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You can pay from $50 to over $1,000 for a single new tire, depending on type and quality.
Writer | Car ownership, car maintenance
Whitney Vandiver writes for NerdWallet about ways car owners can save money on ownership and maintenance. She previously wrote in the oil and gas industry, where she was published in national journals and international magazines. Whitney became a writer out of enjoyment and finds stories that highlight or help the LGBTQ+ community the most rewarding to craft. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading and walking with her Irish wolfhound. She is based in Houston.
Edited by Julie Myhre-Nunes
Assistant Assigning Editor | Auto loans, consumer credit
Julie Myhre-Nunes is an assistant assigning editor at NerdWallet. She has been working in the personal finance space for more than 10 years. Before joining NerdWallet, Julie oversaw editorial teams at NextAdvisor, Red Ventures and Quote.com. Her personal finance insight has been featured on Forbes, The Boston Globe and CNBC throughout the years. Julie’s writing has been published by USA Today, Business Insider and Wired Insights, among others. Email: <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>.
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
Tires are a big part of the cost of owning a car, and the range of tire prices doesn’t make it easier to budget for them.
The price of tires depends on several factors, including how they perform in certain weather conditions, how well they handle, and what type of terrain they can manage.
Each type of tire comes with its own price range. And while some tires might induce sticker shock, plenty of affordable options are on the market.
Tires are made of varying compounds and have different treadwear ratings. These ratings tell you how long the tires will likely last. Tires are usually categorized according to the conditions in which they work best. Here are some of the common types of tires, and the factors that may affect their cost.
Weather performance. Tires are categorized as summer, winter or all-season. Summer and winter tires are designed to perform in certain types of weather, and all-season tires find a balance between summer and winter. All-season tires tend to be the cheapest option, and summer tires tend to be the most expensive. Winter tires fall somewhere in the middle.
If you live somewhere that drops below 40 degrees for only a few weeks a year, it’ll be cheaper to buy all-season tires for year-round driving than to go with winter tires that you swap out seasonally.
Comfort. Some types of tires, such as touring tires, are designed to give you a smoother ride. Comfort tires may have the same performance potential as other tires — for example, they may have the same wet and dry braking capabilities as all-season tires — but they tend to cost more because they offer a more comfortable ride.
Terrain. All-terrain tires are generally more expensive than standard highway tires because they have tread designed to let you go off-road. While you can get about 40,000 miles out of an all-terrain tire, it’s likely to wear down more quickly and need replacing sooner than a highway tire.
Performance. Designed for sports cars, performance tires let you take corners tightly and stop on a dime. They’ll give you that fast-driving experience, but you’ll pay more for performance tires.
The cost of tires can vary widely by type. Discount Tire, a national tire retailer, breaks down the average cost of tires by type and wheel size. Here is the range of prices and median cost per tire for each wheel size:
12-inch to 15-inch wheels. Tires often run $80 to $150, with a median price of $115. These tires are common for compact cars.
16-inch to 20-inch wheels. Tires of this size generally cost $100 to $400, with a median price of $250. These tires are common for SUVs, crossovers, vans and trucks.
18-inch to 26-inch wheels. Tires often cost $140 to $500, with a median price of $320. These tires are common for larger trucks and utility vehicles.
The cheaper the tire within a certain group, the less likely it is to perform as well or last as long. Economical options are available, but research the quality of any tire you’re considering before buying it.
The table below shows the range of prices for different types of tires. These prices are not specific to a certain vehicle or tire size. They were gathered from Discount Tire's online inventory in October 2022.
Type of tire
Low price per tire
High price per tire
When having new tires installed, the total average cost for labor is $50 to $300, according to CarRoar.com. The labor cost can vary by vehicle and tire size: The bigger the tires or more complicated the install, the higher the labor charge. For example, many shops charge more to mount low-profile tires.
Having new tires installed includes several steps. Your total labor cost is likely to include the time to perform the labor, mounting and balancing of the new tires, and disposal fees to get rid of your old tires.
You are likely to get a discount on the labor for having new tires installed if you have the work done at the shop where you purchase the tires.
Frequently asked questions
How much does a set of four tires cost?
The price of a set of four tires will depend on the size and type of tire, but the median price for four tires is between $460 and $1,280. If you have smaller tires and decide to go with a cheaper option, you could pay below that range. However, if you have larger wheels and want performance or touring tires, you’re likely to pay close to $1,000 or more. Keep in mind these prices do not include labor fees to have the tires installed.
What is a good price to pay for tires?
The price of a tire depends on several factors, but you can use the average median price based on size to judge if you’re getting a good deal. A median price for a tire for a 12-inch to 15-inch wheel will run about $115. That jumps to a median price of $250 for 16-inch to 20-inch wheels, and a tire for a larger 18-inch to 26-inch wheel is likely to have a median price of $320.
