Shopping Online for Tires Can Save You Big BucksI own a 2009 Nissan Rogue SL AWD and I never cared very much for the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) tires that came with the car. In my opinion, the OEM tires did not handle very well and the ride was harsh. I knew I wanted to buy a set of Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring tires and was looking to buying a new set towards the end of 2011. That came to a quick halt when my wife accidentally ran over a rake in our garage that split the sidewall on the front passenger side tire of the car.

Friday evening I contacted AAA and had the donut spare affixed to the vehicle to replace the unrepairable front tire. While I was doing this, my wife called our local tire shop that wanted $221 plus tax for a replacement. This is when I started a search online, and I wanted to share with you what I learned.

The TireRack had the Goodyear tires I wanted for $164 a tire, but it would cost about $54 to ship to me or to the tire shop of my choosing. This would make the total for a set cost $710. I would still have to pay to have the set unmounted, new stems added, balancing, mounting, and a disposal fee. I estimated this would cost me about $100 or more, bringing the total to $810. I knew tires were expensive and knew my size tires, P225 – 60 – 17, were not cheap.

So I tried something on a whim and went directly to the Goodyear Web site. The same Goodyear tires were $161 a tire, but there was a flat fee of only $68 that covered everything: stems, balancing, and mounting, plus disposal fees. Taxes were additional. So I booked an appointment online for Saturday at 10:00 am with a total estimate of $712 plus tax. I arrived at the scheduled appointment time and was presented with an estimate of $830. Interesting. But I chose not to say anything about the charges until the work was completed.

As I was getting ready to pay, I spoke with the manager and showed him the online price I had received from the Goodyear Web site. He immediately credited my bill and adjusted the price back down to the original $712 plus tax. On the tires I bought there was a $80 rebate and he asked me if I wanted to double the rebate to $160? Sure! I filled out a credit card application and was immediately approved and the tires were placed onto the new credit card. The credit card also came with an interest free rate for the first six months so the tires could be charged basically interest free.

My final cost was $712 plus $50 for taxes, totaling $762, minus the $160 rebate. Though $600 still seems expensive to me, it could have cost me even more had I not shopped around.

Comments welcome.