Tires are one of the most important safety-related features on your car. They’re often the only thing between you and getting stuck or, worse, getting into a wreck. Because of that, you should keep an eye on their condition, and replace them when they become too worn out or they get damaged. The modern world makes that job easier because you can buy them online, from the comfort of your computer chair. One place to do that is SimpleTire.
SimpleTire is a relative newcomer to the tire game, having assumed its current form in 2012 when its founders moved from running a single independent tire shop to a system that networks tire shops around the country. That network allows them to source tires that might otherwise be hard to find, as well as providing a wide selection of preferred installers.
The company enjoyed a meteoric rise since its founding, being named one of America’s fastest growing private companies by Inc Magazine. Their success caught the attention of Dealer Tire, which became a significant private equity investor in 2018.
Great prices, wide selection and unmatched convenience
SimpleTire connects thousands of independent tire shops nationwide into a network, which lets them offer a large variety of tires and local installation shops for almost any location. Customers can buy tires on their website for shipment to a tire shop, and in some cases can pre-pay the installation costs.
If you’re experiencing sticker shock from the price a good set of tires will cost you, SimpleTire offers financing which gives you up to a year to pay in full. However, this will cost you more in the long run as you will be borrowing the money at between 10 and 30 percent APR. As the company says in an example on their website, a $950 set of tires will actually cost you $1057 at the median APR if you take the whole year to pay them off.
Unlike many other online tire sellers, SimpleTire does not have an automated assistant to help you choose your tires. But you can call an 800 number, or send them an email for assistance.
The site does have a fairly robust collection of articles to educate you about tires, including buying guides. Just click the “learn” link at the top right hand area of the site to access quite a lot of information.
Picking the correct size of tire for your vehicle is easier, however. Simply enter the year, make, model, trim, and possibly a few other details and the site will show you only tires that will fit. If you already know the tire size your car uses, you can search for that directly.
As with any tire shop, SimpleTires’ prices vary depending on which tire you’re buying. For example, with a 2016 Lexus ES, we saw prices ranging from under $80 for low-recognition brands to over $200 for premium tires. Coupons and discounts are available, including a 5% military discount. The company also advertises up to 20% off if you sign up for their email and text message marketing program.
Tires are shipped via companies like FedEx and UPS. SimpleTire’s site says orders are processed 30 minutes after they’re placed. Shipping speeds will largely depend on the carrier’s schedule. The good news is that shipping is free.
Or at least, the company says it’s free. However, when we filled our test shopping cart with tires, we noticed a shipping and handling fee added on which was about 20 bucks for an order just under $1,000. That might just be the handling charge, but the store would do well to make that more clear to avoid confusion.
You can either have tires shipped to your home to be installed at a shop of your choice, or you can choose one of SimpleTire’s network of shops and pay for your installation when you check out. If you pick the latter option, the tires will be shipped to the store you choose, and all you need to do is schedule an appointment to have them installed.
Defective and incorrect orders can be returned for a full refund or credit toward a replacement. If you want to return tires because you’ve changed your mind, you can do that within 30 days of delivery. Tires returned for that reason must be unused and unmounted. You’ll get a refund minus a $15 handling fee per tire. That fee is waived if you ordered the wrong size, but place another order for the correct size with SimpleTire.
Warranties are handled by the tire manufacturer - a practice which is common not only for tire stores, but many other retail industries as well. If you experience a manufacturer’s defect with a tire, you’ll need to contact the tire company for warranty claims.
While SimpleTire doesn’t warranty the tires it sells against defects, you can however add a road hazard warranty, which will cover you for 3 years on a prorated basis. The first year will cover up to $400 for replacement, with coverage dropping by $100 per year thereafter. That program also provides for tire repair when replacement isn’t necessary, of up to $25 per fix. While the company doesn’t say how the price for the road hazard warranty is set, our calculations show that it’ll cost about 15% of the price of the tire.
We don’t have any experience buying tires from SimpleTire, but others who have shopped with the company are generally pleased with their experience. Some customers note that they were able to buy hard to find tires easily via SimpleTire, which can be an advantage if you have a vehicle that requires unusually sized tires.
We tested this by checking out the selection for a 1993 Toyota MR2. That’s a vehicle for which it is becoming ever harder to find decent tires, especially for the oddball-sized rear wheels. SimpleTire had only one option for those rears, but the good news is that the tire they offer is a pretty good one; the Yokohama Advan A052. The downside to that tire is that it’s classified as an extreme-performance summer-only tire, which means it’ll perform very well on dry, good roads and not so well on ice. On the other hand, few people would want to drive an MR2 through the winter.
That Yokohama tire is also the only option for the MR2 we found on other sites, but SimpleTire’s price was the lowest we found, with only one other site pricing their Advans as low as SimpleTire.
One thing that sets SimpleTire apart from many of its competitors is that it only sells tires. While most tire shops also offer wheels, and sometimes accessories like tire racks, SimpleTire keeps it, well, simple.
That focus minimizes upsells and other distractions, but if you’re hoping for a wheel and tire package, you’ll not find it here.
Reviews of SimpleTire online are generally positive. It has a Trustpilot rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, with 76% of those reviewers rating their experience as “excellent,” and only 12% saying the company’s performance was “bad.” However, perhaps because it’s such a relative newcomer to the scene, we weren’t able to find reviews on other well-known sites such as Consumer Affairs, nor were we able to find any commentary from Consumer Reports about SimpleTire.
Great prices, wide selection and unmatched convenience
Yes. Reviewers who have bought tires from them have reported overall positive experiences, and there’s no indication that the company is anything but what it claims.
Brothers Andy and Josh Chalofsky founded the company with their friend Kenny Pratt. The three still run the business, but a significant investment partner is Dealer Tire.
Company HQ is in Trevose, PA, but its network of tire shops spans the nation.
Shipping times depend on the carrier doing the shipping. SimpleTire ships via FedEx, UPS, and other major shippers.
Yes. Alternatively, you can choose a tire shop to have them shipped to.
Ordering your tires online vs. the shop will save you money