Run flat tires provide an important safety feature for your vehicle – the ability to drive on a punctured tire. But this technology comes at a cost. Run flat tires typically cost $50-250 more per tire than conventional tires.
This premium pays for rigid sidewalls that let you drive up to 50 miles after a puncture. So are run flats worth the extra expense? This guide examines the key factors that determine run flat tire pricing to help you make an informed decision.
How Much Do Run Flat Tires Cost?
Run flat tires range from $150 up to $600 each, while standard tires often cost $100-$350. Here are some sample prices for popular run flat sizes:
- 215/55R17 – $180-300 per tire
- 235/55R17 – $200-350 per tire
- 245/40R19 – $250-400 per tire
- 275/40R19 – $350-600 per tire
Here are some websites selling run flat tires and the prices they feature:
|$324.78 to $500.00
|$324.78 to $428.60
|$378.70 to $487.30
|$428.60 to $767.70
Larger wheel diameters, lower profile sidewalls, and faster speed ratings also push run-flat tire prices higher. Performance-focused run flats can cost 2-3 times more than basic passenger models.
Why Run Flat Tires Cost More
Run flat tires contain reinforced sidewalls made of rigid polymers and composites. This allows the tire to temporarily retain its shape and continue rolling even with no air pressure. Standard tires rely solely on air pressure to maintain their shape. Without it, they would collapse and make driving impossible.
The materials and engineering required for run flat technology increases manufacturing costs. Automakers also charge licensing fees to tire brands for each run flat tire produced for their vehicles. These costs translate into higher retail pricing for run flat tires.
Factors That Affect Cost
Several variables influence the price you’ll pay for run-flat tires:
Larger wheel diameters and wider tires command higher pricing. Upgrading from 15″ to 18″ wheels could add $50-100 per tire.
Premium brands like Michelin and Pirelli charge more for their run flat models than brands like Goodyear and Hankook. You’re paying for advanced compounds and designs.
Performance tires with a W or Y speed rating cost $50-100 more than basic S and T-rated run flats. Their reinforced construction allows for higher sustained speeds.
Run flats made for luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes carry a premium. Mainstream brand run flats cost less for popular vehicles like Honda and Toyota.
Shopping online offers potential savings over local tire shops. But you may sacrifice installation convenience and other services.
Choosing the Right Run Flat Tires
Consider these factors when selecting run flats for your vehicle:
- Vehicle type – Ensure you choose a run flat designed to properly fit your vehicle’s wheels.
- Driving habits – Prioritize wet/winter traction or ultra-high performance based on your needs.
- Budget – Less expensive options still offer solid puncture protection and safety.
- Longevity – Softer tread compounds trade off some treadwear for enhanced grip.
Installation and Maintenance Costs
Installing four run flat tires typically costs $80-150 at tire shops. Proper mounting ensures safe handling and optimal tread life.
Proper inflation pressure is crucial for run flats, as they perform best within a narrow pressure range. Expect to check pressures frequently.
Rotating run flat tires every 5,000-8,000 miles will help achieve their maximum tread life of 20,000-30,000 miles.
Pros and Cons of Run Flat Tires
Benefits of run flat tires:
- Continue driving after a puncture to get safely off the road
- Eliminate the need to immediately change a flat tire
- Maintain vehicle stability thanks to stiff sidewalls
- Reduce the risk of damage from driving on a fully deflated tire
Potential downsides include:
- Higher initial purchase price
- Harsher ride quality and more road noise
- Shorter tread life compared to standard tires
- Replacement complexity if driven while flat
Where to Buy Run Flat Tires
Finding run flat tire deals takes some savvy shopping:
- Check manufacturer promotions – Automakers often discount tires for brand-specific vehicles.
- Online retailers – Sites like TireRack.com offer convenience and competitive pricing.
- Warehouse stores – Costco, Sam’s Club, etc. provide discounted options with installation.
- Tire shops – Support local businesses that may match or beat prices.
- Used take-offs – Gently used OEM take-offs provide big savings over new.
While pricier than standard tires, run flats provide vital puncture protection to safely get your vehicle off the road. Carefully weigh factors like tire size, performance needs, and installation costs when budgeting.
And don’t hesitate to negotiate! With smart shopping, you can put run-flat safety within reach.
Are run-flat tires worth the money?
Run-flat tires are often worth the extra cost for the safety benefits they provide. The ability to drive up to 50 miles after a puncture can prevent hazardous roadside situations.
Run-flats also maintain vehicle stability if a blowout occurs at high speeds. For drivers who are frequent passengers and want maximum peace of mind, the extra expense may be justified.
How much do BMW run-flat tires cost?
As a luxury performance brand, BMW run-flat tires range from $250 up to $600 per tire. Specific models like the 225/50R17 can run $300-500 for a set of four from the factory.
BMW’s low-profile tires, large-diameter wheels, and high-speed ratings contribute to the increased costs. Going with a lesser-known brand can trim about $50-100 per tire.
Do you have to replace all 4 run-flat tires?
It’s strongly recommended to replace all four run-flat tires rather than just one. Each tire should have roughly equal tread depth and wear for balanced handling.
Mixing run-flats and standard tires compromises performance and safety. Staggered sizing, like wider rear tires, can necessitate buying two sets of two tires. Consult a tire shop for optimal replacement guidance.