The price of tires has been steadily on the rise for years. Recent advances in chemistry and technology have made tires more durable, given them better safety standards, and kept them barely clinging to the realm of affordability. Whenever possible, you’ll want to take advantage of whatever deals you can find on rubber for your ride. Here are a few of the best places to look:

Online

Whether you purchase through a local dealer or buy from a rack in a discount store, the Internet is still the best resource for information on tire deals and pricing. Most repair shops that deal in tires will offer the national specials of all the major brands (such as Michelin, Good Year, Firestone, Uniroyal, etc.), but many will also offer additional benefits, such as lifetime free rotations with a four-tire purchase, or money off some other service with a tire purchase. Many of these deals can be found on the shop websites, as well as the tire manufacturer websites.

There are also a few websites dedicated to tires where you can do all your shopping, price comparisons, find consumer reviews, and compare tire treads and specifications. One of the most popular of these sites is Tire Rack.. You can also find tires and rims at WheelMax. And, for those of us who are just plain Google-happy, there’s always Google Shopping’s Tire Section. Any of these sites will give you a leg up on a great deal, no matter where you decide to purchase.

Buy Them Yourself

Remember when automotive repair centers came out in large discount department stores like K-Mart and Wal-Mart? There were racks and racks of tires in a big room with a sign on a door reading “Employees Only.” Today, it’s almost exactly the same, minus the Employees Only sign. You can walk through a warehouse store and actually pick your tires out, buy them just like you buy groceries (or with your groceries if you’re in the right store), and have them mounted and balanced at your local repair shop.

Even though you may find a tremendous deal on tires at a discount store, there are definite drawbacks. First, you’ll want to make sure you’re actually going to save more money than just buying them through the shop. Most shops do charge for mounting and balancing no matter where the tires come from, but the price of this service can increase if the tires are not purchased on-site. You could also miss out on deals that shops offer for tires purchased through them, such as free rotations, free lifetime balancing, road hazard warranty, and free valve stems.

The Local Newspaper

Yes, print news is still alive in most towns and cities, though it is clinging only by a thread. Still, the newspaper is a perfect place to find great tire deals. There are several small repair shops that find newspaper advertising to be more affordable and a better way to get connected to new customers. Many times this happens with deals which can’t be found anywhere else. It’s also many of these small shops that are more willing to bend on pricing or go the extra mile inspecting your vehicle while it’s on the rack.

No matter where you find your deals or where you have your tires installed, always make sure you are paying close attention to the tire size, load capacity, and speed rating of the tires you’ll be purchasing, so that they match your vehicle and driving needs. They are one of those unfortunate purchases that must be made, but if you’re thorough in your research you can make it as painless as possible.

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