Replacing your car’s tires can be an expensive endeavor. With costs that vary widely based on the tire brand, tire type, tire size, and more, it’s difficult to pin down an exact average price for new tires. However, there are some general pricing guidelines you can follow to set realistic expectations when budgeting for your next set of tires.
Average Costs for New Tires
The average cost for new passenger car tires typically ranges from $100 to $300 per tire. More specifically:
- Inexpensive tires usually cost between $50 and $150 per tire. These tend to have shorter treadlife warranties and may sacrifice some performance.
- Mid-range tires generally run between $100 and $300 per tire. This is what most everyday drivers opt for.
- High-end tires, like ultra-high performance or rugged off-road tires, range from $300 to $1,000 per tire.
Tires for trucks and SUVs are more expensive, averaging $150 to $600 per tire. Their larger sizes mean more rubber and engineering.
Performance tires, winter tires, and mud tires also sit at the higher end of the spectrum. Their specialized compounds and tread designs demand more R&D and materials.
What Impacts the Cost of Tires?
Many factors influence the retail price of tires, including:
- Brand name – Major brands like Michelin and Goodyear invest heavily in tire tech and charge premium prices. Lesser-known brands can offer similar quality at lower cost.
- Tire type – Performance tires cost more than all-seasons. Winter tires command higher prices than standard all-seasons.
- Tire size – The larger the tire size, the higher the price since more raw materials are required.
- Tire features – Advanced tech like noise-reduction and treadlife warranties add cost.
- Location – Tire prices can vary regionally due to supply, demand and local business costs.
How to Save Money on New Tires
While tires are a big investment, there are ways to score savings:
- Shop online for deals and coupons from online retailers.
- Buy when there are rebates and sales. Tire manufacturers often run promotions.
- Consider lesser-known brands that offer similar quality as big brands.
- Downsize your tires if possible. Smaller sizes mean lower prices.
- Ask for a multi-tire or full set discount. Most shops offer package pricing.
- Get quotes from several installers and compare their all-in pricing.
Other Costs to Factor In
Beyond just the tires themselves, you’ll need to account for:
- Installation and mounting fees – Typically $15-$45 per tire
- Tire disposal fees – Varies by state, usually $1-$5 per tire
- Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) service – Around $20-$30 total
- Lifetime rotation/maintenance packages – Optional for $100-$400
- Road hazard warranties – Optional extended protection for $10-$30 per tire
- Wheel alignment – Recommended when getting new tires, ~$100
- Nitrogen fills – Optional upgrade for $5-$10 per tire over regular air
Always get an itemized quote showing the complete pricing breakdown so there are no surprises.
Keeping Costs Down Long Term
You can maximize your tire investment by:
- Rotating tires every 5,000-6,000 miles – Helps prevent uneven wear
- Keeping tires properly inflated – Reduces wear and improves fuel economy
- Regular wheel alignments – Reduces uneven treadwear to extend tire life
- Driving moderately – Aggressive driving reduces treadlife
Proper maintenance keeps your tires lasting for their full treadlife, saving you money in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I budget for a set of 4 tires?
For a typical passenger sedan, budget $400 to $1,200 for a set of four tires, plus installation costs. SUVs and trucks will be $600 to $2,400 or more.
Are cheaper tires worth it?
It depends. Inexpensive tires may sacrifice some handling, wet weather traction, and treadlife. But if you don’t rack up high mileage or keep vehicles long term, cheaper tires are fine.
Should I buy an extended warranty?
If you want worry-free coverage, extended road hazard warranties are nice for pothole protection. But they add cost, so weigh the benefits for your needs.
Can I negotiate tire prices?
Absolutely. Many tire shops are willing to negotiate, especially if you buy a full set. Get quotes from several retailers to use as leverage.
Should I pay extra for nitrogen fills?
Nitrogen holds pressure better than air and may extend tire life. But the benefits are modest for most drivers and may not justify the extra $40-$80 cost.
The Bottom Line
With proper research and planning, you can keep your tire costs within a reasonable budget. Focus on finding a good value that balances affordability with the performance you need. And remember to maintain your tires properly to maximize their lifespan. Investing in quality tires helps keep you safe on the road.