Car maintenance can be a major cost, and it’s not always a predictable one. The average annual cost of car maintenance is between $1,400 and $1,500, taking a major bite out of your budget. Between parts and service appointments, it can add up, and vehicles inevitably get more expensive to maintain as they get older.
If you’re looking to save money on maintaining your vehicle, used tires can save you a lot of money. Not only is it a budget-friendly option, but it can also divert waste from landfills.
Used tires can help you save hundreds of dollars, especially if you live in a place that requires winter tires for part of the year. Tires need to be replaced at least every six years. That said, there are a few things you should know to make sure you’re getting safe, quality tires that will give you real value for your money.
What Are Used Tires?
Used tires typically come from cars that have been sold or destroyed. If it has previously been driven on, it’s used. The good news is that tires can usually last between 80,000 and 200,000 kilometers.
There are industry standards put in place for used tires to make sure they’re good quality. Good used tire shops should follow the U.S. Tire Manufacturer’s Association guidelines for quality control and regulations on used tires. However, they are not mandatory, so it helps to do some research into a used tire seller.
Check the Treadwear Grade
Because of the wide range of sources for used tires, the usage it’s received makes a difference in quality. However, it’s extremely difficult to tell how much mileage a used tire has seen.
There is at least one way you can check the quality of used tires before you buy them. Tires are assigned a treadwear grade by the manufacturer to determine how well a tire will wear. A tire with a treadwear grade of 300 wears three times better than one with a grade of 100. Roughly speaking, the higher-graded tire can take on more mileage while showing similar levels of wear and tear.
Consider Remanufactured Tires
If you’re concerned about the performance of used tires, another alternative to consider is remanufactured tires. These are restored old tires that used to have internal damage. The process involves something known as bead-to-bead remolding and essentially makes a new tire out of old components (the belt, sidewall, rim, etc.). A new sidewall and tread are vulcanized, and in the end, they should still be less expensive than buying new ones.
New vs. Used Tires: Is Buying Used Safe?
Yes, used tires can be very safe. Often you can find tires that are nearly new from a car that has been in an accident and scrapped.
Older tires that have more wear on them will usually have lower overall performance because the treads are more worn-out. It does help if you pay attention to how old or well-used the tires are, and you can also look at the treadwear grade.
Used tires can be a convenient way to save the next time you need to replace yours. Do your research, and you should be able to find a bargain.