Discount Tire vs Costco – Which Is Better? 

Over time, tires are prone to wear. They lose traction through the years, which can end up compromising performance. At one point, you will need a replacement. The options abound, making it difficult to decide what to buy. That said, this comparison of Discount Tire vs Costco will help you choose. 

Discount Tire and Costco are two of the most popular tire sellers in the United States. They carry a wide selection of products from some of the top global brands, which they offer at affordable prices.

Below is a quick comparison of the two retailers: 

 Discount Tire Costco 
Median Price $144 $165 
Average Installation Cost $19 per tire $14 per tire 
Road Hazard Warranty Three years; You need to purchase a certificate Five years, free with your tire purchase 
Maintenance Additional cost Free for a lifetime 
Selection Carries more brands Has fewer brands 
FinancingAvailable with a Discount Tire Credit Card Unavailable 
Appointment AvailableAvailable 
Shipping Two to three days Five to ten days 
Membership Not required Required 
Customer Service Exceptional Exceptional

Read on to learn more about Discount Tire vs Costco, as well as some tips to help you find the right tire for your needs. 

Discount Tire vs Costco Side-by-Side Comparison

Discount Tire vs Costco

You will find plenty of tire retailers in North America, most of which carry products from some of the best global brands. If you are clueless about where to buy, we are here to extend a helping hand.

Here is a quick comparison of two of the most popular sellers to check out:

1. Pricing 

Without a doubt, many people will decide based on the price of the tires. Especially if you are on a budget, you are probably on the hunt for the best deals available. The good news is that both companies offer affordable tires without compromising quality. But which one has a cheaper selection? 

Between the two, Discount Tire offers more affordable tires. Based on the findings of Consumer Reports, the median tire price at Discount Tire is $144. This is more affordable compared to the average price at Costco, which is $165. 

2. Cost of Installation 

While you can choose to install the tire yourself, most people prefer to do it with the help of someone who has the tools and experience. Both retailers offer installation services so that you can expect a helping hand from the experts.

While Discount Tire has more affordable selections, the installation cost per tire is relatively more expensive, with a median of $19. On the other hand, the average cost at Costco is only $14 per tire. 

3. Warranty 

For your peace of mind, it is crucial to consider the warranty that the retailer offers. Within the warranty period, you can expect exceptional support and service from the seller. This can include repair and replacement, depending on the terms and conditions. 

In the case of both Discount Tire and Costco, you are eligible to enjoy the warranty of the tire’s manufacturer. Nonetheless, Costco is better because it offers a road hazard warranty for five years. This is different from the original manufacturer warranty. 

The warranty from Costco includes protection from tread wear and damage for five years. They will repair or replace the tire when there is a problem within the warranty duration. If you opt for a replacement, the company will issue a credit to your purchase. 

With Discount Tire, you can enjoy the same road hazard warranty, but it is only for three years. Worse, you will need to pay for such, unlike Costco, where the warranty is free with your tire purchase. 

When you purchase a Discount Tire Certificate, you are buying a three-year warranty. The additional fee will depend on the brand of the tire that you will buy. It can range from $10 to $100, which can be quite high for some buyers. 

4. Maintenance 

The regular use of your tires will make them prone to damage. This is especially the case if you often drive on challenging terrains, including off-road conditions. With this, it is crucial to consider what the seller provides in terms of maintenance support. 

One of the biggest benefits of Costco over Discount Tire is that it has free lifetime maintenance. This is an excellent way for you to save on the long-term cost of tire ownership while maintaining its peak condition. Some of the free services that come with this perk are: 

  • Lifetime tire balancing 
  • Lifetime inflation pressure checks
  • Flat repairs 
  • Tire rotations 

With these free services, you are getting more value for every tire. While the average cost is more expensive than Discount Tire, it is worth every dollar because of the lifetime services you will be eligible for. 

5. Selection 

Find a reseller that offers a diverse selection of tires, so you will have many choices to compare. Consider the driving conditions, size, and other things when it comes to evaluating the available options. 

Between the two, Discount Tire offers a better selection of tire brands. They have options from some of the best global companies. Nonetheless, while Costco has a fewer selection, most of them are from reliable brands, so it is hard to go wrong regardless of what you choose. 

6. Financing 

Tires can be expensive, especially if the quality is your priority. Options from some top brands can be too costly for some people, so you might want to consider a reseller that offers financing options. This way, the tires will be more economical since you can spread out the payments. 

