When you’re looking to purchase new tires, saving money is always a plus. While you can be selective about what tire you get and where you get it, you’re not likely to find cheaper prices than used tires.
However, you may wonder if tires are really something you should buy used. If you’d like to find out, keep reading this article to see what I learned!
Should I Buy Used Tires?
Used tires can be potentially dangerous. As you might imagine, they’re usually older, which makes them more likely to fail. Rubber isn’t made to last forever, including the rubber on used tires. Therefore, while used tires might save you a bit of money, they may also cause an accident.
If you’d like to find out if old tires are bad, how long used tires last, how much a used tire usually costs and more, keep reading for more useful facts and tips!
Is it Bad to Buy Old Tires?
Old tires are never suitable to drive on, even if their tread is still technically in legal range. Rubber will break down over time, which will harm the tire and make it potentially unsafe to drive on.
The older a tire is, the more likely it is to break suddenly. In fact, the tread may even separate in some cases, making old tires quite dangerous.
For instance, it’s recommended that old tires are put out of use whenever they hit six years, even if their tread is still suitable.
Old tires are the cause of many accidents, especially those that are purchased used. You should always check the manufacture date on a used tire to get an accurate description of the age. Otherwise, you may be driving on tires that are unsafe.
Even if the tires have never spent a day on the road, they may be unsafe if they’re over six years old.
Do Used Tires Save Money?
The main benefit to purchasing a used tire is the promise of saving a bit of extra cash. However, used tires may not actually save you much money in the end.
For example, let’s say that you spend $100 on a used tire instead of the $200 you would spend for the same tire brand-new.
The new tire would likely last about four years if you were driving it the average amount. After four years, the treads would be too low and the tire would need replacing.
However, a 2-year-old tire will likely only last another two years. Therefore, you’ll be purchasing two $100 used tires over a four year span, making it cost about the same as the new tire.
With that said, that doesn’t count the money you had to spend to have someone put the tires on your car. For this service, you’re paying double for the used tires, since you need to put two different sets on your car over four years.
For the new tires, you just have to pay someone once. In the end, this means that the used tires actually cost more when you consider labor cost.
Is it Okay to Buy 2-Year-Old Tires?
2-year-old tires are not necessarily considered old, though purchasing a 2-year-old tire is a bit like purchasing food that is almost expired. While the tires may be technically okay, you probably aren’t going to get your money’s worth out of them. For this reason, you shouldn’t purchase used tires at a full price.
In fact, this is true even for tires that have never been driven before. Even if the tires were purchased, never used, and then sold, you should be cautious before making a purchase.
2-year-old tires may be okay right now, but they only have another four good years.
How Long Do Used Tires Last?
For the most part, how long tires last depends on the age of the tire. A 6-year-old tire should not be purchased or driven on at all, as the tire is so old that the rubber is no longer up to snuff and may be potentially dangerous.
A 2-year-old tire can likely last for another four years, but you should replace it when the tire hits the age of six, even if you’ve only had it for four years.
You should check the age of the tire before purchasing it. Do not go off of whatever the seller is claiming, as they may not be accounting for the time the tire was sitting in a warehouse.
Of course, the damage on the tire also affects its longevity. Because the tire is used, it may already have UV damage. For instance, dry rot and cracks may be present, which indicates that the tire is likely not in top condition.
In some cases, these signs may indicate that the tire isn’t suitable for driving on at all.
Your location can also affect how long a used tire lasts. For instance, most tires should be changed about every six years. However, in places with hot weather and high UV exposure, you may need to replace them every four years.
In these circumstances, a 2-year-old tire is already middle aged.
How Much Does a Used Tire Usually Cost?
Generally, a used tire will cost anywhere from 30% to 50% of the original price of that model. Where exactly it falls in this category can vary widely, and depends on the age, wear, and type of tire.
If the tire is over two years old, you’ll probably pay half the price that you would if you purchased it new. However, certain kinds of damage can make the tire even cheaper.
Therefore, it may seem like a great deal to purchase used tires, as you’re spending about half as much as you would with used tires. However, you also have to consider the safety concerns that come with the tire.
Simply put, you don’t know where the tire came from or how it was previously taken care of. While tires can usually last six years in normal conditions, that assumes the tire was taken care of. If you weren’t the one taking care of the tire, there is no way to tell how it was treated.
A car wreck will easily put you out hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Therefore, you should carefully consider whether saving a few hundred on tires now is worth the potential risk in the future.
The main problem with used tires is that they’re old, meaning the rubber has had time to wear down and degrade, which increases the chance of an accident.
Furthermore, used tires may not even save you money. You may pay less upfront, but the shorter lifespan of used tires often means that you’ll be paying more in the long term.