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Anyone who owns a Tesla knows how big of burden tires can be on your wallet. There are multiple reasons why tires have such a high cost for all models.
I have been in the tire industry for over nine years and can tell you exactly why the pricing of tires is higher than average for your vehicle.
Tesla Doesn’t Produce Tires
Since you will not find any tires that Tesla makes, manufacturers can charge more. If Tesla offered tires, they could sell them for a fraction of the cost of major tire brands like Michelin or Pirelli do.
However, these big brands don’t have low-priced competition, which allows them to upcharge their rubber products.
You are very wrong if you think tire manufacturers don’t know how expensive Teslas are.
Just look at how much they are starting at:
- Model 3: $40,390
- Model Y: $58,190
- Model S: $96,590
- Model X: $115,590
Since the prices are much higher than your average vehicle, they can assume that majority of owners will have deeper pockets which allow them to get away with pricing tires over $200 a tire.
Average Labor And Tire Installment Costs
Most tire shops won’t service Teslas because they require special lifting pucks that not every store has. It’s not because they don’t know how but because it is likely to damage the batteries without the proper equipment. It is very easy to damage the battery when lifted wrong, and those batteries cost thousands of dollars for shops to replace.
Shops willing to service your Tesla will charge more to install a tire because it is easy to damage a Tesla.
Below you will find the average cost for tire installation, including taxes.
- 18-Inch rims: $100 – $200
- 19-Inch rims: $150 – $250
- 20 to 21-Inch rims: $175 – $350
The original equipment tires found on Teslas come with a layer of foam on a tire’s inner liner. This helps reduce road noise by dampening sound that travels through the tread.
Not many tires have this technology, which is found almost exclusively in Tesla tires. On average, you will find tires costing over $100 more per tire than standard tires.
Your Tires Are Probably Imported
Freight cost is higher than ever, and most rubber products are imported if you don’t live in the US, China, or Germany. You will find the most manufacturing plants in Asia and North America, which lowers the cost on these continents.
Since the pandemic, freight costs have jumped up drastically. Driving a Tesla anywhere besides these countries will cause you to pay more.
Not only is the price per tire high for a Tesla, but another thing that adds to the high cost is how fast they wear out. When your tires wear out more often, it makes you need to replace them more.
Replacing your tires every two years is not ideal, and the average cost is over $1,000 for a set of tires. This can add up to a few thousand dollars over a handful of years.
I recommend performing routine tire maintenance to avoid incurring high replacement costs frequently.
The sizing choice for Teslas is mainly going to be low-profile tire sizes. Because these are high-performance vehicles, they require tires to match. You can only receive the level of handling and traction Teslas offers through a wider tread and thinner sidewall.
These sizes are not easy to manufacture and require more plies in the sidewall to hold up the vehicle’s weight. Since they need more materials and technology to produce, it costs more to make them. And this reflects in the pricing you pay for new tires.
Teslas need tires that offer low rolling resistance. If you install tires without this, it will result in a server loss in miles per charge. Low rolling resistance means that the tire generates less friction on the road and requires less energy to be moved forward.
The technology that goes into developing this type of rubber compound drives up the price.
Not many low-quality brands make tires in sizes that Teslas require. The leading brands you will find that make tires for them will be Michelin, Pirelli, and Continental.
These brands already charge a premium for their tires as it is, and with less competition on pricing, it allows them to charge even more.
How long will Tesla Model Y tires last?
How many miles you get out of your tires on a Model Y will depend on a few factors. If you are good at maintaining your tires by rotating them every five to eight thousand miles and keeping the correct tire pressures. You can expect to receive between 25,000 and 50,000 miles.
If you have staggered tires, the rear tires will be wider than the front. You can’t rotate them, so the tread life is cut in half. Staggered fitment Teslas should expect between 15,000 and 30,000 miles.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about the high cost of Tesla tires. However, you can do a few things to help lower it.
When it comes time to replace your tires, be on the lookout for rebates and incentives for going with a specific brand or tire. And Routinely perform tire maintenance to avoid them wearing out prematurely. Both of these will help reduce the amount of money you have to shell out of pocket.
Remember that it’s not the tire retailer’s fault you must spend a lot of money on new shoes!
Want to learn more? Check out our Tesla tire care guide.