Should I replace all four tires at once?
You’ll probably need to replace all four tires at once if you drive an all-wheel drive vehicle. Otherwise, you could damage the vehicle’s drivetrain. But other types of vehicles give you more options. You can probably replace a single tire if it’s damaged and the other tires still have substantial tread remaining. Chat with a tire specialist if you’re unsure about your options.
How long should four tires last?
If you replaced all four tires at the same time or are on a vehicle’s first set of tires, on average the tires should last about six years and get between 36,000-75,000 miles in their lifespan. But tire life can vary with factors like driving habits, maintenance and climate. Regardless of their condition, no tires should be used longer than 10 years.
About the author: Whitney Vandiver is a writer at NerdWallet currently focusing on car ownership and maintenance. She's previously written about small business and payments. Read more
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One of the most asked questions at Les Schwab is about the price of new tires. People want to know what a set of four tires will cost them. The price of a new set of tires depends on the type of vehicle you drive, how much comfort you want, ride quality, noise level, tread durability, and traction features, which can include seasonal tires and tires for specific terrain. Here’s how to understand the cost of your next set of new tires and why the Les Schwab Best Tire Value Promise saves you money with free peace of mind tire protection and a warranty that won’t cost you extra.
Price is a big factor for any purchase. While some online retailers might have the tires you want at a price you like, you run the risk of getting the wrong type of tires for your vehicle and driving needs. Plus, you'll need to find someone to mount them to your wheels, balance them, install them on your vehicle, and dispose of your old tires. This takes more of your time and adds to the overall cost of getting new tires. Then there are tire manufacturer warranties or other premium services to consider.
When you purchase passenger or light truck tires at Les Schwab, we mount them for free, rotate those tires for free, re-balance them for free, offer free flat repair and air-pressure checks, as well as give you a free best-in-the-industry warranty that even includes road hazard protection at no extra charge. More on that warranty in a bit.
On new tires, the price can range greatly. Tire size, which is directly tied to the vehicle you drive, affects the price. You’ll typically need a larger tire for a pickup than you would for a car. Tires are also priced based on the amount of rubber used to manufacture them as well as the manufacturing technology and features. For example, an electric vehicle (EV) will require performance tires with a higher speed rating and load capacity, which can cost more than a set of standard all-season tires.
As with any purchase with varying levels of price and performance, there are trade-offs to consider. These can include comfort, control and traction, tire life, durability, fuel economy and the cost of a set of tires. You might even consider replacing just two instead of all four tires to save money. However, doing so can impact vehicle safety, performance, and longevity. See our article on replacing all four tires on an AWD vehicle.
If you’re looking for maximum fuel efficiency, we can help with our article on how to choose car tires.
Looking for snow tires? Depending on what you drive, maneuverability in the snow can add to the price of tires. That’s because today’s snow tires are highly engineered and packed with technological breakthroughs designed to keep you and your family safe on the road, whether that’s bare pavement on a well-maintained interstate or a snow-covered, winding motorway through the mountains.
Check out our guide to buying tires for help pinpointing the type and size of tire you need. These can include all-season tires, all-weather tires, winter/snow tires, mud terrain, as well as all-terrain tires, performance tires, highway tires, traction tires, and specialty tires.
Another factor to consider when evaluating the price of a new set of tires is the warranty and other after-purchase services. The tread life on a set of tires can range up to 80,000 miles and beyond. Some places might charge extra for the warranty, but at Les Schwab, that’s part of our Best Tire Value Promise.
Our freebies include a world-class warranty, free lifetime tire and mileage care, and free peace of mind tire protection, including flat repair, rotations, rebalancing, replacement, safety checks, brake inspections, and visual alignment checks at any Les Schwab location. From Colorado and Wyoming to the West Coast, you’re never far from one of our stores – or the road services we deliver. We even offer free tire disposal when you replace your old tires at Les Schwab.
Many of today’s new vehicles come with run-flat tires. Most of the time, these cars don’t have a spare, making run-flat tires the important difference between being stranded on the side of the road or being able to get to a repair shop. However, they can be more expensive than standard tires.
When you’re ready to shop new tires, our pros are here to help. Stop by your local Les Schwab and we’ll take a look at your current tires, make recommendations for your next set, and show you all the options that best fit your driving needs.
Learn More About Tires0003
7 rubber signals: what the tire says about car problems
How do you know when tires are completely worn out and it's time to change them? Everything is simple. For summer tires, the limit is 1.6 mm of residual tread depth, and for winter (or all-season tires used in winter) - 4 mm. Modern summer tires can travel from 40,000 to 70,000 km, depending on driving style and vehicle characteristics. An average motorist rolls such a mileage on summer tires in 2-3 seasons. Moreover, wear implies not only a decrease in tread depth. For millions of cycles of deformation, the strength of the carcass and its adhesion to the layers of the rubber compound are violated. In short, every 2-3 years you should buy a new set of tires.
