UPDATED: December 09, 2021

As a car owner, you need to make sure that your vehicle is properly maintained, which includes replacing the tires.

You know that it doesn’t come cheap, so knowing when you should get a replacement helps you make the most out of your tires.

So, when is the best time to buy new tires for your car? What are the factors you have to consider when purchasing new tires?

When Is The Best Time of Year To Purchase New Tires?

Countless people have cars today, and there’s a lot of competition among companies that sell tires. For you, that means you’ll find great deals throughout the year.

However, you’ll have better chances of getting the best deal when you buy new tires during April and October.

Buy Tires in April

You’ll find great offers in April because it’s travel season. April marks the start of the vacation period. 

Families start to prepare for their summer road trips since their kids are on break from school. Car owners will flock to tire shops. Because of the competition, local dealers and installers will offer sales and discounts to capitalize on the tire rush.

Buy Tires in October

October is the perfect time to purchase winter tires. You’ll find the best deals on winter tires because car owners start to head to tire stores. 

Furthermore, tire manufacturers and local dealers tend to offer lower prices and special deals because they know the competition will be high.

During April and October, some stores offer 5 to 15% discounts per tire, some have “buy 2 get 2” offers, while others give you a rebate of around $200 when you buy a set of 4 tires.

Note, however, that if your tires are worn down, you have to change them right away. Don’t wait for April or October.

Worn-down tires can cause accidents, so you’ll be spending more if that were to happen.

If you have an extra budget but don’t need to replace your tires just yet, you may consider buying during these months and reserve them for later.

How To Know It’s Time To Replace Your Tires?

Determining the best time to buy new tires depends on various factors, such as the time of year, the depth of the tread, and the expiration date.

1. The time of the year

As mentioned, you’re more likely to get the best deals in April and October. If you’re buying winter tires, the beginning of the fall is ideal. Don’t wait until November or December when shops tend to increase the prices.

2. Tread

One of the main factors to consider is the tread. You need to get a new tire if the depth of the tread has fallen below 1/16 of an inch.

A car with worn-down tires isn’t safe to drive. Replace the tires right away once you notice a low tread. Don’t wait for April or October.

According to Goodyear, you should check the depth of the tire tread every 3,000 miles. You can also use certain methods to determine whether you need new tires. 

  • Penny Test – Insert a penny into the tread groove of the tire. Make sure Lincoln’s head is placed upside down when you insert the penny. The tire tread depth is less than 2/32 inch if you can see all of Lincoln’s head, which means you need to replace the tires. 
  • Quarter Test – Insert a quarter in the tread grove. The depth of the tire tread is at least 4/32 inch if the tread touches Washington’s head. 
  • Tire Tread Wear Indicator – It’s time to change your tires if their tread becomes level in height with the wear bars or tire tread indicator. 
  • Tire Manufacturing Date –  Check the sidewalls of the tire to find its manufacturing date, which is the last four numbers that begin with DOT. 

3. Expiration date

Tires have expiration dates. They’re made of rubber, so they become dry, develop cracks, and eventually split after they reach the expiration date.

You should replace your tires immediately when the expiration date comes. Driving with expired tires can lead to burst tires, which may cause accidents when you’re on the road.

Ask the manufacturer about the expiration date of your tires or look for a code on the side of the tires.

4. Wear and tear

You have to replace the tires before they’re worn down. Driving on bald tires can be dangerous, especially when you’re on wet and slippery roads.

Here are a few reasons you should replace the tires before they’re worn down:

  • Tires with low tread have higher risks of getting punctured and may lead to blown tires.
  • Worn-down tires also tend to lose air pressure, which negatively affects the steering, braking, and fuel economy.
  • There’s also an increased risk of hydroplaning, wherein a layer of water gets between the tires and the road surface. Hydroplaning prevents the tires from maintaining a good grip on wet roads.
  • Bald tires make it difficult to drive in snow and ice.
  • Each state has guidelines when drivers need to replace their tires based on tire treads.

What Are The Things To Consider Before Purchasing New Tires?

The tires of your car play a crucial role in keeping you safe while you’re on the road. That’s why it’s important to replace them once they start to show signs of wear and tear or damage.

There are many things you have to consider before you make a purchase. You’ll have to decide whether you need to replace all four tires, what type of tires you need to buy, and if you should go with new or used tires.

To Buy Or Not To Buy A Set Of Four Tires?

It’s better to buy a set of four tires instead of purchasing them separately.

Here are the reasons:

  • Budget: All four tires will have the same model, size, and tread pattern, which means their performance is balanced and predictable. This means that your tires will not wear down as quickly. 
  • The treads on all the tires wear out at the same time.
  • All four tires behave the same, whether you’re cornering, accelerating, or braking.
  • You can easily keep track of the tire rotation and replacement periods.

Because your tires will not wear down as quickly, you won’t have to change your tires as frequently. Thus saving you money. 

Winter Tires Vs. Standard All-Season Tires

You’ll find different types of tires in the market including winter tires and standard all-season tires. These two primary categories of tires possess different characteristics that make them useful for their intended seasons.

