Shopping for tires isn’t fun. First, you have to settle for a specific tire brand. Next, you must pick tires that are available in your budget and meet your requirements. And finally, you need to select a place from where you can buy the tires and get them installed.
Walmart and Discount Tire let you buy tires and have them fitted on your car. You can go to any Walmart or Discount Tire chain near you, take your pick from the tires on offer, and move aside as the workers put your vehicle up a jack and replace all four tires within minutes.
While their operating mechanism isn’t different, many things distinguish Walmart from Discount Tire. The first of which is specialty. While Walmart’s Auto Care Centers are general automotive and repair shops, Discount Tire operates a nationwide chain of out-and-out tire shops.
In this Walmart Vs Discount Tire comparison, we will discuss the differences between these two tire retailers in detail. By the time you have read this article to the end, you’ll have decided whether you should go to Walmart or Discount Tire for your upcoming tire replacement.
What is Walmart?
Walmart is an American multinational retail corporation that sells almost everything. It is an excellent place to shop for pocket-friendly tires. Walmart tires come with massive discounts you don’t get elsewhere. That too with amazing treadlife and workmanship warranties.
Walmart offers you two ways to buy tires: in-store or online.
If you’re looking to shop in-store, use Walmart’s online store finder to locate the nearest Walmart store with an automotive car center. Once you’ve reached the store’s premises, ask the associate to help you find the right set of tires for your car.
You can also shop at Walmart’s online tire center. Once on the website, click on the “Tire Center Finder” at the top of the page, before selecting “Input your car’s info now.” From there, you’ll be provided with a selection of tires that can be installed on your car.
Free shipping is another perk of shopping at Walmart.com. Walmart allows you to have your tires shipped free of cost to the auto care center near you. Just make sure to contact the center to book the installation time. Alternatively, you can have the tires shipped directly to your doorstep.
What is Discount Tire?
The term ‘Discount’ in Discount Tires confuses most people. It leads the majority to believe that the website/retailer is an aggregator for discounted tires. Where in reality, Discount Tire is a tire retailer like many others, including Walmart, Costco, and Tire Rack
Discount Tire started as a one-man tire shop in 1960. Its founder borrowed $400 to open the company’s first store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Three years later, the founder took on a partner, a person well-versed in the tire business with an exceptional quality of negotiating prices with tire brands.
At the time of writing, Discount Tire has over 1,000 stores in 35 states. It employs over 25,000 people in the US and has only recently completed the acquisition of Tire Rack. The acquisition has further cemented Discount Tire’s position as the largest independent tire retailer stateside.
Just like Walmart, Discount Tire allows you to shop for your favorite tires online or in-shop. Their website, as well as the stores, sell rims and additional car accessories. In addition, Discount Tire gives you the option to have the tires delivered to your doorstep or the nearest store.
What are the Pros of Discount Tires?
Purchasing your next set of replacement tires from Discount Tires comes with various benefits. They include:
1) Free New Tire Balancing and Rotation
Depending on the state in which you’re buying/installing tires, your local tire shop may charge you anywhere from $30 to $100 for balancing all four wheels of your car, a key requirement if you are hoping for a refined ride quality on your new tire set.
2) Huge Variety of Tires
At the time of writing, Discount Tire’s website features tires from over 60 brands. The manufacturers whose tires are available on the website range from premium (Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental) to mid—range (Hankook, Yokohama, etc.) to cheap (Mastercraft, Nitto, etc.)
3) Multiple Financing Options
Discount Tire offers 6, 9 and 12 months special financing on purchases of $199 or more with the buyer’s Discount Tire credit card. These offers include:
- 6 months offer for purchases of $199 to $999.99
- 9 months offer for purchases of $1,000 to $1,499
- 12 months offer for purchases of $1,500 or greater
4) Quicker Shipping Times
Compared with Walmart and Costco, Discount Tire ships tires much quicker, regardless of whether the shipping address is one of their own stores or your house. That means you won’t have to wait for long for your new set of tires to arrive.
