Some people use all-season tires during winter because they think winter tires are expensive. This is risky because these tires are not designed to handle wintry roads. How much are winter tires?
In general, a low-end winter tire costs up to $100. Higher quality mid-range winter tires range between $100 and $200. The price of premium snow tires starts from $200. Several factors affect the prices of winter tires like size, quality, and tire brand.
For your safety during winter, you need to use winter tires. You must use four winter tires on all four wheels, not just two. Four winters during winter will ensure your safety on the road. You will have more confidence when you are braking and accelerating.
Read on to learn more about the prices of winter tires, the factors that affect their costs, and why you need to use them during winter.
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How Much Are Winter Tires?
On average, the price of low-end snow tires starts at $100. For mid-range snow tires, prices range between $100 and $200. With premium winter tires, the cost usually doesn’t go below $200. The actual price of snow tires will depend on several factors like size, quality, and tire brand.
Whether you use low-end or premium snow tires on a front-wheel or a four-wheel drive vehicle, most of them can last from four to five seasons. But the life span will also depend on your driving habits and how you maintain them.
Snow tires and not all-season tires are what you should use if you are driving on snowy roads. Consumer Reports recommends that those driving in areas where the temperature gets below 45°F is to use snow tires.
The thing that prevents people from doing this is the cost of snow tires. They assume that they are expensive. Are they costly, considering the road safety they can provide on snowy and slippery roads? The protection they provide justifies the expense.
It would be best if you didn’t use winter tires as your daily drive. They are more expensive than regular street tires. So, it will be more costly to use them for ordinary driving conditions. They could even affect how your vehicle performs in normal road conditions.
It is worth it to change to snow tires during the winter season. They provide your vehicle’s much-needed tire grip to perform optimally in cold, wet, icy, and snowy road conditions. They are better than regular street tires during this time of the year.
What Are the Factors that Affect the Cost of Winter Tires?
Three primary factors determine the price of a particular snow tire: the size, the quality, and the brand. These three elements deserve to be discussed in more detail:
1. Size of the Tire
Typically, snow tire prices begin to get high once they hit the 17″ sizes. The reason is not only because of their bigger sizes but also because their demand in the market is greater.
2. Tire Quality
The next factor is the quality of the tire. Just like regular street tires, winter tires made of higher quality materials will naturally be priced higher than those made of standard materials.
Typically, low-end snow tires go only up to $100. You can only have mid-range quality snow tires at a higher price range, no less than $100 and up to $200. With premium winter tires, you can’t have them below $200.
3. Tire Brand
The brand of the tire also dramatically affects its price. Where the tire was manufactured is also a determinant of the cost. For instance, you should expect the prices of snow tires produced in the United States and Europe to be higher than those made in China and other Asian countries.
More importantly, the tire brand also plays a significant part in its price. For example, tire brands such as Michelin, Pirelli, BF Goodrich, Firestone, and Goodyear are usually more expensive than unknown tire brands when all relevant factors are considered.
In addition, known brands have a reputation for being long-lasting. So, these famous brands build on their reputations by marking up their tire prices higher than unknown brands.
What Are the Types of Winter Tires and their Usual Prices?
Three types of snow tires are available in the market:
1. Winter Performance Tires
Those who don’t want to park their sports cars in their garages during winter choose to mount winter performance tires on their wheels. These tires are designed to provide remarkable traction at breaking speeds even on wet roads, not just on ordinary race tracks or pavement.
The prices of these winter performance tires start at $100 and may go up to $500, depending on the brand and size. That’s only for one unit. So, for four wheels, you should expect to spend from $400 to $2,000.
2. Studless Tires
This is the perfect tire in cold weather for most people. The tread depth of a studless tire is deeper than a regular tire. It is made of a soft rubber compound with biting edges enabling it to be very flexible for wintry road conditions.
The usual price of a regular studless tire ranges from $60 to $550 for one tire. For this kind of tire, a compact car usually costs from $100 to $150 apiece. For light-duty pickups and SUVs, the price of studless tires will typically range between $200 and $400 per unit.
3. Studded Tires
Studded tires are best for extreme weather conditions such as wet ice, sleet, rain, and freezing temperatures. These tires have fixed metal studs on their rims. They provide the biting force for icy roads and increase the vehicle’s handling and grip.
Per tire, the typical cost of a studded tire ranges from $75 to $550 or even more. You can also opt for a studded option. For instance, there is the Sailin Iceblazer WST1 studded tire, the price of which is still in this range.
