How to Lower Tire Costs for You and Your Customers

It’s no secret that weather changes and shorter periods of daylight can make fall tricky for safe driving. Tire condition is critically important and can easily be monitored and corrected to ensure safety.

Inflation and rising costs are leaving less available expendable income and funds for consumers and businesses. High new tire prices are causing people to avoid routine auto maintenance.

But tire safety does not have to be sacrificed. Premium used tires are an affordable solution for your customers in a variety of situations.

Low Tread on Multiple Tires
A quick Google search will tell you that 4/32 of an inch is the minimum tread required for safe driving. However, depending on a region’s specific weather patterns, 6/32 would be a more ideal target — especially for places prone to more rain or snow.

If you notice a customer driving on tires with low tread, you do not need to suggest that they replace all or some of them with brand-new tires. Simply determine what size and specifications will work for a particular vehicle and shop the inventory of your trusted used tire seller.

Real-World Example
A customer came in for brake work, and a technician saw that all four tires on a 2016 Nissan Altima were at 5/32. After a quick conversation about the upcoming fall and winter months, the customer agreed that having more tread would be a good idea. A few of the many available options for 215/55-17 tires that are compatible for that car:

SAILUN ATREZZO SH406 215/55-17 94 V
• Average new price: $105.99
• Used price with 9/32 tread: $53.87

• Average new price: $207.20
• Used price with 8/32 tread: $69.16

• Average new price: $192.90
• Used price with 7/32 tread: $69.34

One Bad Tire
Changing temperatures can wreak havoc on roads, increasing the chance for drivers to damage tires. The next time you have a customer come in with a flat tire, note the tire’s size, brand, model and tread depth and shop for a used replacement.

Real-World Example
When a driver hit a pothole and blew out her front passenger side tire, she was upset because she had purchased new tires only one year prior. Measuring at 9/32, the remaining tires were in great condition. After a quick glance at a reputable used tire seller’s inventory, her technician was able to get her a replacement Goodyear Eagle RS-A 245/55-18 103 V for $58.35. That model new costs an average of $233 per tire.

Rotating and Replacing
There’s no need to go into the many advantages of rotating tires or that, for a myriad of reasons, tires may not wear at the same rate. If a customer is having their tires rotated and two are closer than the others to becoming bald, suggest replacing them with used tires.

Real-World Example
A longtime customer with a 2019 Toyota Tacoma had an appointment for annual service. A mechanic rotated the tires and noticed that the front tires were measuring much lower than the rear. He recommended that the client purchase two premium used tires that matched the back tires’ tread depth.

Dunlop Grandtrek AT20 265/70-17 113 S
• Average new price per tire: $294.95
• Used price for 8/32 tread per tire: $78.59

Providing service customers affordable tire solutions is critical in this economic climate and throughout the fall and winter seasons — and safety should not have to be sacrificed.

This article was written by Shilo Rea and originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of AutoSuccess.