What are the Pros of Walmart?
Here are multiple reasons why many people buy tires from Walmart:
1) Free Nationwide Store Shipping
As stated above, Walmart allows you to have your tires shipped free of cost to the auto care center near you. Just make sure to contact the center to book the installation time. Or else, you may have to wait for as much as an hour for your turn to arrive.
2) Highly Competitive Tire Prices
Low tire prices is one of the key reasons many drivers shop for tires on Walmart. The US retail corporation drives a hard bargain with brands that choose to sell on its platform, helping end-users like you get excellent deals on their purchases.
3) Low Tire Installation Cost
Walmart basic tire installation is the cheapest on the market. Despite costing only $15, it includes labor costs, 50-mile lug re-torque (if needed), and rebalancing and rotation on every 7,500 miles. By contrast, Discount Tire’s cheapest tire installation package costs $22.
4) Long-lasting Standard Warranty
In contrast to Discount Tire, whose standard tire warranty lasts a month, Walmart offers a 90-day satisfaction warranty on its tires. Plus, by paying an extra $10, Walmart will provide you an additional road hazard warranty which covers repair or replacement above 75% of tread.
Walmart Vs Discount Tire: Main Differences
Here are the major differences between Walmart and Discount Tire:
- Winner: It’s a tie
Given that it has exclusive agreements with tire brands that use its website and physical stores to sell their products, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in the majority of cases, the same tire will cost slightly less at Walmart than at Discount Tire.
Having said that, it is important to note that the difference won’t be too big. Furthermore, there will be tires that you can buy for less at Discount Tire. So, on the whole, there isn’t much difference between the two retailers on the pricing front.
- Winner: Walmart
As stated above, Walmart tires come with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. During the first 3 months of your purchase, you can return the day if it wasn’t installed or drive. For an extra $10, you can buy an additional road hazard warranty.
Discount Tire’s satisfaction guarantee lasts only 30 days, meaning it is three times shorter than Walmart’s. Also, while Walmart allows you to return the tire that wasn’t installed or driven on the road, Discount Tire will only replace the purchased set of tires.
Number of Stores
- Winner: Walmart
At the time of writing, Walmart has over 2,500 auto care centers in the US. While the number is still less than the total number of Walmart stores in the country, it is still higher than the total number of Discount Tire stores in the country, which stands at around 1,000.
That means that it is much easier to locate a Walmart auto care center near you than it is to drive to the nearest Discount Tire automotive shop.
Quality of Service
- Winner: Discount Tire
Quality of service is a subjective matter given that every driver can have a different experience while visiting the same tire shop at the same time. Still, based on the reviews of the masses, we can confidently say that Discount Tire’s employees offer a better service to their customers.
Furthermore, while Walmart wants you to rely on the automated system built inside its website to select the right set of tires for your car. Discount Tire gives you the option to email the company or dial 888 for more personalized help.
Variety of Brands
- Winner: It’s a tie
Independent reports claim that Discount Tire currently has tires from over 60 brands. While Walmart doesn’t release the total number of brands using the platform, we’re yet to come across a brand whose tire you cannot purchase on Walmart.
Walmart Vs Discount Tire: Which One to Buy?
Buy from Walmart if:
- You prefer lower installation cost
- You want a higher satisfaction guarantee
- You don’t want to drive too far for tire installation
- You’re after highly competitive tire prices
Buy from Discount Tire if:
- You are after better quality service
- You want more financing options
- You are looking for free new tire balancing and rotation
- You want your new tires to be shipped sooner
Everything we have stated in our Walmart Vs Discount Tire comparison points to one simple fact. That is that both these retailers give you a wide range of tire options at highly competitive prices.
Sure, they do have their fair share of differences. But as long as you’re in the market for reliable tire retailers, Walmart and Discount Tire should be near the top of your shopping list.