You can pretty much purchase any automotive part online these days. That includes tires. The question is, is buying tires online the right choice for you. The answer is that it really depends on your personal situation. Here’s a look at whether or not you should buy tires online.
Buying tires online offers buyers excellent advantages. If you can’t operate your vehicle and don’t know which tires you want, if live in a rural area, or simply want to save time, then shopping online for tires is perfect for you.
Let’s look at the advantages of buying tires online in more detail.
Pros of Buying Tires Online
Online tire sellers have been in business for a couple of decades now. Many people have found a number of advantages to purchasing tires online. Here’s a look at four reasons to consider buying tires online.
Easier to price compare
When you go to a physical tire store, you can only compare prices at one location. When you are shopping online, you can price compare between four or five online tire sellers. This gives you a better opportunity to find the best price for the tires of your choice.
Have access to tire descriptions
Tire websites tend to have rather robust descriptions of the tires. In fact, you’ll out that you will have more access to detailed information about tires when shopping online. A typical tire product page will tell you the size, width, tread depth, ideal pressure level, compatibility, and driving features of each tire.
If you try to price compare between four or five tire locations, you can spend an entire afternoon driving around town. That can take up your entire afternoon. Buy shopping online, you can get the task done at a fraction of the time.
Ideal if your vehicle is not drivable
If you have a flat tire, you certainly don’t want to drive around like that. Shopping online is a safer way to shop for tires when your vehicle’s tires are in less than top shape.
Cons of Buying Tires Online
While buying tires is a good idea for a number of people, there are some reasons why you may want to shop at a physical location instead. Here’s a look at three cons of buying tires.
Seller may be unreliable
If you don’t have much experience purchasing tires online, then you may run the risk of ordering from a tire seller who may be unreliable. Issues that you can face are slow delivery, no delivery, overcharging to your credit/debit card, or being shipped the wrong tires.
You don’t see tires until you buy them
While you will usually get to see high-quality photos of the type of tire that you are purchasing, you will not see the physical tires that you will put on your vehicle unless you pay for them.
Difficult to return
It can be a hassle to return tires to an online seller versus returning tires to a physical location.
You Should Buy Tires Online If…
Still wondering if you should buy your tires online. Here’s a look at three reasons why you should consider shopping online first:
You have a good idea of which tires you want to buy
If you know what tires that you need to buy, then you don’t need to “roll the dice” and guess which tires are best. At this point, you simply need to comparison shop between sellers and determine where you will get the best deal.
Your local area doesn’t have a big selection of tires
Do you live in a rural area with a limited amount of tire sellers? Then you will be better off shopping online. You will have a better selection and you won’t have to drive a long distance to get your tires.
You Should Not Buy Tires Online If…
Here’s a look at some of the reasons why buying a tire online may not be the right choice for you:
You are not sure of which tires you need to buy
Don’t know if you should buy Michelin or Firestone tires? Wondering if you need tires with symmetrical or asymmetrical treads? Then you will want to go to a physical store and talk to a salesperson who can recommend the best tires for you.
You want to inspect the tires before you buy them
There are some people who prefer a “hands-on” experience when it comes to buying tires. Are you are that type of person, then you are better off shopping for your tires at a physical store?
Where to Buy Tires Online
Ready to buy tires online? Then you are probably wondering where you should get started. Here’s a look at the four more popular places to shop for tires online:
1). Tire Rack
Tire Rack is the largest online seller of tires. They have all the top brands as well as a broad selection of summer, winter, off-road, and performance tires. You can also find an excellent selection of specialty tires.
When you shop at Tire Rack, you can have the tires shipped to your home or to your installer. You can return your tires within 30 days of delivery.
TireBuyer is another large online-only seller of tires. You will find a big selection of the most popular tire brands. Whether you are looking for off-road tires for your truck or high-performance tires for your sports car, you will likely find what you are looking for.
Tirebuyer can ship your tires to your home or your installer. TireBuyer offers a 30-day return policy if the tires are shipped to your home and a 45-day return policy if they were shipped to your installer.
3). Discount Tire/ America’s Tire
If you are looking to shop online from a seller with physical locations, then you will want to start with Discount Tire – also known as America’s Tire at some locations. You can have the tires shipped to your home or to a Discount Tire/America’s Tire installer.
You can return your tires by mail or send them back to your closest Discount Tire/America’s Tire location. Just make sure that you bring your receipt.
Chances are that you already have an account at Amazon. Well, you can also buy tires from the site. These tires are sold by third-party sellers and shipped to your home.
Please note that if you need to return your tires, they should be sent to the third-party shipper/seller and not Amazon.
Getting Your Tires Right from Your Device
You may find the following posts helpful:
Should I buy tires from Tire Rack?
Should I buy from Discount Tire?
Should I buy tires at Walmart?
- About the Author
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.