Tires costing less than $5,000 are expected to cost more in the near future, with a growing number of companies offering cheaper models.
The tire industry is expected to spend $1.6 billion this year on premium tires, according to the Tire & Rubber Institute.
The group estimates that by 2020, the cost of a $500 tire will be $1,900, a 35 percent increase over 2016.
But while premium tires are more expensive than regular tires, they’re still affordable for many.
In 2017, a $5 tire cost $7.19, a 25 percent decrease from 2016, according the group.
While the cost may be higher than a $10 tire, consumers can still save money by getting tires that have more features.
The more features, the better.
“We think the average person will spend less money on the average tire and they’ll spend more money on more features,” said Paul B. Rolle, chief executive of the Tire Research Group.
Rolle said that a $2,000 tire will have “better air pressure and traction, but they’re not going to be as powerful or durable as a $15 tire.”
“People tend to want the best feature,” he said.
Tire companies say they’ve been offering tires for years that are more efficient, lighter, and quieter than the competition.
But consumers still don’t know what that means, and they’re skeptical of the benefits.
“People are buying things they don’t want,” said Chris Noyes, president of the American Tire and Rubber Institute, which represents the industry.
“They’re buying something that they don,t know what they want, and that’s why they buy them.”
Many companies offer lower-priced versions of their tires.
Tire experts say the higher prices aren’t as much a deterrent for people who are willing to spend more for a better tire, because they’re less expensive.
“It’s really more of a cost-savings opportunity than a cost advantage,” said Richard Anderson, director of marketing for the industry group American Tire & Rubber.
Anderson said that many consumers don’t understand the difference between the cheaper tires and the higher-priced ones, and so they choose the cheaper model.
“They don’t realize how much more power, how much smoother they’re going to feel on the road,” he added.
Tires that are made with recycled materials, such as aluminum or carbon fiber, are expected be the most cost-effective to use for long-term road travel.
And consumers may find the higher performance and quieter tire more appealing than the cheaper ones.
“I’m not sure people understand that it’s a much more environmentally friendly tire,” Anderson said.
But, he added, “I think that when you’re spending $1 to $5 on a tire, you should be using the best tire.”