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    Most and Least Satisfying Tire Retailers

    Tire buyers in CR's exclusive survey rate 18 retail chains, as well as independent shops and car dealerships

    aisle of tires in store Photo: iStock

    You can buy car tires at a wide range of vendors, from big-box stores to web-based businesses. And while the tires themselves might be the same, a new survey from Consumer Reports shows that the tire-buying experience varies from retailer to retailer. That’s why you should think as much about where you buy your tires as you consider which tires to buy.

    Consumer Reports surveyed members who bought tires in the preceding 12 months and asked them about their overall satisfaction and about their purchase experience. More than 5,000 members responded to the survey conducted in the fall of 2022.


    Among name-brand retailers, Les Schwab Tire Centers, Kal Tire, Discount Tire, Tire Rack, and America’s Tire were among the tops in the ratings. As a broad category, our members rated independent retailers they bought tires from as even higher than these leading chains. Car dealerships as a group landed just behind the leaders, with a strong, above-average overall satisfaction. 

    Of the 18 surveyed retailers, 15 were rated above average for overall satisfaction; Only three brand-name retailers were rated average or lower. It is in the detailed ratings that the retailers were distinguished, with notable variations in selections, installation time, and waiting area.

    Over half of the members (56 percent) who took our survey were completely satisfied with their tire purchase experience, overall, and 33 percent were very satisfied—a near match from our last survey, reported in May 2021.

    “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.”

    The retailers are presented below in order of how they rate for overall satisfaction, starting with the top-rated retailer, with the estimated cost per tire and estimated installation cost per tire, when available. These estimates are based on the prices members paid for their tires from retailers. The tire cost estimates control for car type and do not include installation costs. The installation estimates control for car-type and only include the responses of members who paid for installation. These statistical adjustments ensure the figures can be compared between retailers, who might otherwise service different vehicle mixes that would impact their average costs. 

    See the complete tire retailer satisfaction scores, including ratings across key purchase and installation factors.

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