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.
The Managing Editor of Car Talk reached out to SimpleTire about the two items above. The company responded immediately, which we always like to see. SimpleTire took some time to sit down with Car Talk to discuss their business model, their goals and their unique offerings.
When asked about the website design, the VP of Digital Experience at SimpleTire had this to say.
“At SimpleTire our goal is to create an experience that is not only user friendly but radically simple. As part of our process, we hold monthly focus groups with tire buyers who are intentionally not our customers. These shoppers offer an invaluable source of unbiased feedback that enables us to deliver a best-in-class experience.”
- Rich Zapf, VP of Digital Experience
We also brought up the fact that their site does not have an automated helper, like most of the competing sites in the industry. SimpleTire made their choice about this very clear. They don’t see this as something that is missing, but rather a conscious choice to pull out the impersonal experience of an AI and replace it with a human being. When you contact SimpleTire, you always get a person, not a computer.
“Replacing tires isn’t always fun, and we know that no tire needs are ever the same. For us, providing a way simple, way better experience goes beyond having a great website. Whether through our call center, online, chat, or social media, we take a personalized approach to getting each customer the help they need.”
- Karthik Iyer, President of SimpleTire
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 pre-pay for 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. You will always be talking to a person.
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 tire size 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.
SimpleTire also has a new technology function that is noteworthy called SimpleSnap. This very intuitive and unique phone app allows customers to take a picture of the current tire on their car with their smartphone and then find the exact tires they need to fit their vehicle.
Car Talk recently sat down with the team at SimpleTire to talk about their business strategy and what has been working for them. We asked SimpleTire to list their 10 best selling tires for our readership. We love to hear from the experts about what is working, what is popular and what products are gaining the most attention and positive ratings and reviews.
Toyo Open Country A/T III: The Toyo Open Country A/T III is a dependable, aggressive all-terrain tire. This is an excellent choice for SUVs and light trucks, providing stable off-road traction and maintaining positive customer reviews.
Nitto Ridge Grappler: The Ridge Grappler from Nitto is a workhorse for light trucks and SUVs. The all-terrain tread makes this tire a great choice for trails and rough roads. The Variable Patch Tread Pattern is known for stability and traction.
Nitto Terra Grappler G2: Another excellent choice from Nitto for all-terrain and off-road capabilities is the Terra Grappler G2. This well reviewed tire is a good choice for light trucks and SUVs alike.
Nitto NT555 G2: For the warm weather performance drivers who need a functional, sleek tire for wet and dry conditions, Nitto offers the NT555 G2. This tire offers excellent traction and cornering ability.
Falken Wildpeak A/T3W: Falken is one of the most trusted brands in the tire industry. The all-terrain offering, Wildpeak A/T3W is a solid choice for drivers who want excellent off-roading capabilities paired with exceptional traction and grip.
Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 PLUS: This highly rated and reviewed all-season/performance passenger tire from Continental offers excellence in traction and performance. The ExtremeContact DWS06 is a great choice for SUVs, Crossovers and passenger cars.
Toyo Open Country M/T: This durable all-terrain offering from Toyo is for full-sized, heavy duty trucks that need endurance, traction and handling on rough surfaces. The Open Country M/T is for drivers who need solid grip and durability.
Kumho Road Venture AT52: The Road Venture AT52 offering from Kumho is a great choice for all-terrain vehicles. This tire offers enhanced tread life and carries the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake certification for use in wintery conditions.
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2: This dependable all-terrain tire from well-known tire brand BFGoodrich is a solid choice for SUVs and light trucks that need endurance in wet and snowy conditions. The All-Terrain T/A K02 features the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake certification and exceptional customer ratings.
Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3: This popular all-season tire from Pirelli offers year round traction and performance for SUVs, Crossovers and light trucks. The Scorpion AS Plus 3 is a solid choice for drivers who need dependability, and Pirelli offers these tires with an excellent tread life warranty.
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 $99 for low-recognition brands to over $250 for premium tires. Coupons and discounts are available, including military and healthcare worker discounts. 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.
“Most customers receive their tires in 2 days. We actually deliver 25% of our tires the next day to our customers."
- Andy Chalofsky, Chief Executive Officer for SimpleTire
SimpleTire says there is only one instance where there might be a small shipping and handling fee of only $9.96 for a set of 4 tires, if you are having them shipped to yourself. If you choose one of the thousands of partner shops for delivery and installation, shipping is free. And honestly, there is no reason to ship a set of 4 tires to your home, unless you love the idea of dragging them across town to the installer yourself. And that sounds like no fun.
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 you can even schedule your installation appointment during the checkout process. The company has designed the process to be as simple as possible, hence the name.
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 unusual tire sizes
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, most affordable we found, with only one other site pricing their Advans as reasonable as SimpleTire.
The company has a huge range of tire sizes, from common passenger vehicle tires, to more exotic options, like tires for your Lamborghini Mach-VRT tractor, which was a stellar discovery for us! These tractor tire sizes are so incredibly cool. Front tire size: 540/65R34! Rear tire size: 650/65R42!
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.
SimpleTire earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Reviews of SimpleTire online are generally positive. Simple Tire earns a solid 4.6 score on Google and has over 3,500 reviews. One review we found helpful was: “I recently ordered tires from here. I had a major issue with the installation company. I immediately contacted SimpleTire. They quickly took my complaint and discounted my purchase in addition to reimbursing me in full to have the tires mounted at a different facility. You can measure a company by how they deal with a problem. Simple Tire made certain that I was satisfied. It’s hard to find companies these days that truly care about customer satisfaction. I highly recommend this company and will do business with them again.”
We sorted Google’s reviews by date and found that multiple customers had issues over the past month. More than a few were unhappy with the logistics of the shipping. For example, one customer noted, “Placed an order on Jan 27th 2022, two days later 1 tire shows up via FedEx. My order was for 3 tires. I called Simple tire, explained to them that the FedEx tracking for the remaining 2 tires still says “Label Created” meaning the tires are still sitting at their facility waiting to be picked up by FedEx.” Another customer wrote, “I ordered two tires. First shipment was already delayed, then one tire got lost.” A third review says, “Buy 4 tires, they divided the delivery into 3 parts, in one (2 tires) they placed the incomplete delivery address, another tire correct address but wrong tire and the other delivery in the wrong address.”
In defense of SimpleTire and all online tire retailers we feel that we should mention some of the negative reviews are actually of the tire, not the retailer. Things like owners being unhappy with the treadwear. For example, one tire buyer wrote, “BUYER BEWARE! Purchased a set of 60k tires and only got 30k out of them.” Another reviewer was unhappy that when they searched initially for a tire, it was in stock. After some time passed and they decided to place an order they were not. Many of the reviews are of these types, and have nothing to do with poor service from the retailer.
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. Simple Tire has been in business for 11 years and earns an A+ rating from BBB.
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