Again, how much are winter tires? Low-end winter tires might cost up to $100, mid-range ones will cost $100-$200, and premium ones will cost $200 and up. Several factors can affect winter tires’ cost, such as size, sales, demand, etc.
How Much Are Snow Tires at Walmart and Costco?
How much are snow tires at Walmart? Their prices at Walmart can range from $65 to $133 per tire. These are different brands. They can include Yokohama Tires and General Exclaim. The actual price will depend on the brand, the size, and the quality of the winter tire.
How much are winter tires at Costco? The prices of tires at Costco are not very much different from those at Costco.
So, we can safely assume there is no significant difference between their prices for winter tires. Costco also sells different tire brands, including Firestone, BF Goodrich, and other popular tire brands.
Other Factors That Can Affect the Cost of Winter Tires
Other elements can affect the cost of winter tires. Some drivers and vehicle owners want separate rims for their snow tires. At the same time, this additional expense eliminates the need to dismount regular tires and mount snow tires during winter.
To some, that is a great convenience considering that dismounting and mounting four wheels in a vehicle also takes time and effort. If you don’t have a separate set of rims, you will be forced to dismount and remount your regular street tires for snow tires every winter.
Over time, the extra cost of the separate sets of rims and winter tires will pay for itself. If you are careful in using them and store them securely in your garage after the winter season, they may even last up to the life of your vehicle.
Are Winter Tires Worth It?
Definitely yes. Winter tires are very much worth the extra cost. Based on Consumer Reports, these tires improve snow traction by around 34%. They make starting, steering, and stopping much better than brand-new all-season tires.
With winter tires, your braking distance will be reduced to six feet compared to all-season tires. That six feet distance is often what you need to stop your car from hitting the one in front of you or prevent you from sliding into a fence or an intersection.
You may spend an additional $1 000 or more for a complete set of four winter tires. But that expense can prevent your car from rear-ending another vehicle on the highway while it is snowing.
If that happens, insurance will surely be more than $1,000. And you can use those winter tires not only for one season but many winter seasons.
There are some benefits that you can derive from using winter tires, including:
- Provide superior performance during all kinds of cold weather
- Go beyond traction on snowy roads
- Typically lasts at least two seasons
- Provide better braking in cold and wintry weather
- Do not become rigid. Ordinary tires and all-season tires start to harden when the temperature gets colder. The rubber compounds they are made of will become hard and lose traction. Winter tires are made of a rubber compound that stays soft even in cold conditions. They don’t lose their traction but improve when the weather gets cold.
Are All-Season Tires Suitable for Winter?
You can use all-season tires for winter. But, they are not the best tires that are safe during winter. They are best suited for spring, summer, and fall, not winter.
While you can legally use all-season tires during winter, you should not use them if you want the utmost safety. Winter tires are your best option if you are concerned about road safety during snowy weather.
Consider this: If you use all-season tires during spring, summer, and fall and use snow or winter during winter, you will not be wearing out their depths all year long. You will only wear out the all-season tires for six months at most and the winter tires for a maximum of six months yearly.
This means you will only wear out the two sets of tires only half the time each year. You will be saving money in the long run. The time you need to replace the tires will not be as frequent.
What’s the Lifespan of Winter Tires?
On average, winter tires can last for four to six seasons if they are rightly used, not abused, and given proper care. The general rule of thumb is to base its remaining life on its tread depth. When the tread has gone down to 5/32 inches or lower, you should replace it.
The tire should also have a warranty. That warranty may indicate the tread depth that it is guaranteed to run without problems. Refer to that warranty guideline to determine how long you can use your winter tires.
What’s the Correct Tire Pressure for Winter Tires?
You will see a sticker attached to the inside part of the winter tire recommending the tire pressure it needs. Your vehicle may also have the recommended tire pressure if you mount it with winter tires. It may be indicated in your owner’s manual.
Generally, winter tires’ recommended tire pressure is 30 to 35 psi. To be sure, check your owner’s manual to inflate your winter tires with the correct pressure.
Generally, the price of low-end winter tires is up to $100. For mid-range snow tires, prices can be from $100 to $200. With mid-range winter tires, the price is between $100 and $200.
As for premium snow tires, the price starts at $200. The cost of winter tires will depend on the size, quality, and brand.
All-season tires cannot replace the effectiveness and safety that snow or winter tires can provide. So, during winter, the best to use is winter tires.