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How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Tire in 2022?

a mechanic fixing car's tire

All tires will need to be replaced eventually. On top of having an expiration date, tires also wear down as you use them. Most people need to replace their tires before they are technically “old” due to tread loss, which can be dangerous.

Bald tires cannot grip the road appropriately, which can lead to accidents. Plus, in many areas, there are laws surrounding how much tread you need on your tires.

Of course, replacing a tire can be expensive. Tires themselves are costly, and the cost of labor also has to be taken into account. Before you make an appointment to get your tire changed, take a look at the pricing guide below.

car and road divider

The Importance of Replacing Your Tires

Because this maintenance is so costly, many people are tempted to put it off for as long as possible. However, driving around on tires with little tread can be dangerous—and end up costing you thousands more in an accident. Plus, many areas have laws that make it illegal to drive on tires with less than a certain amount of tread.

In these areas, you can get in legal trouble (including jail time) if your tires cause an accident. In many cases, it can be punishable as reckless driving even if the tires don’t cause an accident.

Worn tires cannot easily grip the road, which can reduce your ability to stop and cause slipping. Furthermore, they are also more likely to blow out while driving which can be extremely dangerous. Many of the deadly accidents on the road are caused by tire blowouts, after all.

Therefore, it is vital that you regularly change your tires. Otherwise, you may end up in an accident.

car tire repair
Image Credit: Eugen_Tomas, Pixabay

How Much Does Replacing a Tire Cost?

Prices of tires vary widely. There are many factors out there that affect tire price.

Firstly, different car models have different tire needs. Trucks need different tires than compact cars, which will affect the price. Generally, the bigger the tire, the more expensive it is, but there are exceptions to this rule.

Performance tires will be more expensive than “just enough” tires. You can get tires that are designed to work better in certain weather conditions, off-road, or on performance vehicles. Usually, you can choose whether to purchase budget tires or something a bit more expensive.

Here is a list of car types and the average price of tires you’ll need for them:
  • Sedan: $137
  • Minivan: $137
  • SUV: $162
  • Coupe: $170
  • Pickup Van: $187

Additional Costs to Anticipate

On top of actually purchasing the tires, you also have to pay someone to put the tires on your car. Sometimes, you will be able to do this yourself. However, when you’re replacing many tires, you’ll also need to balance them. This can be challenging to do without a full mechanic shop. Without balancing, the tire may wear down strangely, which can lead to you needing to change your tires sooner rather than later.

If you get your tire changed at an auto shop, they generally lump putting the tire on (and balancing them) into the cost of the tire. Therefore, you won’t actually find yourself needing to pay that much more for the mechanic to put the tire on.

When the store does charge extra for putting the tire on, it is usually a low rate. $25 to $50 is normal, though this can vary depending on your location.

a mechanic checking the tire of a car
Image Credit: stux, Pixabay

How Often Should I Replace My Tires?

Tires have about a 6-year lifespan max. Even if the tire looks brand new, you’ll need to change them at 6 years, as the rubber begins to break down at this point. The tire may look okay, but it will not be nearly as strong as a newer tire.

With that said, most people have to change them much more frequently. Regular driving can wear down the tires until there is not enough tread yet to maintain grip. At this point, you’ll need to change your tire even if it is only a couple of years old.

There are many ways that you can determine the tread level on your tires, which will help you figure out if it is time to change them. In most areas, the minimum tread level is 2/32 of an inch. However, you typically want to change your tires a bit before they reach this level to ensure that you aren’t driving around with the tread too thin.

Does Car Insurance Cover Replacing Tires?

Usually, insurance does not pay for tires since it is a maintenance issue and not an accident. However, if you hit something and bust your tire, it may be covered as an accident.  It all depends on what the definition of “accident” is, if there was anyone else involved, and the type of car insurance.

For instance, if you hit a pothole and damage your tire, it may be covered under collision insurance. Individual coverage does vary, though, which is why it is vital to review your plan before you sign up.

If your tires are stolen, you may be covered under comprehensive insurance (if you have it). You’ll need to look and see if the coverage includes theft and other non-crash situations. Sometimes, slashing tires also fall in this category. Often, it is counted in the same category as falling trees and hail.

With that said, no car insurance covers the usual wear and tear. If you’re just replacing your tires because they have been worn down, then you’ll need to cover the cost yourself.

wrecked car in accident
Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay

What To Do to Help Tires Last Longer

There are quite a few things you can do to make your tires last longer:
  • Check air pressure regularly. If your tires are low on air, they will wear down faster. Therefore, it is vital that you check them monthly at least.
  • Keep up with tire rotations. Your tires should be rotated to ensure even wear. You want to use all of your tires, not just a few spots on them.
  • Have the wheels balanced. Unbalanced wheels will wear more in certain areas, causing tread levels in those areas to fall faster than usual.
  • Get the tires aligned regularly. Tires will naturally get unaligned as you drive them. Therefore, it is vital that you get them realigned every few months. Otherwise, patterns of uneven wear will develop.

car and road divider

Conclusion

While it can be a costly expense, changing the tires on your car is vital. Otherwise, you can end up with tires that don’t grip properly and are more prone to blowouts. In the end, driving with old, worn tires is simply unsafe (and in many places, it is also illegal).

Your best bet is to save up and plan on changing your tires every 80,000 miles or so. Your driving habits and regularity of car maintenance will change this estimate, however. The type of tire also matters. For instance, performance tires tend to be softer to provide more grip, but they also wear down faster.

Luckily, the tires themselves will be your biggest expense. Paying someone to put them on isn’t actually that expensive. In fact, it is sometimes included with the price of the tire.


Featured Image Credit: Counselling, Pixabay

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