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How Do I Buy Tires Online?

Owning or leasing a car or truck can offer unparalleled convenience – the ability to get in, buckle up, and drive to the store, a friend’s house, and wherever else is a wonderful thing. In order to keep your car or truck in tip top driving condition, you’re going to need to have a good set of tires. Unfortunately tires don’t last forever and at some point, you’re going to need to replace the ones you have. There are many options when it comes to tire buying. An often overlooked one however, is buying them online. Here are some questions you might ask when buying tires online.

How do I tell if I need new tires?

In order for tires to work properly, they need to have a good amount of tread. Treads come in many different patterns, shapes, and sizes depending on the type of climate you primarily drive in. Regardless of climate, when tread wears down past a certain point, the tires lose their effectiveness. One way to tell if a tire is worn too low is to use the “penny test” – simply take a penny and put the top of Lincoln’s head into one of the tire grooves. If you can see any portion of the penny above Lincoln’s head, it might be time to get a new set of tires.

How do I choose the right size?

This is probably the most important thing to consider when buying new tires online – you need to make sure that you get the right size. Most online tire stores will have a “vehicle selector” wherein you’ll specify the make, model, and year of your vehicle and they will look up the correct size for you. If for some reason the online tire dealer doesn’t have this feature available, the size and dimensions of your vehicle’s tire is printed on the outside wall. Just write down the numbers and make sure they match the size of the tires you buy online.

Is it cheaper to buy tires online?

From a dollars and cents perspective, it depends. Most online tire dealers will have active coupon codes in circulation so definitely take a look around the internet before you buy. Buying tires online is definitely cheaper in the sense of time and convenience. You don’t have to spend time driving down to your local tire store and dealing with aggressive sales people. You can buy your new tires online while sitting at home in your pajamas.

What about extended warranties?

Most tires from credible manufacturers will offer a standard warranty. The length of time the manufacturer warranty applies can vary but under this length of time, certain defects will be covered at no additional cost to you. Make sure you read the fine print before you enter your credit card though to make sure there are no surprises down the road. If an extended warranty is available, it will usually be offered at an additional cost. This might make sense to buy depending on individual circumstances.

Is the quality available online comparable to buying from a dealer?

Most reputable online tire dealers will carry the same types, models, and manufactures of tires as the brick and mortar tire dealers. To be on the safe side, make sure the online tire dealer you buy from has a reasonable return policy. If they send you the wrong size or a tire that is damaged and/or defective, you want to make sure you’ll be able to return them at no added cost. As online tire buying has become more popular, you should expect the same level of quality from what you’d get at an automotive dealer.

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