What do US drivers consider while buying the perfect set of tires?

Cheryl Kar
June 01, 2021, 12:30 PM UTC

YouGov Profiles data shows that when it comes to purchasing tires, US drivers are more concerned about the price than any other factor

Carmakers are adopting a range of sustainable measures. Examples include industry giants such as Ford which is aiming to sell only electric cars in the near future and BMW, which has recently announced it will be equipping its cars with FSC certified tires, made of natural rubber and rayon, produced by Pirelli.

But when it comes to choosing tires, is reducing environmental impact through choosing the most fuel-efficient set high up on the list for consumers? The answer is no.

Data from YouGov Profiles indicates that three in five drivers (65%) consider the overall price as the most important factor determining their tire purchase.  Price is significantly ahead of any other factor – for example only half (50%) of American drivers focus on the tread life of tires.

Less than half (44%) are concerned about the durability of the tire, while roughly two in five (38%) US drivers focus on traction. Brand preference plays a pretty small role when drivers select tires. Only a quarter (26%) cited it as a factor in their purchase.

And fuel efficiency? Well, it’s only the seventh most important consideration for Americans, perhaps indicating that environmental concerns over motor vehicles among consumers has not yet reached where the rubber hits the road and it opens the room for tire manufacturers to increase the awareness of sustainability in the tires’ industry.

When asked about the frequency of changing tires, our data suggests that US drivers tend to do so on their main vehicle only when it is absolutely necessary (44%). Only one in five US drivers (21%) change tires once in three years hinting that their tire purchase journey is one designed to guarantees them value for money (and reflecting the fact that price is the predominant concern when choosing tires).

Being heavier than gas-powered vehicles, EVs require tires that complement their performance and weight. As a result, we may also expect the factors influencing tire preference to change over the coming years.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. YouGov Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about YouGov Profiles.