In case of irreparable damage to one of the tires and a relatively high total mileage of the kit, it is also worth considering replacing it. Well, or about buying at least a pair of new tires, which, for any type of drive, should be installed on the front axle. We put two tires back - the most decent of the remaining ones.
Many motorists drive only a few thousand kilometers a year. This does not mean that the tires will serve you for several decades. According to Russian requirements (GOST 4754-97), the service life of passenger car tires is 5 years from the date of manufacture. And for example, Continental recommends that all car tires (including the spare tire) older than 10 years old should be replaced with new ones. Therefore, with small runs, you can navigate for ten years. The date of manufacture of the tire is indicated on the sidewall. Usually it is an oval with four numbers. The first two are the ordinal number of the week in the year, the last two indicate the year.
How to change the car yourself - detailed instructions
Tires should be rotated periodically in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations - information on this can be found in the owner's manual.
We can advise you to use the tires carefully and, most importantly, to store them correctly in the off-season. First of all, during storage, it is important to exclude direct sunlight from hitting the tires, which greatly age the rubber. Tires without rims should be placed vertically, and stacked on rims.
And before installing tires on a car at the beginning of the season, evaluate their condition. There should be no cracks in the tread and sidewalls. The tire should not be dry, it should remain rubbery and not look like baked plastic.
Driving on badly worn tires - will I be fined or not?
Winter tires have a much shorter life span. They almost always fail due to the wear of the treadmill, because the tread of a new tire is 7–8 mm, and only 3–4 mm remain working height. If the tires are studded, then with such wear there are very few metal elements left, and the tire will not provide adequate safety when driving on a winter road. However, not only spikes, but also Velcro, with such a degree of wear, also lose most of their capabilities.
The real life of winter tires rarely exceeds 30,000 km. "Bald" winter tires without studs can be re-rolled in summer, but their grip on hot road surfaces will be very poor. This must be taken into account, especially when braking.
So: tires that have not yet worn out along the tread (that is, up to 1.6 mm tread depth for summer tires, 4 mm for winter tires) are changed either ten years after the date of issue, or when the rubber layer cracks tires or damage.
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Driving in Zen
Tires not fresh. As absurd as it may sound, the question of the release date of tires worries some buyers. In garages and tire shops, they answer the question in completely different ways - does the year of rubber production affect the quality of the tire? To be honest, probably not. Let's figure it out.
How to determine the year of manufacture of rubber? The manufacturer indicates the week and year of manufacture on the tire on the inner circle near the bead ring. 4 numbers in an oval - what we are looking for. For example, 4317 means that the tires left the assembly line in week 43 of 2017. It turns out, around October. In accordance with standards and common sense, you can absolutely safely buy new tires that were released 3-4 years ago. The manufacturer sets a warranty period. Usually it is 5 years. The service life can be much longer.
Yes, many tire manufacturers have tested new tires on par with 3 year olds at their test centers. Michelin's 2018 study received the biggest response. Rubber was tested in Asia, Europe and proved that new and three-year tires are one and the same. The result of the experiment was the advertising campaign “Tyres are not bananas” and the conclusions: three-year-old tires from the warehouse are no different from new ones, and the real life of high-quality tires is up to 10 years from the date of production.
Right. And in their research, Michelin experts spoke only about their tires, subject to strict adherence to the rules for long-term storage. In our country, everyone is guided by the norms and recommendations of GOST. It regulates the period during which the manifestation of defects is excluded - 5 years. During this period, they are considered new and are subject to sale in the usual manner.
A visual inspection is sufficient for this. For example, you decide to buy tires in Yekaterinburg or Nizhny Tagil. And you are offered four-year tires, explaining this by the total supply of such a batch to the Urals. Examine each carefully. The main beacons are surface integrity and color.
1. Exclude the presence of microcracks, even single ones - this is an indicator that the rubber has begun to dry for some reason.
2. The color of the tires should be a rich black, without whitish streaks and faded areas.
3. If you really want to, you can try on the wheel at the tire shop at the store. Rubber should remain intact, not give microcracks and require standard balancing.
In 99 cases out of 100, this will be the case. A quality tire may not show signs of aging after 5 years of proper storage. This is only possible with manufacturing defects.
No one has done exact research, but marketing is most likely to blame. In order to stimulate sales of new tires, it is logical to convince the client that it is dangerous to ride on old ones.
Yes. The warranty period of 5 years is the period in which the manufacturer assumes responsibility for possible defects. Moreover, it is calculated with a margin - with the expectation of active operation in a constant mode in difficult road conditions. The actual service life is much higher. We are also given a 3-month warranty for shoes, but we wear high-quality models for several seasons and do not know anything about the release date.