Tell us about your favorite tire shop!
Interesting you use the term “Tire Buying Experience”.
For me that is Costco, Price Service and not waiting in a dingy waiting area, Lots to do while waiting.
I usually shop while I wait.
When they call that it is ready, I get the Frozen stuff and a chicken and check out. Then pick up my car.
We have been using our car dealership. We shop the internet by using Consumer Reports recommendations, find the lowest price on the recommended tires, then take the quote to the dealer who matches the price and installs them and because we purchased through them the rotation is free for the life of the tire which saves hundreds of dollars.
Here in the Northwest (and I know they’re in Texas now, maybe other states) I’ve always used Les Schwab. I doubt they have the cheapest tires (although they’re competitive, in my experience), but their service has always been fantastic. They stand by their products and have always fixed any problems (they also do brakes and some other things).
My first experience with them was getting a flat and stopping by to get it fixed. They immediately took the tire, fixed it, put it back on the car, and put away the spare (after checking the air on all tires). When I asked how much I owed, the tech said, “Nothing. Just think of us the next time you need tires.”
Smart marketing, but the service has always been impeccable.
Last fall I got my car serviced at my Honda dealership (when I bought they gave two years free oil/filter changes) and they said I need new brakes (front and rear) and gave a quote. I went to Schwab, they checked things out, and said, yes, you need new front brakes, but you still have plenty of life on the rear ones. Their quote was better than the dealer (no surprise there, dealers make most of their money on service) and they delivered.
When I’ve bought tires, they’ve never steered me to the most expensive tires, always told me what the range of prices were for different possibilities, and usually said for your car and mileage use, I’d go with the xxx tires, most often the cheapest or next cheapest.
Sometimes the service and sense of honestly dealing with you is worth it.
Last times I have purchased tires at Amazon and then paid for the installation at an economical place close to home. Very good tire deals at Amazon.
I too am a Costco fan when it comes to tires. They’re handy, dependable, and have great service and follow-up balance, rotation and warranty. The only minus I’ve run into is that the warranty is not transferable, (even to another Costco member,) if you sell the car.
Also, I just compared tire prices at Costco for our ICE car vs our EV car and to my surprise, the prices were the same, expensive @ $265 a pop, but the same.
Also: if you have a car that takes different tires for front & rear axles, Costco’s 4-tire deals still apply.
I use a local tire shop because not living near a big box tire store if I had issues with a tire how would I even get there? But I could always get a friend or neighbor to help me get to the tire store if it’s local. My local tire store has been unfailingly customer service focused. My vehicle is very sensitive to changes in tire pressure and there is never a charge to check my tire pressure at my local store. As it’s a smaller town and there is competition I choose to support local business as they are competetive and near by if I need them. If they were outrageously overpriced I might consider a big box store- but this way I help local people and I establish a relationship with the store. That’s something that likely won’t happen at a place like Costco.