Winter Tires

  • Winter tires are perfect if you’re living in a place that gets a lot of snow during winter. It is designed to withstand snow and slush.
  • They’re made of special rubber that allows them to remain flexible.  
  • They’re designed with a different tread that allows them to travel through slippery and snowy roads.
  • Their unique treads give your car more control, especially when turning, accelerating, and braking.
  • These specialized tires need to be inflated correctly to generate traction.

It’s dangerous to drive during winter conditions that’s why you need to get winter tires. If you use regular tires, they may also wear down easily, so you’ll need to spend on replacements soon.

On the other hand, winter tires aren’t ideal for places with hot climates. They will wear out quickly when used on heated pavements.

You have to swap the tires according to the seasons. Using the right type of tires will prevent the tires from wearing down quickly, so you’ll save money.

Standard All-Season Tires

Standard all-season tires are common and widely available. They are designed to outlast most weather conditions, making them the perfect choice if you’re living in mild to moderate climates.

These tires are perfect for car owners who live in areas that experience hot and cool weather, light snow conditions, and light to moderate rain.

The basic characteristics of standard all-season tires include the following:

  • They’re designed to keep the car stable while on the road.
  • The tread maintains a tight grip on the road, which makes your driving session silent.
  • The tread withstands heat and water.
  • They’re made to keep gas mileage low.

The standard all-season tires aren’t designed to withstand inclement weather conditions. Therefore, they may not be the best option if you live in locations that experience severe winter conditions.

Used Tires Vs. New Ones

As previously mentioned, buying new tires can be quite expensive. But you’ll get the best value because the tires will be in excellent condition.

The average cost of a new tire is $167. Multiply that by four and you’ll get $668 per set. You should also include the cost of installation, which may reach up to $32 per tire.

Considering these figures, buying a new set of tires may not be a good option for cash-strapped car owners.

If you’re on a tight budget, you may consider buying used tires. They cost around 30% to 50% less than the price of the new ones, or around $25 to $150 each.

But just like all other products in the market, used tires also come with advantages and disadvantages.

Used tires cost less than new ones, but their condition varies from one tire to another. Unlike new tires, you know that they’re all unused and have the same condition.

If you’re planning to purchase used ones, you must know how to evaluate the condition of the tires you’re planning to buy.

This will help you spot issues or signs whether you should buy it or not. Perhaps, they have low tire treads, produce a lot of noise when driving, or aren’t in a good shape anymore.  

Unfortunately, there are no laws in place to regulate the sale of used tires. There’s no guideline as to the condition and functionality that need to be followed when selling used tires.

Here are a few things you need to check when you’re buying used tires:

  • Check for signs of damage, such as cuts and bumps, inside and outside of the tire. The tires won’t last very long if there are damages to the surface.
  • Check for the tread depth. The depth of the tread should be at least 2/32nds of an inch. The higher the number, the better. But if it’s lower than 2/23s, then you must move on to your next option.
  • Check the tire manufacturing date. Examine the sidewalls to know the date when the tires were made. Buying ones that are near their expiration will cost you more eventually because you have to replace them soon.

How Much Do Tires Cost?

The average cost of one new tire is $167. However, the price varies depending on the kind of vehicle you have and the brand of the tire. Please note that the price doesn’t include the average cost of the installation, which is about $24 per tire.

Average Cost Per Tire By Car Type

Pickup truck/van$187
Source: ConsumerReports.org

The price of the tire also varies per tire brand. For instance, Nokian is the most expensive one at $215 per tire, followed by Pirelli and Michelin at $206 and $185, respectively.

The cheapest ones are General at $126, Uniroyal at $126, and Kumho at $121. These costs don’t include the price of the installation.

Ways To Get The Best Tire Deal

Regardless of when you want to buy new tires, there are things you can do to get the best deal.

Check Online Websites And Discount Retailers

Discount Tires offer a set of four tires for as much as $500. Meanwhile, the average price of a tire at Goodyear is about $180 and $160 at Costco.

You can expect to pay around $170 if you purchase a tire at Big O Tires and around $190 at Les Schwab Tire Centers.

Consider buying from an online tire retailer like Tire Rack, Discount Tire, or Goodyear. Don’t forget to check the delivery prices too.

Shop Around

Check different sites or shops offering new or used tires. Compare their prices and choose one that offers the best deal.

Check For Sales

When you shop around, be sure to check for discounts and sales offers, too. With some luck, you may find multiple deals that could help you save a lot of cash when you buy tires for your car.

Ask Your Mechanic

You may also ask your mechanic for recommendations. A good car specialist can provide you with advice on where you can find the best deals.

Final Thoughts

New tires can be quite expensive. Knowing when to buy your tires will help you get the best deals and save money. April and October are the best months to purchase because they mark the start of travel seasons and stores will be offering discounts and sales.

There are other factors that you have to consider when determining when it’s best to buy new tires. These include watching out for signs of a worn tire tread and checking if the tires are nearing their expiration date.

Check your tires regularly and replace them right away when necessary. Make sure to weigh all your options before you buy. Purchasing tires is a big investment, so you need to shop around for the best deals.