I Leased my Car Should I buy Snow Tires or Snow Tires and Wheels?

I answer this question often and see clients struggling on what to do with the snow package.  "Should I use a winter tire and wheel package or use my stock wheels and remount my summer and winter tires each season?" 
This is the conversion summary on a winter package I helped a client with this week.  He had leased a 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX for three years.  Initially he was looking at snow tires for the stock wheels.  After deciding the Studless Ice and Snow category best fit his needs we narrowed the tire down to the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60.  Which is priced atBridgestone Blizzak WS 60 $137 each plus shipping at $57.22 UPS Ground on four tires.  The price of his snow tires delivered was going too be $605.22 not to bad.  Then we looked at recommended installers for his Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 snow tires.   The average price of local installers in Littleton, Colorado for the 225/45R17 that came on the Subaru is $24.00 per tire. Each seasonal switch would cost $96 changing them twice a year at $192 over three years $576 just to switch tires out.  You can see where this is going and why he did go with the winter tires and wheels from the Tire Rack.  The client liked the preferred winter tire (205/55R16 Bridgestone Blizzak WS 60 priced at $107each) but not the wheels so he selected the Sport Edition F7($91 each).  When you purchase a winter tire and wheel package from the Tire Rack we will mount and balance your package at no charge using Hunter Road Force Balancing.  Also we will include all lug hardware and any small parts needed for the package.  The Subaru Impreza WRX 4-Door Base model is recommended to use a 16 inch snow tire and wheel package.  Some benefits would be
  • A narrower tire for better winter traction
  • A wheel with a finish approved for winter driving conditions
  • Typically a better price point than the original equipment sizeSport Edition F7
The total price for four of the 225/45R17 Bridgestone Blizzak WS 60s delivered to Littleton Colorado is $605.22 vs the Shipped price of the Sport Edition F7 and 205/55R16 Bridgestone Blizzak WS 60 at $901.88 but don't forget the price of mounting over the next three years at $576.00.  So the winter tire and Sport Editionwheel package from the Tire Rack may be an investment up front but could save some money in the long run.  In this order I saved the client $279.34 in the long run.  A couple of other thoughts on tire and wheel packages vs. switching tires out seasonally.
  • Winter tires typically last 3-4 winters, exactly the life of most car leases
  • Using winter tires and wheels will allow the summer/All season tires to last longer
  • Snow tires and wheel packages will keep your summer tires from pothole damage.
Check the preferred winter package for your vehicle at TireRack.com


Saturday, November 29, 2014 by John Stewart

Similar Q- daughter has a '10 MazdaCX7 grand touring with 19" tires.re: Snow Tires- Is it more cost effective to get smaller tires & wheels ?

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