PHOENIX - If you own a vehicle, you're eventually going to have to buy new tires, especially here in the Valley where the hot pavement can really take a toll.
But getting the best bargain isn't always as simple as calling around to get the best price.
I did some shopping around to find out what you need to look for to get the best deals on tires.
First, we asked each store for the cheapest tire on a specific size.
Costco quoted me $77 per tire for the Hankook Ventus brand.
Discount Tire had the same price for the same tire.
You'll pay a little less for an epic tour tire in the same size at Big O Tires, $75.99.
Sears had the cheapest tire in the size, $69.98 for a Radar tire.
But not so fast -- don't forget the art of negotiation.
I asked for a better price at Big O Tire and within minutes the tire that was supposed to cost me $75.99 went down $20 to $59.95.
Still Howard Fleischmann, owner of Community Tire , says you're making a big mistake if you only look at price.
He said the wrong tire on your car will make your car handle differently than it was designed to handle, and that can be dangerous, especially during a panic situation.
Fleischmann said that can be the difference in staying on the road or veering off.
So let's say the right tire for your vehicle is the Michelin Latitude Tour.
We found the highest price at Sears, $215 per tire.
Discount Tire was a little less, $206 per tire.
Big O Tires quoted us $192.99 for the same tire.
But this time Costco gave us the lowest price, $192 per tire.
Still you have to be a Costco member to get that price and you'll pay $55 for a one year membership.
Fleischmann said you also need to consider getting an alignment because if your vehicle needs it and you don’t have it done, you will cut the lifetime of your tires down considerably.
So that’s another fee to add to the bill.
Big O Tires charges $59.99 for an alignment.
You'll pay $20 more at Sears.
Costco and Discount Tire don't offer the service.
Also, just because a tire has a mileage warranty doesn't mean if something happens, you will get a new tire for free.
Howard said, “For your mileage warranties, those are prorated. So if that tire goes 30,000 miles of the 45,000, you're still going to pay for those 30,000 miles that you used in order to get another tire."
There are so many things to consider, so start with your owner's manual. Then shop around, and take your quote with you.
All of the tire shops we checked, except Costco, will price match... So there's no reason for you to overpay.
And remember, the most expensive tire is not always the best one for your vehicle.
Fleischmann suggests finding a repair shop that you trust and stick with them. They will get to know what works best and what doesn’t work at all for your vehicle.
He said since companies are so competitive with price when it comes to tires, that should not be your priority when choosing a business to take care of your vehicle.
We compared prices on other tires. Check out the entire chart.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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