Consumer Reports: Best and Worst Places to Buy Tires

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24, 2017.

Americans rely on their vehicles for work and leisure every day, and tires are one of the most crucial parts of any vehicle. Tires do much more than allow a vehicle to roll down the road. They also help prevent accidents by gripping the surface of the road and maintaining safe levels of friction for safe travel. It’s vital for all automobile owners to know which tires are best suited to their vehicles, and consumer reports are a fantastic resource for tire shoppers.

Consumers regularly post product reviews on the items they purchase, and Consumer Reports has aggregated these reviews to compile a list of the best and worst places to buy tires. Consumer Reports’ subscribers who purchased at least two tires in 2016 were eligible to take the survey. The survey included 50,125 reports of tire-buying experiences from 48,525 subscribers. These reports not only include pricing but also buying experience, tire selection, availability, installation time, and overall customer satisfaction.

Best Places to Purchase Tires

When gauging overall consumer satisfaction, Consumer Reports indicates that the four best places to buy tires include Costco,, Les Schwab Tire Center, and Discount Tires. Costco leads the pack in terms of pricing with a median cost of $166 per tire but receives middle-of-the-road scores for selection, availability, and installation time.’s median price is $177 and receives high scores for selection and ease of purchasing. However, these scores fall in line with other online retailers such as Amazon and

Most other retailers cluster in the middle of the rankings in terms of price, availability, selection, installation times, and free perks. Most consumers (95%) report installation times fell in line with the retailers’ initial estimates. In the report, 83% of consumers gave high ratings for the quality of their purchases and installations, and 71% gave high ratings for timeliness.

Independent retailers typically receive similarly positive scores, but they sometimes struggle in terms of selection and availability compared to larger retailers. Additionally, online retailers do not provide installation, so some of these reports included tires that buyers purchased online but had another mechanic install them.

Worst Places to Buy Tires

The Consumer Reports scores indicate that the retailers that receive the lowest consumer ratings include Pep Boys, Mavis Discount Tire, NTB, Tire Kingdom, and Sears. Most of these low ratings are due to long installation times and inaccurate estimates as well as poor selection and unsatisfactory customer service experiences.

Tips for Buying Tires in Alabama

One of the best things any potential tire buyer should do is investigate their options thoroughly before committing to a purchase. While some of the larger retail chains receive largely positive scores, it’s important to remember that buying experiences, customer service, and free perks and promotions can vary greatly by location. A consumer may have a vastly different experience purchasing tires from a Costco in California than a Costco in Maryland.

Consumers can usually find reviews from other consumers online for individual establishments. Local, independent retailers may be a bit more expensive than larger retailers, but purchasing from these establishments typically means supporting a small local business instead of a larger corporation. The Consumer Reports’ scoring system is a great place to start, but it’s vital to do your research so you can be comfortable with your tire purchasing decision.