Walmart is one of the largest and most well-known retailers on earth. The company buys huge amounts of almost everything under the sun and then sells those items at prices that are typically lower than the competitors. The same is true for tires, as many Walmart locations have an adjacent auto repair center that operates largely under the same business model. Walmart sells many of the most popular tire brands in the United States, and offers installation as well as protection services for tires purchased at one of its locations.
Walmart has been found to offer tires at prices that undercut other tire retailers, including those that offer discount pricing. Walmart’s tire prices slide in under those found at Sam’s Club, Discount Tire Direct, BJ’s Tires Center, and several others. Even with that stellar pricing, however, Walmart has struggled to break through with consumer ratings, only earning a Consumer Reports score of 81, where others earned an 83 or higher in recent testing.
The first, and most important thing you’ll need to find out is which of your local Walmart stores offer tire and auto services. Some stores have different service offerings, so it’s important to nail down the one that has the tire services or auto services that you need. This can be done online, so there’s no need to physically drive anywhere until you’re ready to have the tires installed.
Walmart offers a few different options when it comes to having tires installed. The basic package costs $15 per tire if the tires are purchased at Walmart, and includes mounting and balancing, valve stems or TPMS service, and lifetime balancing of the tires. The value package costs $25 per tire, and adds a road hazard protection warranty to the tires.
If you buy tires at Walmart and don’t install them for one reason or another, you should be able to return them with little to no penalty. The store also offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, which states that if you are unhappy you have three months to return them. Beyond that, it’s up to either the manufacturer’s warranty or the road hazard warranty you purchased from Walmart to replace defective tires.
Walmart offers some of the lowest prices anywhere and will price match a competitor if you find lower pricing. Various installation and coverage/service options are available, which means you can find the setup that works best for your needs.
Walmart has accumulated plenty of reviews over the years, both good and bad. According to Consumer Affairs, most of its reviews for Walmart are positive, but there are others with less shining opinions of the store.
“How can you go wrong with having your oil changed or tires rotated while you shop. Been using them for years and have gotten great deals on Goodyear tires too. Very easy. Just show up most Saturdays and they got the car in right away. 20 minutes later I have my groceries and they hand me the keys to my car. Plus you never have the hassle of the big shops trying to sell you shocks.. exhaust systems...or needing a new transmission BS! They even double check the work and put marks on the filter and drain plug showing it was looked over before they were done.”
“Every time I go to Walmart to get my car serviced, I always get greeted by my first name, my type of automobile, and welcomed back with open arms. They always look for ways to discount my service invoice to decrease my bill every time. They always make sure I get the parts I want not only what they provide to sell to me. Very Impressed with them. Thanks.”
“The service was great, very quick and never had any issues the new tires. I like that very still on the same trip, best shopping while I get my car fixed set there was able to take her at you dance, by the time I was done shopping, my car was ready to go. Great customer service.”
“Went to the store today to get my tires balanced and they told me my lug nuts were too tight and they could not work on my car. I paid for lifetime balance. I offered to loosen them with my factory tire wrench and they say they can't touch my car if I do that. Wal-Mart employee said I could not bring my car there if I wanted my tires balanced. I would have to bring them one at a time. I get home and my tires are torqued to 85 foot pounds which is exactly what the cars Manuel says. They were rude and lied about everything; do not use Walmart for tires in Winfield they're not what they used to be.”
“This is about the Auto Center only. The rest of the store is OK. Very disappointed in management and policy of this one. Bought tires @ Walmart.com and scheduled installation. All sites including Toyota, Cooper Tires, Tire Rack, etc. and theirs when I purchased confirmed they were a fit. After driving 30 miles for my appointment it took them over an hour to say they couldn't mount them due to the factory tire size on the door jamb was different. First the manager overrode the mechanics and said we were good. But 45 minutes later when I check up the manager sided with the mechanics because some vague reference book they had said the size I had showed on aluminum wheels. I guess Sears missed that 8 years and 60,000 miles ago with the same size tires as purchased, even though they saw them on the vehicle.”
You’ll likely find stories online that Walmart offers subpar tires with lower than acceptable quality standards, but we cannot verify these to be true. In reality, Walmart’s pricing is likely due to its ability to purchase in volume to achieve the lowest costs for its stores, which in turn gives customers better tire prices.
In many cases, purchasing tires online will allow you to find the tire model you want and have it shipped directly to your chosen installation location. Large online tire retailers like Tire Rack have partnerships with many local shops and will ship there directly at no additional cost.
Yes, Amazon sells almost anything you can think of. If you’re looking to buy from Amazon, you may need to find your own tire installer and have them shipped there, so it’s important to do your research ahead of time.
The “worst” tire brands will vary depending on the type of tire you’re buying. There are several off-brand or “no-name” tires that don’t live up to the longevity standards set by more mainstream counterparts. Do your research before buying. You can read our article about Best Tire Brands on the market to learn more.
As with almost anything you’re buying used, it’s important to trust the seller over anything else. The used tire market in the United States is largely unregulated, which means that there are no standards that a used set of tires has to meet prior to being sold. Read more on why Car Talk does not endorse purchasing used tires here.
Ordering your tires online vs. the shop will save you money