In the past 20 years, I have bought 11 used tires and 12 news ones for 7 different vehicles.
This brings me to a common question I have seen: How much are used tires?
Best-selling tires on Amazon
- GOODYEAR ASSURANCE MAXLIFE - 205/55R16 91H VSB
- Fit Type: Vehicle Specific
- Load Capacity: 1653.0
- FAST INFLATION & ADVANCED ACCURACY: High-quality materials were sourced for this tire inflator as it can pump up your car's tires with 35 L/Min, it can inflate the 195/55/R15 car tire from 0 to 35psi under 5 minutes. Professionally calibrated to always return a reading within 1.5% of the pressure of your tire. Please NOTE that after 10-15 minutes of continuous use, let the air compressor rest and cool for an equal amount of time at a minimum before continuing use.
- PROGRAMMABLE INFLATION: Use the "M" button to set your desired pressure unit, and then press the "+" and "-" buttons to set the desired pressure. The air compressor will automatically shut off when it reaches the pre-set pressure (Please make sure the pressure you set is higher than the current pressure of your tire).
- PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS: One-click to change pressure units among PSI, kPa, BAR and KG/CM; Large white backlight LCD screen makes it easy to read even in the dark; Equipped with integrated LED flashlight with independent switch control for emergency use; 12V 120W 10ft (3.05 meters) long heavy-duty car cigarette lighter cord makes it convenient to use
- WIDE RANGE OF APPLICATIONS: 3 Nozzles and Extra Fuse Included. Inflates any Schrader valve on cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and bicycles; the included accessories quickly inflate balls, air pillows, cushions, balloons and mattresses. NOTE: This pump is NOT intended for use with high pressure or large volume applications like pools and Inflatable canoe
- BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: Easily stow the compressor away in your car or garage and it will be ready to use at a moment’s notice. Package includes 1* digital air compressor, 1* Replacement Fuse, 3* Nozzle Adapters, 1* Valve Extender, 1* Quick Connector, 1* Screw Rotation Attach, 1* User Manual; If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We put a 3-year warranty on this Products
- Reinforced rib pattern and solid center line ensures superior mileage and precise handling
- Minimal driving noise
- Fit type: Vehicle Specific
- Load capacity: 2250 pounds
- Convenience: Plug directly into Cigarette Lighter Socket of your Vehicle. 12VDC, 10 to 15 amps, 120 to 180W. Equipped with 12V-DC Cigarette Lighter Socket Plug, NOT 110V AC plug.
- Multiple Uses: Inflate tires on cars, bikes, sedan and midsize SUV. (Engine size under 3.5 liter) Universal valve connector for schrader valve is ready to use. Additional adapters include needles value (for basketball, balls), short cone/long cone adapters (for inflatable kayak, swimming pool accessories, etc)
- Capacity: Does NOT Support truck tires, for instance: light truck tires (LT), heavy duty truck tires or any truck tires.
- Easy to Read: 4 Display Units: PSI, KPA, BAR, KG/CM; LED FLASHLIGHT: Bright Torch
- Prevent Over Inflation: Auto shut off when reaching the desired tire pressure. Overheat protection shuts off automatically when overloading. USPTO Patent NO:D875,788
Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Used tires range in price, depending on their condition, speed rating, size, brand name, your location, and who you buy them from. Here are some anecdotal samples.
Buying from your buddies
I bought a set of used tires and rims for $25 from a friend who blew the engine in his car. This price is atypical.
He was going to send the car to the scrapyard and had no use for the near-new tires and rims — as long as I gave him a set of old rubber so his vehicle would roll onto a trailer. Score.
Also, it is important to know that these were 15×7 rims, with 225/R50-15s — fairly common for cars from the ’90s and fairly inexpensive.
I knew when he bought the tires, how pedantic he was about maintenance, and knew common roads he drove, so tire history was not an issue for me.
But it can be a massive issue when buying used tires.
Consumer Reports says this: “Don’t buy used tires. The tire could have been driven overloaded, underinflated, or to excessively high speed … these factors could lead to internal damage not visible from the outside.”
It is impossible to know the complete history on used tires, which may have been exposed to high temps, hit potholes, been punctured, etc.
Because tires are your vehicle’s connection to the road, it makes perfect sense to avoid used and only buy new — whether it be 22.5 RV tires or passenger car tires.
But that wasn’t my last set of used tires.
Another good score was from a local mechanic who has repaired cars for me when I could not do the work.
I went in to buy a new spare tire in a 225/R55-17 size because my vehicle did not have one.
The service manager said that he had used tires after a couple put 4 new ones on their car before going on a long road trip.
Rather than dispose of them, he said he saves them for instances like these. Said he sells them for a really discounted rate, then uses the cash to buy the other mechanics pizza for lunch.
My cost for one 225/R55-17 tire, mounted, then balanced on a rim: $20.
Although I do not know the history on this tire, I was fine with that because it was a spare. (That spare was never needed, either.)
Used tire shops
Used tire shops are another location. I have not had great luck with them, though.
I have bought two sets from shops that specialize in used tires.
The first pair did not go well. I did not inspect the tires as closely as I should have.
I saw the tread depth, saw no sidewall cracking, and though that’s perfect.
However, despite being a full-sized tire, I missed the writing on the sidewall that said “temporary use only.”
That mistake cost me $35 per tire for two 235/R60-15s. They were replaced with new ones. Live and learn.
The second set I bought from a used tire shop were 225/R50-15s.
Two tires cost me $45 each because they were almost new, and the other two cost $35 each.
I only drove that car about 500 miles, then it was sent to the junkyard because the transmission gave up the ghost.
Are used tires worth the potential risk?
In my mind, the question about how much do used tires cost is the wrong one. It should be are used tires worth the potential risk?
I do not think they are worth it — unless it is for a spare that probably won’t be used, for a car that won’t be driven on the road aka needs to roll in the garage because it is a project, or if you know the tires’ history. My dual sport motorcycle tires are always purchased new, which can be read about in my Shinko 705 review.
Tires are your safety net between the vehicle and the road. If the tire fails, the consequences are disastrous.
It is even more of an issue nowadays, with speed limits higher on freeways and cars with more horsepower and better handling than 20 years ago.
Although costs vary for new tires, inexpensive ones can usually be had for around $100 a tire at Costco, Walmart, or even online.
Looking at the last pair of new tires I bought, I paid $139.99 for each 225/R55-17 Goodyear Eagle LS tire and an extra $15 a piece to get them mounted and balanced.
Sure, I over-paid. I did not shop around. I paid a premium to go to a local shop that’s a block away from me.
Even at double the cost of used tires, new tires are still worth it to me nowadays. The price of disaster is far higher than a couple hundred bucks saved.
I hope this answers your original question: How much are used tires?