7 Reasons SUV Tires Are so Expensive

Despite the popularity of SUVs, many drivers don’t realize that these vehicles are more expensive to maintain compared to other cars. It takes more effort to stop or steer an SUV because of its heavier size. This means that your SUV’s brake rotors and pads need to be inspected more frequently.

Similarly, all that weight can take a toll on your SUV’s tires. However, SUV tire replacements are pretty expensive. Here are a few reasons why it’s so difficult to find affordable SUV tires right now.

1. Better variety of sizes

A group of tires, which could potentially be SUV tires.
Tires | Joe Portlock via Getty Images

According to SUV Radar, the average set of SUV tires can cost up to $400 for a basic set. High-performance tire prices range between $800 to $1200. All of these tires can be found in several different sizes, and varying attributes to their high prices. Radar SUV says that the tires which provide the most ground clearance are typically the most popular.

2. Longer lifespans

Because SUV tires are constructed with more durable materials, they’ll last as long as possible with proper maintenance and safe driving practices. Autoily tells us that even a basic set of SUV tires will last at least 50,000 miles. 

Of course, if you frequently take your SUV off-roading, you can still expect the tires to wear down faster. It’s probably time for a replacement if you can see visible cracks in the sidewalls or low tire tread.

3. Increased demand in the SUV segment

More people buying SUVs leads to increased demand for SUV accessories and tires. Tires for third-row SUVs might be the most expensive since these models currently account for 70% of sales in the segment. 

Mid-size SUVs are also popular options, totaling about 10% of segment sales. Experts predict that those percentages will probably rise once the global chip shortage situation improves.

However, Radar SUV also tells us that the most expensive price doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best tires. $80 to $150 per tire is considered average for all-season tires, and replacing all four usually costs $637.

4. Exceptional performance in hazardous conditions

High-performance SUV tires are more expensive to produce, but they are also highly immune to debris like sharp stones. They can also go over hills and travel across trails at high speeds without any negative effects on the suspension.

Standard and high-performance SUV tires work harmoniously with automatic steering systems, allowing for better ride control. SUV tires also suppress road noise at highway speeds.

5. Safety features

SUV tires are inherently safer than conventional tires because they provide higher ground clearance. All passengers will experience a smoother ride while the driver enjoys better visibility. 

The car itself also gains protection because objects lower to the ground won’t be able to easily scrape the vehicle’s underside. SUV tires also make complete contact with your car’s brakes, meaning better stopping power.

6. Quality of the materials used

SUV tire treads are enhanced with nylon and steel, and the entire tire has a tougher rubber than regular tires. These tires also receive more chemical treatments during the manufacturing process to keep them as rigid as possible. Those extra materials and labor initially result in a higher price tag, but they won’t need as much maintenance.

7. Premium brand policies

Brands like Michelin and Goodyear have excellent reputations for providing durable tires, but they can get quite expensive. Tires offered by these brands typically come with extra warranty coverage and 24/7 roadside assistance services. Extra insurance or other performance-enhancing options can also be purchased directly through the tire manufacturer.

If you’re concerned about reliability, Consumer Reports does yearly testing on tires. SUV tires are already expensive enough, so be sure that you’re getting the best for your money.