Discount Tire Vs. Costco – Which One Is Better? (The Differences)

Last Updated on August 19, 2021 by Viva Elizeee

Are you stuck between these two major tire retailers? Well, you’re not alone. On many forums, this comparison is debatable. But, the debate ends in this article. So, keep reading. 

Both Discount Tire and Costco are good. But Discount Tire is better because it offers many brands. Costco is only limited to Bridgestone, Michelin, and BFGoodrich. So, if you’re looking for a rare tire brand, you won’t find it at Costco.

Costco’s Got Perks!

Leaving it there would be unfair for Costco. That is because Costco is also an excellent tire retailer, and why so? Well, being a Costco member comes with some perks. For example, when you pay the $15 installation fee (per tire), you get these free benefits:

1. Inflation checks, rotation, balancing, and puncture repairs for the tire’s lifetime

2. Warranties for road hazard, manufacturer’s defects, and mileage

3. New rubber tire stems and nitrogen tire inflation

And the comparison doesn’t end there. In this article, you’ll get more.

Here’s are the topics I’ve covered:

1. About Discount Tires (America’s tires)

2. Costco

3. Advantage of buying tires at Costco

4. Tire retailer ratings (ConsumerReports.com)

Let’s do this!

About Discount Tires (America’s Tires)

If you didn’t know, Discount Tires goes by the name America’s Tires in other regions. And here’s all you need to know about the retailer:

Pricing

For tire installation, Discount Tire claims a $21 base price. That price includes:

1. Lifetime rotation

2. Balancing

3. Flat repairs

4. Inspections

5. TPMS kits

6. Airchecks

But, the base price does not include tire disposal. For that, you’ll need to pay an extra $2.75 for each tire.

Warranty

Discount Tire offers road hazard coverage. The cover takes care of your new tire set for up to three years after buying. They provide the warranties in these three types:

1. Repair 

2. Refund 

3. Replacement 

The covers have different costs depending on the brand and type of tires you want. But generally, they are about 16% of the tire cost.

Brands And Delivery

As mentioned in the intro, Discount Tire has many brands on hand. So if you make an online search on their platform, you’ll get your desired type. And even more, they can deliver it to you on the same day.

If the tires are coming from a warehouse, you’ll get them the next day. The most you can wait is five days, that is if the retailer is shipping them from elsewhere.

Scheduling For Installation

Discount Tire offers several appointment times for same-day tire installation. You’ll find all that on their scheduling page. Other things it provides include:

1. Vehicle drop-off

2. Booking installation for up to 10 days after your tires arrive

Also, they offer a convenient graph to give you the best time to book an appointment.

User Experience on Official Website

The website’s design is convenient, meaning that customers have little trouble maneuvering. Also, customers can find:

1. Ways to save via coupons

2. Tires that qualify for manufacturer’s discounts and rebates

Note:

Discount Tire is not a one-stop shop. The retailer focuses on installing tires, so don’t expect them to do wheel alignment or any other auto issue.

About Costco

On their website, Costco offers a $60-a-year membership. And here is what the membership is all about:

Where You Can Buy

As a Costco member, you can buy tires online or at a warehouse club location. If you order them online, you can ask Costco to send them to a local store for free.

Costs

For each tire, you’ll pay $20 for installation. For that price, Costco includes the following benefits:

1. Mounting

2. Nitrogen fire inflation (instead of air since nitrogen has better compression)

3. New rubber valve systems

4. Old tire disposal

If you want your TPMS system checked, you’ll pay $3 more for each tire.

And as a buyer, you’re entitled to the following for the rest of the tire’s life:

1. Pressure and inflation checks

2. Rotation and balancing

3. Flat tire repairs

Warranty

Costco offers a five-year warranty against road hazards.

Online Buying Details

If you shop online, you’ll need to wait for Costco to deliver your tires. So, if you want same-day delivery, don’t choose Costco.

But how long will you wait? It’ll take between 5 and 10 days before the tires arrive for pickup.

Brand Selection

Costco is a high-end retailer, meaning you won’t find the worst tires in the USA there. As I’ve noted, Costco carries three brands: BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, and Michelin.

CarsAmazing 101: If you’re looking for RV or trailer tires, Costco has Greenball lines.

Repair And Maintenance

Costco doesn’t handle any repairs or maintenance. But, premium members can enjoy discounts offered at service centers. To access the deals, you should get started on the Costco Auto Program. The program offers:

1. 15% savings on service, accessories, and parts

2. Savings on factory-remanufactured parts

Is There An Advantage Of Buying Tires At Costco?

Yes. Costco offers the most competitive prices, and their customer satisfaction is commendable. If you’re a savvy shopper, there are discounts of up to $80 during different times. And even better, you get installation at a penny per tire. So if you do the math, you save around $60, which is quite a steal!

Tire Retailer Ratings – Discount Tire And Costco And Others

This tabled section highlights premium data from ConsumerReports.com. The platform bases the given scores on ratings from over 15,000 premium members. So, their data is reliable, and you can use it to choose your retailer.

Before you check out the table, go through the following key:

1. Overall Satisfaction Score – this shows a customer’s feeling when buying and installing the tire.

2. Selection (out of 5) – this is the availability of different makes and models for your tire. 

3. Sales Service (out of 5) – this tells you of how the sales staff are helpful.

4. Free Perks (out of 5) – this shows the number of customers getting free add-ons. They include:

1. Tire rotation

2. Tire balancing

3. Tire mounting

4. Vehicle inspections

5. Road-hazard warranties

Now, the table is all yours:

RetailerOverall Satisfaction ScoreSelection (out of 5)Sales ServiceFree perks (out of 5)
Les Schwab Tire Center92455
Tirerack.com91551
Independent retailers91452
Costco91345
Discount Tire Centers91444
America’s Tire90443
Discount Tire (discounttiredirect.com)90
Discount Tire and Automotive89443
Kal Tire88444
Amazon.com8841
Car dealerships88342
Goodyear Auto Service88444
Tire Discounters87445
Firestone Complete Auto Care87343
BJ’s86335
Sam’s Club85335
Belle Tire Distributors84335
Big O Tires83344
Town Fair Tire Centers83435
Canadian Tire Corp83331
NTB Tire & Service Centers83332
Tires Plus82343
Pep Boys80232
Walmart80321
Mavis Discount Tire79331

You can check out this PDF file for a better view of the reports:

Conclusion

Now, you know that Costco and Discount Tire are better in unique ways. So, if you’re looking for various brands, Discount Tire should be your go-to retailer. But, if you want to enjoy perks like pressure and inflation checks, go to Costco.

As you’ve seen on the table, they’re plenty of tire retailers. So, if neither Discount Tire nor Costco tickles your fancy, look elsewhere.

For example, Les Schwab ranks well, meaning you can try it.

Tires are essential, and as a driver, you need the best brand and services. So, choose your retailer well. And, of course, always do your research.

If this article did it for you, share it with other amazing car owners. And please tell me your thoughts on the comment section.

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