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How to Buy Used Tires for Your Car

Buying used tires can save you money. Use these tips as a guide to show you what to look for when purchasing a used tire.


  • : Before purchasing used tires, be sure you are buying from a reputable seller that you know and trust.
  • Step 1: Find the correct size Find the recommended size and type of tire that is best for your car by checking the owner's manual or the inside driver's door panel, or by researching online.
  • Step 2: Avoid visible belts, cracks, bulges Don't buy a tire if you see the belts showing through the rubber, deep cracks, or bulges.
  • Step 3: Look at wear pattern Check the tire to see that there is an even wear pattern across the entire width of the tread.
  • Step 4: Test the tread depth Test the tread depth by inserting a penny into the tread groove with Lincoln's head facing down. If you see Lincoln's head, the tread is too worn and the tire should not be purchased.
  • TIP: A tread depth gauge can also be used.
  • Step 5: Consider a set of tires Consider buying a complete set of matching used tires to achieve the best ride, handling, and performance.
  • Step 6: Check tires Check your tires once a month for signs of wear and proper inflation. Good luck -- and don't forget to keep a spare in the trunk.
  • FACT: A NASCAR race pit crew can change all four tires and fill a gas tank in 13 to 15 seconds.

You Will Need

  • Owner's manual
  • Even wear pattern
  • Penny
  • Complete set of tires
  • Monthly inspections
  • Spare
  • Tread depth gauge (optional)

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