Tire Rack.com

How Do I Compare Price vs. Value?


Lea esta página en español

While the Tire Rack tries to keep tire costs as low as possible, price is often a consideration when purchasing tires. Even with high fuel costs, it seems less agonizing to fill the tank with fuel than invest in a set of new tires.

Why is it that the price of fuel seems relatively inexpensive while the cost of its tires may give the impression of being high? If we tracked our total costs we'll find that typical fuel costs for just 10,000 miles of driving for a car that delivers 20 mpg (see chart below) actually exceed our tire costs. And believe us, we've found that the quality and performance of tires has a lot more to do with driving satisfaction than fuel does.

We think that much of the misperception has to do with the fact that we buy fuel one tank-full at a time, and don't really look at its total cost for thousands of miles. Our tires are paid for "up front" and then last for tens of thousands of miles.

If you are selecting new tires to improve your car's performance and come across two tires that have caught your eye, comparing their cost over the long run can help you decide. If one tire looks perfect, although more expensive than another tire that appears to be a close second, consider evaluating your options by comparing "how much per mile" each tire will cost.

Consider the following:

If you drive your sports car another 20,000 miles and are considering the "perfect" set of performance tires at $150 each, or another set that costs $130 each, you may be surprised to find out that the cost of the "perfect" set of four tires costs just 3 cents per mile...while the "second place" set of four costs 2.6 cents per mile. Will not spending the extra $80 today make up for not having selected the "perfect" tire that you will be driving on the next couple of years?

If you drive your vehicle another 60,000 miles and are considering "premium" long-wearing tires at $100 each, or economy tires costing $60 each, you may be surprised to find out that the cost of the "premium" set costs just 0.6 cents per mile...while the economy set costs 0.5 cents per mile. Will not spending the extra $100 today make up for not having selected the "premium" tire that you will be driving on the next four years? Will the economy tire last 60,000 miles?

If you live in the snowbelt and drive your vehicle another 60,000 miles and are considering 2 sets of tires (a set for summer and winter) at $100 each, or all-season tires costing $75 each, you may be surprised to find out that the cost of both "premium" sets costs just 1.3 cents per mile total...while the economy set costs 0.5 cents per mile. Will not spending the extra $500 today make up for not having selected the premium summer and winter tires that will make it easier to navigate snow and ice for the upcoming years?

Estimated Total Fuel Costs:
10,000 miles @ 15 mpg = 666 gal @ $3.37/gal = $2,244.00
10,000 miles @ 20 mpg = 500 gal @ $3.37/gal = $1,685.00
10,000 miles @ 25 mpg = 400 gal @ $3.37/gal = $1,348.00
10,000 miles @ 30 mpg = 333 gal @ $3.37/gal = $1,122.00

Most Popular Links

Air Pressure - Correct, Underinflated and Overinflated
Air Pressure vs. Dry Performance
Air Pressure vs. Wet Performance
Air Pressure, Temperature Fluctuations
Air Pressure/Load Adjustment for High Speed Driving
Air Pressure: When and How to Set
Alignment
Breaking In Your Tires
Calculating Tire Dimensions
Checking Tire Inflation Pressure
Determining the Age of a Tire
Diameter Comparison of Light Truck Tire Sizes
How Do I Compare Price vs. Value?
How to Read Speed Rating, Load Index & Service Descriptions
Load Range/Ply Rating Identification
Match Mounting to Enhance Tire & Wheel Uniformity
Load Reduction of Euro- and P-Metric Tires on Light Trucks
Measuring Tire Tread Depth with a Coin
Mounting and Balancing
P-Metric and Euro Metric Tire Sizing
Run-Flat Tires
Selecting the Right Tires
Sidewall Markings
Specific Mileage Warranties
The Plus Concept
Tire & Wheel Owner's Manual
Tire & Wheel Package Installation Instructions
Tire & Wheel Package Ride Uniformity Confirmation
Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
Tire Rotation
Tire Size Conversion Chart
Tire Size Information
Tire Warranties
Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG) Standards
Where to Install New Pairs of Tires?


JOIN US
GET OUR EMAILS

Want to stay on the inside track?
Sign up for our emails today!