Winter Tire Costs: What To Expect And Money Saving Tips
The freezing season is knocking on the door! For many car owners across the state, that’s a signal to buy winter tires—also known as snow tires.
If you’re among them, you might balk at the size of the upfront investment. But regular tires will not do in the winter season. The safety and performance benefits of having snow tires far outweigh the expense.
Reliable winter tires can literally save lives. There’s no better way to prepare your vehicle for cold weather, ice, slush, and snow. With their functional tread design and specialized rubber compounds, snow tires provide superior traction and enhanced steering control, preventing sliding and making your vehicle less likely to spin when braking or cornering on winter roads.
Winter tires or a corresponding traction device are also a legal requirement when driving on specific roads in Utah during the winter. Experts recommend switching to winter tires once the temperature falls below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Read on to find out what you can expect to pay when buying snow tires for your car. We will also share some valuable money-saving tips to ensure you make a smart and cost-effective decision when preparing for the cold months.
What Influences the Cost of Winter Tires?
Snow tires are specially designed for snow and ice in cold seasons. Several factors can influence their price. The most important are the brand, size, type, and warranties.
Tire brand and model: As a rule, American and European brands are more expensive than Chinese and Asian ones. Tires from premium brands may offer advanced features, better performance, and enhanced durability, contributing to their higher cost. Furthermore, each brand manufactures multiple models of winter tires with different price tags.
Tire size: The bigger the tire, the costlier it gets. Large tires require more material to build and are more expensive to transport. Passenger car tires with smaller diameters (14″ to 15″) have a lower price tag than truck or SUV tires. Generally, the price curve rises steeply around the 17″ diameter size range. Tire width also plays a part in pricing.
Tire type: There are four main types of winter tires designed for cold weather, snow, and ice.
Studded winter tires come with small metal studs that grip onto icy surfaces.
Studeable (or stud-ready) snow tires have tiny holes in the treads, where studs can be added for extra traction.
Studless snow tires are made of soft rubber compounds featuring deep treads and many small sipes that increase grip in wet, icy, and snowy conditions.
Performance winter tires make driving sports cars and performance sedans possible in the winter months.
The best type of winter tire depends on various factors, such as driving conditions, vehicle type, and individual preferences.
Warranties: Tires that come with extended warranties are usually more expensive.
Seasonal demand and market conditions can also impact the pricing of snow tires. Prices may vary depending on the time of year and local weather conditions.
What You Can Expect to Pay for Different Types of Winter Tires
The price of snow tires varies widely and can range from as little as $50 to about $1000 for one winter tire.
While some drivers opt to install only two winter tires—typically on the rear of the vehicle —most experts say that this causes an imbalance between the front and back wheels which can lead to issues in handling and braking.
For optimal safety, control, and performance, it’s recommended to always get four snow tires. Don’t mix tire brands and types, as differences in tread depth and materials can diminish the grip and traction, resulting in a slippery and hazardous ride.
Never forget that even the pricier snow tires are more affordable than medical bills, vehicle repairs, or increased car insurance premiums.
We’ve summarized the average cost of different types of winter tires below.
Winter tire type
Average cost of a set of 4 tires
Studded winter tires
Between $250 and $1,500, depending on the size, type, and brand
Studeable winter tires
Between $200 and $1,500, depending on the size, type, and brand
Studless winter tires
$250–$600 for a typical compact car $600–$1,500 for an SUV or a pickup
Performance winter tires
Tire prices typically don’t include installation charges. Unless you’re prepared to do the job yourself, expect to pay between $50 and $300 for mounting and balancing a set of tires. The exact price depends on the specific vehicle type and tire size.
If you purchase a separate set of wheels for snow tires, you’ll eliminate or lower the re-mounting costs. Four new wheels will set you back anywhere from $90 to upwards of $400.
Other additional expenses may include tire pressure monitoring sensors, cleaning, and storage during off-season months.
Money-Saving Tips When Shopping for Winter Tires
A set of winter tires can be costly to buy and store. It is essential to find a balance between price and performance. There are several ways to ensure you get the best value for money, from comparing prices to maintaining your tires. Consider these money-saving tips when buying snow tires:
Look out for discounts:Early birds often pay less, so aim to buy a set of winter tires early in the season. If you missed the pre-season window, don’t despair. Keep an eye out for rebates, promotions, and seasonal discounts. Many manufacturers and dealers offer incentives during the big freeze, making it an excellent time to invest in new winter tires.
Compare prices:Online platforms, local tire shops, and dealerships may have different offers. Remember to factor in additional services, like installation and balancing, when comparing prices of winter tires. It makes sense to opt for a tire package that includes the tires, installation, flat repairs, balancing, alignment, and even tire disposal. These packages can provide major savings.
Check the warranties:Warranties usually come with an additional price tag but may save you money in the long run. Product warranties protect you from manufacturing issues or defects. Some tire manufacturers offer road hazard coverage, which can be helpful if you don’t have roadside assistance. As snow tires are prone to wear in warm weather, most manufacturers don’t cover them under a mileage (or tread life) warranty. Always read the winter tires warranty sheet carefully to understand what’s covered and for how long.
Practice good maintenance:Extend the life of your winter tires by keeping them properly inflated, rotating them regularly, and ensuring that they’re correctly balanced and aligned. Protect your winter tires by storing them in a cool, dry place. With proper maintenance, your winter tires can serve you for 4 to 6 seasons.
Be a prudent driver: Avoid potholes and other road hazards that can damage your tires. Accelerate and brake smoothly, because a harsh driving style shortens the life of tires. Bear in mind that driving with a flat tire can damage the rim and lead to additional expenses. Also, remember not to use winter tires in the summer or spring, as the soft rubber will wear out faster on hot, dry pavement.
Change your tires yourself:To save on labor costs, install your winter tires yourself. While this task may seem daunting, it becomes easier if you buy winter tires with wheels. Having two sets of wheels also helps to store tires without damage.
Go for all-season tires: This solution will save you money, but it only makes sense if you experience relatively mild winter conditions. All-season tires can provide some traction in light snow, but they’re unsuitable for deep snow, ice, and very low temperatures. In such circumstances, opt for winter tires with better traction and deeper tread.
Focus on features:While going for a recognized brand name gives you peace of mind, you can find affordable quality snow tires manufactured by a lesser-known brand. Of course, to make the best decision, you need to know what features you are looking for.
Consider buying second-hand:If you’re on a tight budget, you may opt for gently used winter tires for your vehicle. Inspect the tires closely to ensure they have a good tread depth and are free of cuts and distortions. Generally, it’s better to buy an affordable new set of snow tires than a used one.
Get the Best Value-for-Money Winter Tires at Burt Brothers
The cost of winter tires may seem high, but the peace of mind they provide makes them a worthwhile purchase. Think about this expense as an investment in your safety.
By understanding what to expect in terms of costs and implementing money-saving tips, you can navigate the winter tire market more effectively and prepare for the cold weather. To make a decision that prioritizes both safety and your budget, consult your nearest Burt Brothers tire store and auto repair shop.
Contact Burt Brothers now with any questions you may have about tire selection. You’ll get expert advice you can trust.
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