Should I Buy Winter Tires This Year?

by Pam on November 9, 2012

My husband and I are considering whether or not to buy winter tires this year for our car. In the past, we purchased good quality winter tires and rims and hoped that they would last us for several winters.  Unfortunately, I got into a car accident and our insurance company decided to write the car off.  So, needless to say, our nearly brand new winter tires were now useless to us.  Of course, we could have looked for another car that was the same make and model and still be able to use the old tires.  We opted not to do that, and instead we sold the tires and rims, getting at least a small amount of the money back that we paid for them.

Now that we have a different car, we are seriously debating on whether or not we should buy winter tires again.  We know that the winter tires we want would cost us approximately $1000.00.  If we buy them, we know it will likely be safer to drive in the winter.  At the same time, the car we bought has relatively new all-season tires on it right now and the tread is still quite good.  There’s really no way to predict how bad the roads will get this winter.  Some years the roads are always terrible, and some years they are almost always great, so it’s really impossible to know for sure what winter will bring.

So, what is the wisest thing to do?  I know that when we had winter tires in the past they did make life a bit easier for driving on winter roads.  At the same time, there is no guarantee that if we buy winter tires we will be able to continue to use them year over year as something could once again happen to our car due to an accident, etc.  Also, for folks who own an older vehicle, they may be hesitant to spend the money on a good set of winter tires when they do not expect the vehicle to last that much longer.  We were in that situation before, and when we needed new tires, we just bought all-season tires instead.  Although all-season tires are not as good as winter tires on slippery and snowy roads, we could not justify paying for winter tires for a vehicle that wasn’t going to last.

I guess our decision this year and is subsequent years will have to boil down to one key question:   What is more important to us – safety or money?  Now we all know that we cannot put a price tag on our lives or our health, but sometimes, it’s hard to justify spending $1000.00, even if we believe that safety comes first.

Regardless of whether or not we end up deciding to buy winter tires this year, I would encourage you to take stock of your current tires and see whether or not it would be wise for you to purchase winter tires this year.   It certainly would be a good investment if you can see that your tires are in poor condition.   Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be too cheap, especially when yours and your loved ones’ safety is at stake.  Let’s all hope that we make wise decisions regarding this matter.

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