Discount Tire stands out because of the financing program that it offers to its customers. The financing program is available if your purchase is at least $199. Nonetheless, you will need to use a Discount Tire credit card for your purchase to be eligible. With Costco, there is no comparable financing program. 

7. Appointment 

Most of us are busy, and hence, it is good if there is an option to schedule an appointment for services like tire installation and maintenance. This way, you do not have to wait in line and arrive only on your schedule. 

Whether you go with Discount Tire or Costco, you can conveniently schedule an appointment. You can do it online or even by phone. The available schedule, however, will depend on the dealership that you will visit.

8. Shipping 

If you do not want to make an appointment for a physical visit, you have the option to have the tires shipped instead. This is good if you plan to install them yourself or have a local mechanic’s assembly done. 

Discount Tire ships in two to three days. However, it depends on your location and the availability of the nearby distribution center. With Costco, however, the shipping time can take approximately five to ten days, so be ready to wait a bit. 

9. Membership 

discount tire or costco

Another main difference between Costco vs Discount Tire is the need for membership. With Costco, you will need a membership before purchasing a tire and enjoying the complimentary services. The good thing is that the savings on the tires will be more than sufficient to cover the cost of membership. 

With Discount Tire, there is no need for membership. You can drop by any store or purchase online without the need to present proof of membership. 

10. Customer Service 

Comparing Costco tires vs Discount Tire is not just about who has more tires or which store offers the lowest price. Customer service is important for the overall experience. This is also what builds loyalty. Plus, it dictates how you can have the best bang for the buck. 

Anyone who bought from Discount Tire and Costco will know that they both offer exceptional customer service. They have knowledgeable people who know what they are doing. From the first interaction with their people, you can expect a pleasant experience, which would make you want to return.

Again, Discount Tire vs Costco – what is the difference between the two? Automotive enthusiasts know Discount Tire and Costco as tire sellers in the US. And both carry a collection of excellent products from top global brands at a very affordable price.

Essential Considerations in Choosing the Right Tire

discount tire prices vs costco

Whether you are buying at Discount Tire or Costco, it is crucial to consider different factors, including those that we’ll talk about below:

1. Type of Tire 

One of the most important is to pick a type compatible with the driving conditions, such as the surface where you will be riding. Below are some of the options: 

All-Season

As the name implies, it is a tire made for all seasons, known for its versatility. It delivers exceptional handling and comfort in various conditions. 

Touring

Aside from all-season traction, it is also responsible for having more responsive handling. To add, it has a higher speed rating compared to all-season tires. 

Performance

It is an excellent option for wet weather driving, it has silica-enriched treads—the latter results in better grip and a higher speed rating. 

Summer

For driving in dry conditions, this is an excellent tire to choose from. It is best only for warm weather. 

All-Terrain

It is the best option for people looking for tires with aggressive tread patterns. Choose this if you are into off-road driving. 

Winter

When it comes to specialty tires, this is one of the most popular. The design is optimized for the best performance in snow

2. Size 

Pick the right size, making sure that it is compatible with the vehicle that you have. Choosing something bigger or smaller than what is necessary will have significant repercussions, especially for safety and performance. Look at the sidewall of the tire, and you will see what size it is. 

3. Ratings 

Look at the tire’s load rating, which dictates the maximum weight that it can support. On the other hand, the speed rating indicates the top speed the tire can run while being safe and high-performing. Match the ratings to your vehicle. These are details that you will find on the sidewall.

Conclusion – Discount Tire vs Costco 

Deciding what to choose between the two is a personal decision. They are both great. Costco stands out if you are looking for the following:

  • Cheap installation,
  • A free road hazard warranty, and
  • Free lifetime maintenance.

With the latter, you can enjoy a wide array of complementary services, such as tire balancing and tire rotation. 

Meanwhile, Discount Tire is for people looking for cheap options from a wide selection of brands. More so, it is an excellent pick if you want financing options, although such is valid only when you have the company’s credit card. It is also good because of fast shipping and not requiring any membership. 

Whether you are buying tires from Discount Tire or Costco, the more important consideration is the brand of the tire. The latter will be indicative of the overall quality and performance, as well as the price. Pick ones from reputable manufacturers, and it will be hard to go wrong. 

Related reading:

Costco Tire Warranty [How It Works and What It Covers]