How to be an informed buyer when replacing tires

Does your vehicle need new tires but you’re short of money? Find out what to check before buying, and how tire financing can help.

It’s hard to imagine how car tire prices have gone up. The consumer tire market has dramatically changed since the world took the COVID-19 punch. Reportedly, there’s been a 30% increase in car tire prices since last year. Additionally, 2023 holds a record for a 7% high inflation in 40 years! 

No wonder consumers are opting for buy now pay later tires to save more. Honestly, the finance option is a boon. It gets the job done, offers the credit needed, and a timely payment means zero additional charges.

The deal sounds incredible! But is there a catch? Will you end up paying more? What if you can’t repay on time? How does it affect your credit score? Fret not! We’ve got answers to all your questions.

What should you check before considering tire replacement?

Before we talk about finance options, it’s necessary to determine the existing tire condition. It’s only common for people to jump to the idea of replacing tires without running a full vehicle assessment. Here are some vital points : 

  • Check for signs of uneven wear and tear:This signals a greater problem than tires. In most cases, your tires are either misaligned or it’s a faulty suspension. If left unfixed, it can significantly affect tire lifespan. 
  • The type of tire you choose matters: Weather conditions can wreak havoc on tires. Usually, most automobiles come with all-season tires, which works fine. But sometimes, you might need to consider summer or winter tires. It accounts for more excellent traction and performance. 
  • Pay attention to the spare: Spare tires aren’t used daily and thus show fewer signs of wear and tear. However, it can get damaged in parts when left unused for years. When the time comes, it might not work as desired. Hence, consider replacing your spare tire with the other four for complete peace of mind. 

Weighing up the pros and cons of tire financing

No matter how hard it is, a car owner will always find a way to keep the tires rolling neat. And while tire financing is always an option, it has its fair share of pros and cons.

Here’s what’s good about tire financing:

  • You can take home a new set of wheels even if you’re cash-crunched. 
  • You can enjoy an interest-free period if you pay on time and thus save more.
  • You get easy approval with proof of steady income and a decent credit score.

And here’s what’s bad about tire financing:

  • You end up paying a higher interest when you have dues crossing the repayment period.
  • Your credit score takes a hit if you miss a single payment.
  • You might end up overspending on other items when you have a long repayment period. 

Things to check as an informed buyer 

You already know how a buy now pay later finance plan works for tires. Now, it’s time to pay attention to technical details before signing the agreement.

  • Start with the fine print. That’s where the real things are. Take time to understand each term and its implications, the applicable rate of interest, and penalties. 
  • Go over the payment schedule again and again. Check if the monthly repayments fit your budget. Look out for an interest-free period, if any, and try to repay your loan within the timeframe. It will save you from additional charges. 
  • Run a cost-to-cost analysis of a buy now pay later plan to a credit card purchase. There’s a good chance you can find a better option.

After signing the agreement, set reminders to ensure you don’t miss the repayment dates.

Is tire financing right for you?

Tires are the first thing in your car that comes in contact with the road. Naturally, they take on the maximum damage and need replacing. But with high market prices, buying a full set of new tires can be difficult. 

That’s where tire financing comes in. When the cash flow is hard, it checks the box for convenience. However, assessing your repayment capacity before you say yes to a buy-now-pay-later plan is necessary. 

Also, check for the lender details, reputation, and customer reviews. If everything else checks out okay, there can’t be a better way to buy your desired wheels.