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Guide to Tire Cost: How Much Are New Tires and Rims?

By Tire Agent Staff

March 13, 2024


... And Why Do Some Cost More Than Others?

The total cost of getting a full set of tires and rims on your car depends on several factors, some you can control, others you can't. We review everything you need to know about tire and rim pricing, plus tips on how to get a good deal.

      • Cost factors of tires
      • Cost of new rims
      • Average costs per vehicle type
      • How to save money on tires
      • Best time to buy tires

Before we get into the ins and outs of what affects tire prices, we've built relationships with several companies that offer payment plans, which can help offset your costs, whether you're looking to replace 2 tires or 4.


How Much Does a Tire Cost? (Why So Much?)

To understand the end price of tires, you need to understand every aspect of tire production and installation and how those will impact how much tires cost. Let's dive into the obvious and not-so-obvious tire pricing factors. How much a set of tires costs can vary greatly, so it's important to know why they're so cheap or expensive at times. The main cost factors include:

      • Cost of raw materials
      • Manufacturing costs
      • Research & development

Size of vehicle and rims

The bigger the vehicle, the larger the tire it needs and the more it will cost. This can be especially true for pickup truck and SUV tire prices. Counterintuitively, the larger the rim, the more expensive the tire is because they are produced at a lower scale and can be more difficult to rim.

Raw materials

The expenses to produce tires have gone up in recent years. The raw material costs of rubber, steel, and chemical components have all risen, so both economy and performance tire prices have increased. As tire companies research and develop better rubber compounds, those expenses get passed to us, the consumers.  

Tire manufacturing

Manufacturing plants are one of the largest cost centers for tire makers. The equipment, machinery, electricity, safety precautions and labor all go into the cost of goods sold and the final price of a set of tires. 

New technology

Manufacturers try to produce new types of tires with better fuel efficiency or improved performance and longer tread life. These research and development costs go into the cost of every tire with the goal being that the added value of the new tire technology will outweigh the cost. 

Safety and handling

This goes hand in hand with the new technology aspect. Manufacturers are spending more time and money to make sure your tires are safer with superior handling on the road. The safer the tire, the higher the warranty, the better the materials, the more expensive tires will be (generally speaking).

Extended tread life

The longer the tread lasts on your tire, the longer the tire's life. If the tread is too thin, it impacts braking and handling, posing safety risks.

That's why manufacturers are using better materials that extend tread life. This means you might pay more for a new tire, but it will last longer, saving you money in the long run.

Fuel efficiency

It takes more engineering and better materials to produce fuel-efficient tires than standard models. But paying more for models that could save you hundreds of dollars at the gas pump throughout the life of the tires is a smart decision.

Custom tires

Installing custom tires on your ride might cost a pretty penny, but it could turn your vehicle into the envy of the town. Custom tires cost more than standard models due to the extra labor and fine materials it takes to make them.

What Are the Average Prices for Tires?

The cost of replacement tires is highly dependent on the type of vehicle they are for. Consumer Reports conducted a survey recently on cost per tire by car type. Here is the median purchase price paid per tire by car type:

  • Coupe/convertible: $170
  • Minivan: $137
  • Pickup truck/van: $187
  • Sedan/hatchback/wagon: $137
  • SUV: $162

To figure out how much 4 new tires cost, multiply the above by 4. As you shop Tire Agent online for new tires, you can see how much a full set of tires costs, and you can also see how much they'd be if you made monthly payments. 

Depending on your location, the average cost of a tire change ranges from $20 to $35 per tire for installation and balancing. Some installers also charge a disposal fee for old tires. 

What About Replacing Wheels? How Much Do Rims Cost?

Wheels, rims, tires. Hopefully, you already know these are all different things. If you need more clarification, check out our article that explains the difference.

So, how much will it cost to replace the wheels on your vehicle? These prices could vary widely depending on your location and the wheels you select.

But the average cost to replace all four wheels is around $725. This includes labor costs, which average $50 per wheel. Speak to a tire pro to find out the exact prices.

How to Save Money on Tires and Rims

Now for the fun part. Saving money.

You can spend hours researching tire costs, and what you'll find is that most prices for specific models are the same or in the ballpark at most retailers -- even the big box stores. 

So, it isn't regular pricing at different stores that will save money. The key to significant savings is finding sales and rebates.

The best place to find promotions and coupons is on our tire deals page. The next best place is to look on manufacturers' websites; that said, we do all that research work for you. We provide the latest manufacturer rebates, coupons, tire discount codes on our Deals page.  Often, you can find a tire manufacturer with the tires you need that's also offering some type of rebate — you just have to check! 


When Is the Best Time to Buy Tires and Rims?

The absolute best time of year to save money on tires and rims is when retailers have Black Friday sales. You'll find good deals at different times of the year, like Presidents' Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. But Black Friday is always a winner.

However, most of us shop for tires after we need them, not before. You've got a flat, your tire tread is worn out, or your car is shimmying like a nervous Chihuahua -- you need new tires now. 

Use our tire matching technology to find the right tires for your vehicle, and compare tire prices for SUVs, trucks, sedans, and some light commercial vehicles. We ship all in-stock tires fast and free; get them as quickly as 2 days!

Can I replace just 2 tires? Or should I replace all 4 tires?

If all your tires are worn and need replacement, it isn't safe to only replace two tires and hope for the best. Tires with worn-down treads are dangerous to you and everyone else on the road. However, if just one set of your two front or back tires are worn while the other set is safe to drive on, you can choose to replace the two worn tires. If you do this, you'll always want to put your newest tire set on the wheels that drive the vehicle, typically, the front wheels for cars and back wheels for trucks.

How much should I spend on tires?

There are tires that for economy-focused drivers, performance-focused drivers, and everywhere in between, so you can end up spending as little or as much of your annual car budget on tires as makes sense for you. Most customers select tires above the economy models but below the high-end performance models to try to get the best of both worlds. 

Tire Agent offers financing options for tires, so regardless of your budget, you can still afford to get the tires you want for a cost that makes sense.

Photo 28127902 | Tire | Dikiiy |