Winter has arrived ahead of schedule, and nearly everyone is behind the curve is staying prepared. That means getting their car winterized to resist the cold, but most drivers do not consider doing the same when it comes to rolling down the street or highway. In many locations, most people simply rely on all-season tires for whatever the season drops on top of them.
That usually works for most drivers, until it doesn’t of course. There is any number of safety reasons why it is important to have a set of winter tires, but many others go right back to keeping much money in your wallet or purse for what is a comparatively small investment.
Depending on the brand and size, a set of winter tires can run from around $500 to $1000. That may seem like a poor use of your automobile budget but consider a few basic facts. Your winter tires are only on your vehicle for only 3 to 4 months, so that $500 to $1000 cost can be spread out over multiple seasons. While the tread may wear more quickly, you won’t have to replace winter tires nearly as often as the typical set on most cars or trucks.
Winter tires are designed specifically for driving on snow, ice, and slush. If you drive in a location where any of the three remain on the ground for half of each week, you need them to make sure you and your family can get where you need to go.
That means you can get to work, and not lose your income for the day. Even a minimum wage employee at $12.50 an hour can lose $100 each day they can’t get out of the driveway or wind up in a snowdrift. Then there is the extra cost of having a tow truck get you back on the road. That often starts at $50 to pull you out of the snowdrift. If you require towing to a garage, the bill can double or triple very quickly.
That means the loss of one day’s wages can result in having to pay another two days’ worth to get your car or truck back on the road. That adds up to $300, and if it happens twice, you have just exceeded the price for a basic set of winter tires.
Now let’s talk about the damage after hitting a mailbox or fire hydrant hidden in a snowdrift. If you are lucky and tear up only the grill and a quarter panel, your insurance copay can be anywhere from $500 to $1000 depending on what you have set up with your agent. If that cost range looks familiar, compare it to the one in the third paragraph again.
The idea behind snow tires is not to have four, large rubber donuts hanging in your garage for 8 to 9 months out of the year. The initial cost may be daunting, but after several years of no accidents or sliding around, you’ll be glad you made the purchase.