Is Buying Used Tires a Good Idea?

Explore the feasibility of buying used tires for your vehicle

January 04, 2021

If you’ve been wondering whether buying used tires is a good idea, you are not alone. Many vehicle owners often ask for our recommendation on buying used tires, especially for replacing a single tire that’s damaged.

Admittedly, one of the biggest advantages of used tires is that consumers are able to save money. Used tires are an inexpensive alternative to new tires as they go for only a fraction of the cost of new ones. A brand new tire can cost anywhere from $100 and up to $600, depending on the size of the tire, the type of car or truck, and the brand selected. In contrast, used tires are usually $25-$75.

Plus, used tires are a great way to save our planet. It is very difficult to recycle used tires, and storing used tires at dumps and recycling facilities poses an environmental hazard.  

Are used tires safe for you and your vehicle?

Perhaps, the biggest drawback to used tires is the assumption that they are not safe. While it’s true that the health of your tires can determine your safety, it’s important to know that used tires are different from old, worn-out tires.

Most used tires come from cars involved in accidents or those just scrapped because the cost of repairs surpasses the car's value. These damaged cars are usually sent to the scrapyard to be crushed, but lots of parts are removed to be resold, including wheels and tires. A significant number of vehicles meant for scrapping have nearly-new tires on them, and these are safe.

In a way, buying used tires is like buying a used car – it all boils down to your knowledge and the safety aspects you keep in mind when you want to make a purchase.

Tips for buying used tires

Looking to purchase used tires? Here are a few things to know before you commit to investing in them.

Buy from a reputable establishment.

The most common mistake many vehicle owners make is buying used tires from an individual. Just as there are honest people out there, there are also those looking to the advantage of people who don’t know enough about used tires. Buying from an establishment eliminates the risk of buying worn-out tires from unscrupulous people.

Check for production dates.

While buying from an establishment reduces the risk of buying old, worn-out tires, you still need to do due diligence to confirm that the tires are in good condition and an excellent way to do that is to check for the manufacturing date marked next to the DOT code and looks like a 4 digit number representing the week and year of manufacture. For example: DOT 5019 – this will read as week 50 of 2019. Buying a tire that’s over 2 years old is not recommended.  

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.

It’s always a great idea to stick to the recommendation of your manufacturer when it comes to the size of the tire. It also reduces the risks of issues arising from the purchase.

Test tire tread

Finally, be sure to carry out your inspection. Check the surface for cuts, uneven surface and cracks in the rubber. Consider the depth of the tread and look out for exposed cords as they show whether the tire is usable or worn out.


Used tires are a great option to consider if you’re looking to save some bucks or preserve the environment. By following the tips above, you will find used tires that are relatively new and in great condition.


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