Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Tire rotation cost

How much does tire rotation cost and are there ways to get it done cheaper?

Tire rotation costs vary depending on the type of shop doing the work

In 2023, tire rotation cost varies from as low as $25 to as much as $80, or it’s free if you bought your tires from some tire shops that include lifetime free balancing and rotation. Discount Tire, for example, includes lifetime free tire rotation and balancing for as long as you own the vehicle. Costco and Sam’s Club also include tire rotation for free if you buy tires from them.

image of different tire rotation patterns

Typical tire rotation patterns

Car dealers usually have the highest tire rotation cost

Car dealer service departments usually have the highest hourly shop rates of any shop, so their tire rotations are usually based on 1/2 hour of time. Depending on the shop’s hourly rate, that can mean a tire rotation cost of $80 if the shops’ hourly rate is $160.

Independent shops charge less for tire rotation

Many independent shops charge $35 to $40 for tire rotation. That’s slightly less than 1/2 hour at their hourly rate. But they often lower the cost of tire rotation to keep customers coming back for routine maintenance services. Using tire rotation as a loss leader is an effective marketing strategy for many auto repair shops.

Ways to get tire rotation done cheaper

Buy tires from a tire dealer that includes lifetime free rotation with the purchase of new tires.

Buy road hazard insurance from a tire dealer

If your tires are fairly new, some tire stores (like Discount Tire) will sell you road hazard “certificates” even if you didn’t buy the tires from them. The certificates include lifetime balancing and tire rotation, along with free tire replacement in the event the tire is damaged beyond repair due to a road hazard (sidewall or tire shoulder puncture, pothole damage, or broken/damaged belt).

Ask for tire rotation during a brake job or brake inspection

Many carmakers recommend routine brake inspections and the proper way to perform a complete inspection is to remove the wheels from the vehicle. If you’re paying for a brake inspection, ask the provider to rotate your tires at the same time since the labor has already been included in the cost of the inspection.

Perform a DIY tire rotation

You can rotate your tires yourself if you have at least one floor jack and jack stands. You’ll also need a socket set and a torque wrench.

Tire rotation is an essential maintenance procedure that helps ensure even tire wear, leading to longer tire life and improved gas mileage.

©, 2023 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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