My brother came home for a visit last month driving his family of five in a new Cadillac Escalade he had borrowed from work. The Escalade was loaded and listed for about $85,000! (more than my one sister paid for her house) The wheels are 22″ (that’s not a typo) and my brother figures the tires cost at least $400 a pop to replace with the same tires. Wow, $1600 to replace tires. I can’t even imagine.
When you’re shopping for a new car, the size of the tires is probably not something you pay close attention to. There are more important things, such as how the vehicle looks and rides, the amenities inside, and how good of gas mileage it gets. It’s only after you get the car home and drive it for a while and need to replace the tires, you find out the car has bigger wheels or requires special tires that cost more.
Recently my father was shopping for tires for his Chevy Traverse. He and my husband went to check them out at BJ’s Wholesale Club and found that even with the sale, the Michelin tires my father wanted would cost $220 a piece, including mounting and balancing. If my parents had bought up to a higher trim level on their Traverse the wheels would have been 1″ larger and the cost to replace the the tires would be $300 more for the set.
My husband took my dad home and they went online to Discount Tire Direct, where they ordered comparable Cooper Tires Discoverers (he could also have chosen General Grabber HTS tires like he has now on the Traverse), with $100 in rebates and free shipping. The four tires cost him $400 and were delivered two days later. My dad is going to take them over to Walmart to have them mounted. Walmart charges just $5 to have tires mounted (it’s free if you bought the tires from them). For an extra $8/tire you can get lifetime balancing and rotation.
So the next time you’re shopping for a car, consider the tires and the next time you’re shopping for tires consider online.