Whether you're dealing with a single flat tire or all the tires on your vehicle are worn, the fact remains that buying new tires can be costly. In fact, a single all-season car tire can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 brand-new. And if you need a tire for a larger vehicle, such as a truck or SUV, you can expect to pay even more.
If money is tight, you always have the option of buying used tires as a means of saving money. A used tire costs a fraction of a new one and can get you back on the road safely. As you shop for used tires, though, there are some things you should do to make sure you're buying a quality tire that will last you for many miles to come.
Check the Tread Depth
First of all, you should always look at a used tire in person; this will allow you to perform your own inspection before buying. One of the first things you should do is to check the depth of the tread. You can do this by using the tried-and-true "penny test." Take a penny and place it upside down into the tread of the tire. If you can see the entirety of Abe Lincoln's head, the tread is too worn and you should look elsewhere.
Ask About a Warranty
A reputable tire retailer will stand behind their products, even if they're used. While you shouldn't expect to get the same warranty on a used tire that you would on a brand-new one, your used tire should still come with some sort of warranty for your added peace of mind.
Check the Tire Identification Number
To find out how old the tire is that you're looking at, check the tire identification number (TIN) on the sidewall of the tire. Typically, this will be a four-digit number that pinpoints the week and year the tire was made. For example, a tire with a TIN of 0817 would indicate that the tire was manufactured during the eighth week of 2017. Ideally, you will want to purchase a tire that is no more than a few years old.
Buying used tires can be a great way to save some of your hard-earned money while keeping yourself (and others) safe on the road. Just be sure to keep these tips in mind as you shop for used tires!