Consumer Reports releases list of highest-rated tire retailers
YONKERS, N.Y. — Costco Wholesale Corp., Tirerack.com, Les Schwab Tire Centers and Discount Tire/America's Tire are the highest rated U.S. retailers of tires according to Consumer Reports magazine.
The magazine recently scoped out the tire retailing sector, asking its 48,525 subscribers who had purchased tires in 2016 to weigh in on a variety of satisfaction factors.
In all, the magazine received reports on 50,125 tire-buying and/or installation experiences from walk-in chains, online retailers, independent tire retailers, and car dealerships.
As a broad category, independent retailers are on par with the top-rated chain retailers, CR reported.
Costco received high marks for its prices, CR reported, but its ratings for selection, waiting area, and installation time garnered lower marks.
Online retailer Tirerack.com received top marks for both selection and checkout ease, one of the few to do so. CR also got feedback on Amazon.com and TireBuyer.com, which it said also were rated highly for these traits.
Most of the other retailers earned favorable marks for satisfaction, CR said, but its survey respondents noted differences in areas such as sales staff helpfulness, quality of installation, quality of the waiting area and perks offered.
Up to 95 percent of survey respondents said their installation was completed within the original estimated time and most shoppers reported having a "highly favorable" installation experience.
Tire-seller websites were judged to be easy to use and offer quality support provided via notifications, shipment tracking and live chat.
Sears, NTB, Pep Boys, Tire Kingdom, and Mavis Discount Tire are among the lowest-rated tire retailers on CR's list, receiving lower grades because of a lack of perks offered and lengthy installation times.
The retailers are presented below in rank order, starting with the top-rated retailer.
Company (median tire cost)
- Costco ($166)
- Tirerack.com ($177)
- Les Schwab Tire Centers ($187)
- Discount Tire ($173)
- Independent retailers ($167)
- Fountain Tire (N.A.)
- Amazon.com ($124)
- Tire Barn / Monro Inc. ($183)
- Tirebuyer.com ($147)
- Belle Tire Distributors ($168)
- BJ's Wholesale Club ($154)
- Kal Tire ($259)
- Kauffman Tire ($166)
- Dunn Tire ($155)
- Sullivan Tire ($179)
- Sam's Club ($148)
- Just Tires / Goodyer (N.A.)
- Car Dealerships ($194)
- Big O Tires ($168)
- Tire Discounters ($183)
- Goodyear Auto Service ($166)
- Firestone Complete Auto Care ($152)
- Tire Warehouse / Monro Inc. ($161)
- Tires Plus / Bridgestone Retail ($158)
- Town Fair Tire Centers ($171)
- Monro Muffler Brake (N.A.)
- American Tire Depot (N.A.)
- Mr. Tire / Monro Inc. ($175)
- Walmart ($118)
- Merchant's / TBC Corp. (N.A.)
- Sears Auto Centers ($164)
- NTB / TBC Corp. ($162)
- Pep Boys / Icahn Automotive ($145)
- Tire Kingdom / TBC Corp. ($172)
- Mavis Discount Tire ($159)
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