnered with more than 9,000 independent recommended installers across the country. To find a nearby installer, you can use Tire Rack’s online locator.
The installation will cost an additional fee. Before you decide where to have your tires installed, be sure to call a few tire centers ahead of time to find out exactly how much installation will cost and what the service includes. That way, if you live near more than one installer, you can compare the cost and benefits before deciding where to have your tires shipped.
Tire Rack’s Return Policy and Warranty
If you purchase a set of tires from Tire Rack and you aren’t completely happy with what you get, you can return them for up to 30 days from the date of delivery. Just know that tires are only eligible for return if they haven’t been driven on and aren’t damaged. If you pick up your order at a distribution center, only immediate returns or exchanges are accepted.
If you are happy with the tires you order, know that they’ll be well covered. According to Tire Rack’s website, all tires sold by Tire Rack have a manufacturers’ limited warranty that covers things like quality of materials and/or workmanship. Generally, these warranties cover tires for four to six years or until the tread wears out.
In addition to the manufacturers’ limited warranty, most passenger, light truck and SUV tires also come with free two-year tire road hazard protection. If one of your tires gets damaged on the road, you can get a replacement worth up to $599. Plus, the free protection includes flat tire repair coverage up to $40 per tire per occurrence.
Overall, Tire Rack is a great place to shop for tires online. You’ll find a huge selection of popular brands and average prices compared to brick and mortar tire centers. The shipping is fast and free, but you will have to schedule and pay for installation separately.
If you decide to purchase your tires from Tire Rack, follow these tips to maximize your savings:
- Visit the tire sales and deals page. If there are any rebates or promotions available when you’re ready to make your purchase, you’ll see them listed here. At the time of writing, Tire Rack was offering a $75 rebate on a set of four select Goodyear tires. There was an additional $75 rebate available if you paid for them with a Goodyear credit card.
- Filter your results by specials and closeouts. While you’re scrolling through the selection of tires that fit your vehicle, you can narrow your results by specials and closeouts. This is a great way to find a discount. You can also sort your results from the lowest to the highest price to see the best overall deal.
- Pick up your tires and compare prices among installers. If you live near one of Tire Rack’s distribution centers, you can pick up your tires yourself and get an additional discount. When I added four tires to my cart that fit my Camry, I was offered a $40 discount for pickup. Whether you pick up your tires or have them shipped, take the time to call a few different recommended installers to make sure you’re getting the best overall deal.
Have you ever bought tires from Tire Rack? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!