Purchasing a tire shouldn’t cause anxiety among drivers, and a recent report by Consumer Reports indicates that the tire-buying experience, while it varies from retailer to retailer, is more often than not a positive one.
Essentially the piece in CR is based on a survey rating 18 retail tire-supply chains, as well as a look at independent shops and automotive dealerships. More than 5,000 members responded to the survey conducted over 12 months in 2022.
Of the 18 retailers, 15 were rated above average for overall satisfaction; Only three brand-name retailers were rated average or lower, according to the CR survey, which addressed variations in shop selections, installation time, and waiting areas. More than half of the sample surveys said they were “completely satisfied” with their tire purchase experience, overall, and 33 percent were very satisfied — a near match from the previous survey from May, 2021.
Among name-brand retailers, Les Schwab Tire Centers, Kal Tire, Discount Tire and Tire Rack were among the highest in the ratings. Independent retailers finished at the top, with an overall satisfaction score of 94.
Pep Boys were dead last, with a score of 32.
The ratings also show an estimated cost per tire, and the fee for installation.
“The tire buying experience looks quite positive for most shoppers, based on our latest member survey,” says Ryan Pszczolkowski, Consumer Reports’ tire program manager. “But there are substantial differences in facets of the shopping experience that may drive customers to favor certain retailers. For instance, online retailers offer a wide selection, while physical retail stores may be more limited but may be able to get what you want if you can wait.”
To check out the survey (CR subscription required for the full results), look here.