Make sure you shop around when buying tires!

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Staff member
May 27, 2002
Guelph, Ontario
I've been using the same tire shop for many years now, since they've always had the lowest prices in town, but out of curiosity this afternoon I phoned another tire shop that is close to my house. I was going to give them a try since their website looks pretty good and they boast to be high performance specialists. I know they sponsor a lot of racers too.

So I phoned them up for a quote on Pirelli P Zero Neros for my Corvette. They quoted me $502 each, for 275-40-18s. I then phoned my trusty old tire shop that I've used for many years, and their price was $336 per tire!

So it definitely pays to shop around when looking for new tires, since there can be a huge difference in price from one shop to the next. Although in my case there is no point to phone around since if I just stick to my original shop I know they're going to have the best price, or within a few dollars of the best price anyhow.

It's amazing how some shops think they can sell the same tire for such a vastly different price! I'm sure a lot of people fall victim to this sort of price gouging too.
Did they give you a frequent customer discount?

Locally, NTB posts lower prices than Discount Tires. Little did I know that the NTB price excludes installation charges and Discount's price is all inclusive! Once you do the math Discount still gives you better deals. Too bad they are bad at balancing tires (at least the one I go to)
So, you're getting the M&S version? If you have a dedicated set of winter tires, wouldn't it be better to get dedicated summer tires then?

Just curious, would you have to pay import duties if you bought them in the US? The reason I ask is that TireRack here charges about $194 USD for this tire. So even if you figure about $50 for shipping of all 4, you'd still save quite a bit if you didnt' have to pay duties. Of course, mounting/balancing would be an additional expense. Not sure if your $336 CAD price included that. Probably did since it's a local tire shop.
Yes, I'm getting the M&S version, that's all they sell up here now. I have these on the front already and they did very well last winter, so now I'll have the matching set. It is too expensive for me to get another set of rims (and tire pressure sensors!) for winter tires, besides, we don't get too much snow in the winter that would justify such a huge expense.

I have ordered tires from the US before and we do end up paying duty on it. Plus I'd also have to pay for installation, where this tire shop includes that in the $336 price. So in the end it's better to just buy them here, especially since I can order these tires on Monday morning and they'll be able to get them by noon hour.

I don't get a frequent customer discount but I don't mind since I know I'm not paying all that much more than their cost on these tires.
it is crazy the difference in tire prices. for exact replacement for my neon (goodyear eagle ls's) a local place gets $400+/set go to tire rack and it works out to be about $375 after i add in mounting and balancing. not too big of a difference but at tire rack you have a much larger selection. i just bought 4 new yokohama avid trz (much better tire than the ls) and after mounting and balancing they will cost $310. definetly gotta shop around.
i buy most of my tyres from they are just about the cheapest place for me to do this. i also pick them up to avoid shipping charges.

the funny thing is, by looking at the website you get the impression its got to be a retail establishment with lots of trained workers and sales people. when you actually go to the store, its just a room in a u-store-it complex that some young punks with fancy cars rent. there isnt even a retail store sign. there is no store. its just a storage room they store a couple sets of tyres in.

i guess by cutting costs like mad, having no sales people, and relying 100% on online revinue, they can afford to sell tires for pretty cheap. you look at a set of falken ziex tires for my car from edge and its $260 out the door. anywhere else around here is over $400 out the door.
the problem with tire rack is that my parents live a half an hour away from them and since i do all my car work there i could go get them to save the $50 shipping but they dont allow that.
Discount Tire/America's Tire here adds the mount/balance charge separately, but will always beat any other shop's total price.

As Pat says, the Yellow Pages is your friend.

I got my tires installed this morning and did a nice little burnout as I left the tire shop.
Something you have to look out for I believe is the manufactured date. I bought some new dated tires once at a discount and within 2 years or so they started to rot and look bad. Be sure to check that.
I am pretty sure the ones I got yesterday are pretty new, since they have the rim protectors on them now. The pair I bought last year for the front don't have them, so this must be a new thing for these tires now.
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