Comparison-shopping is an essential component when making any type of important purchase. Tire purchases are no different. In fact, comparing prices on tires between multiple different sellers is easier to do today than ever before.
Gone are the days when consumers had to leave their homes and travel from store to store to compare prices on similar products or wait on the weekly flyers in the local newspaper. The ability to compare tire prices nationwide and even internationally is always only a few clicks away.
The best place to buy tires is always the location with the tires you need at the lowest prices possible. How do you find these places, however? Website resources such as TireComp.com make this a simple question to answer.
TireComp is a 100% free and independent online tire-comparison resource. Because TireComp is independent it essentially compares tire prices from every possible source with no affiliation preferences. This website is a one-stop price comparison tool to help you locate the size, type, and brand of tire you need fast. Consumer Reports and TireRack.com also help you compare the prices of cheap new tires around the country.
Strategies exist to lower the prices even further in certain situations as well. For example, it is possible to join automotive clubs such as the American Automobile Association (AAA). Many auto parts stores, megastores, and direct tire manufacturers give customers who possess AAA membership cards additional discounts. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) also provides resources for tire savings such as a tire rebate offer or AARP membership discounts for seniors.
You also need to know the exact tire type, width, aspect ratio, construction, and wheel diameter before you begin comparison shopping. This is because only certain tires fit on your vehicle. The information you need is located on the sidewalls of your tires and your vehicle owner’s manual.
A common series of numbers and letters on the sidewall of your tire reads as such: P215/65R15 95H. The “P” refers to the tire’s size. The “P” also refers to a P-Metric tire, which is a tire manufactured to specific standards inside the U.S. for use on passenger vehicles. “LT” tires are designed for light trucks. No letters at all at the beginning of the series indicate the tire is a Euro metric tire, which likely has a different load capacity than a P-Metric tire.
In the example above, the other numbers and letters mean as follows:
- P (P-Metric).
- 215 (tire width in millimeters).
- 65 (aspect ratio; 65% of the tire’s width).
- R (construction = radial).
- 15 (wheel diameter; 15 inches).
- 95 (load index; supported weight at full inflation).
- H (speed rating; in this case, up-to 130mph)