Buying New Tires Before Winter Shortage
By Ursula Nizalowski
In wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to deal with all kinds of supply shortages. From
toilet paper to certain grocery store foods, these shortages have impacted our daily lives in ways
we could not have imagined beforehand. And now, it’s predicted that another major shortage is
going to happen this year. Namely, rubber tires. So it might be a good idea to start buying new
tires now instead of waiting for winter.
How Did We Get Here
There are a number of contributing factors for the coming shortage in rubber. First, the price in
rubber has “increased due to flooding and leaf disease ravaging the supply” according to
Newsweek . What this means is rubber trees have significantly dwindled in the aftermath of these
natural disasters, and thus led to higher prices for the raw product. On top of that, COVID-19
caused automakers to halt purchasing new rubber. But they failed to predict the increased
demand for cars due to travel restrictions and safety concerns because of COVID, and now tire
plants are being forced “to work overtime” MotorBiscuit says which includes buying more
rubber. As a result, there are production delays and lack of stock that will negatively affect car
manufacturers in the coming months.
Where To Get New Tires
Online Stores – For the sake of convenience, and those who live in remote places, the
internet is the best option. Some reputable websites for buying tires include Tirebuyer and the
one Tire Rack has, which The Drive reports are not only “easy-to-use” but also offer tires from
different manufacturers that aren’t limited by what’s available in a physical store. The
downsides to ordering tires online include the risk of getting defective or damaged products.
Chain Stores – While there are exclusively online stores for buying tires, most chain
auto supply stores have gone hybrid with physical locations and a website to order equipment
from. So companies like Discount Tire and National Tire & Battery offer the convenience of
online purchasing and good services for installing tires. Unfortunately, there’s not as much
variety in the products offered as well as limited store locations depending on where one lives.
Local Stores – In addition to chain tire stores, there are locally owned tire stores like
Scotty’s Complete Car Care in Grand Junction. The advantage of local stores is the products are
usually cheaper than what’s offered in the chain stores and the in-person interactions can
sometimes be more trustworthy compared to chain stores. With that said, there are limited
supplies in local stores and customers may have to wait for their tires “to be installed” Auto
Trends Magazine says.
Alternative Methods for Dealing with Winter
Depending on the brand, new tires can be expensive. So a cheaper option would be to put chains
on the tires for winter instead of getting new tires altogether. Plus, chains “provide the greatest
amount of traction on ice, packed snow, and deep snow” Metromile Insurance claims. Though in
each state, there are laws and regulations for what kinds of chains one can buy and when they are
required to be in use. For instance, Colorado has a chain law that requires vehicles traveling on
I-70 to have chains on at all times or some kind of equivalent like tire cables and autosocks .
For more information on tires and insurance coverage, feel free to contact attorney Rick Wagner .