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Mechanic Shop FemmeChaya Milchtein is an automotive educator, writer, and speaker. She'll be here every other week answering all your car questions. Need to know what engine oil you need? She's got you covered. Wondering what gas your car really needs? She has an answer. Let's untangle cars together.

I started my career in the automotive industry by selling tires at Sears Auto Center. Much to my surprise, I quickly found out how little I—and nearly everyone else—knew about tires. Not just that, people often came in last minute to buy tires without doing much research and often.

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Not being prepared to buy tires isn’t just unfortunate because you might not get the best tires for your car, it’s also not a cheap problem to fix.

This is one of the core principals that I teach in my new beta virtual class all about tires. You must be prepared—knowing when you need tires is half the battle. Then you can track the sales and get the best deal when you buy them.

There are many places that you can buy tires from, both online and in-store. Often, in my experience, deals online can be better than they are in the store. If you know where to buy, you can check frequently the sites in search of the best deal since sales change often, and vary depending on where you’re looking.

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Illustration for article titled Ask Mechanic Shop Femme: Where Can I Buy Tires Online?
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Wholesale Clubs

Members of wholesale clubs probably already know that they sell tires, and the deals are often quite good. You can buy tires online from Sam’s Club, Costco and BJ’s. The prices vary depending on where you shop, but each of company has its own sales and benefits, so you should pick the one that best suits your needs.

Costco, for example, includes free road hazard with the purchase of their tires. With road hazard, you’ll get five years of free flat repairs and prorated replacement for road-related damage.

Sam’s Club offers roadside assistance that includes flat tire assistance, towing, fuel delivery service, lockout service, and jump-starting.

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Illustration for article titled Ask Mechanic Shop Femme: Where Can I Buy Tires Online?
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Direct From Tire Manufacturers

If you have a specific brand tire in mind, consider buying direct from that brand. Many tire companies like Goodyear allow you to shop and buy your tires right from their website. Other brands, like Michelin, provide you with a wealth of information about their tires and let you know precisely what shops near you stock the option you choose.

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Illustration for article titled Ask Mechanic Shop Femme: Where Can I Buy Tires Online?
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Online Tire Retailers

And then there are the online tire retailers. Often thought of as the places to get the best deal, online tire retailers have other benefits, too. The most important of which is that you can get the best deal and get your tires installed by your regular, trustworthy mechanic.

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Perhaps the most famous online tire retailer, Tire Rack is known for its incredible selection and fantastic deals. Tire Rack has agreements with independent repair shops and corporate chains alike to get you the best deals, not just on tires but on installation as well. They ship for free, not only to those shops but to any US address.

Simple Tire also ships for free, and they promise to get you the tires you order within 2-4 days of purchase. In addition to this, if you’re strapped for cash and must make a purchase, they partner with affirm to offer financing options for their customers. However, watch out for the interest rates on the financing, it’s a worst care scenario option.

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Illustration for article titled Ask Mechanic Shop Femme: Where Can I Buy Tires Online?
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Want the best possible deal on tires? Start planning ahead and know when you’ll likely need to grab a fresh set. Be prepared and shop around as you need that time. Watching the various sites, I’ve listed will make sure you’re getting the best deal.

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Chaya Milchtein is an automotive educator, writer and speaker who's made it her mission empower the average driver. She believes that anything is possible and can be done on your own terms.

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