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Author Topic: Renting Tires and Wheels  (Read 4720 times)
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MuffyBee
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« on: June 09, 2013, 10:44:01 PM »

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-rent-a-tire-20130609,0,1748795.story?track=lat-pick
High prices are driving more motorists to rent tires
Chains such as Rent-a-Wheel and Rimco are seeing business boom. Many consumers pay double or triple the cost of buying and face aggressive repossession policies.

June 8, 2013

When the tires on their Dodge Caravan had worn so thin that the steel belts were showing through, Don and Florence Cherry couldn't afford to buy a new set.

So they decided to rent instead.

The Rich Square, N.C., couple last September agreed to pay Rent-N-Roll $54.60 a month for 18 months in exchange for four basic Hankook tires. Over the life of the deal, that works out to $982, almost triple what the radials would have cost at Wal-Mart.

"I know you have to pay a lot more this way," said Florence Cherry, a 57-year-old nurse who drives the 15-year-old van when her husband, a Vietnam veteran, isn't using it to get to his job as a prison guard. "But we didn't really have a choice."

Socked by soaring tire prices and short on funds, growing numbers of Americans are renting the rubber to keep their cars rolling.

Rent-to-own tire shops are among the newest arrivals to a sprawling alternative financial sector focused on the nation's economic underclass. Like payday lenders, pawn shops and Buy Here Pay Here used-car lots, tire rental businesses provide ready credit to consumers who can't get a loan anywhere else. But that access doesn't come cheap.

Customers pay huge premiums for their tires, sometimes four times above retail. Those who miss payments may find their car on cinder blocks, stripped of their tires by dealers who aggressively repossess. Tire rental contracts are so ironclad that even a bankruptcy filing can't make them go away.

Still, with payments as low as $14 a week, rent-to-own long the province of sofa sets and flat-screen TVs is proving irresistible for consumers desperate for safe transportation.

It's also a booming business for specialized tire and wheel dealers that have become beneficiaries of a struggling U.S. economy. Fast-expanding chains with names like Rent-a-Wheel and EZ Rims 4 Rent that got their start selling high-end rims to car enthusiasts have discovered a lucrative market selling tires on time.

"We see tremendous opportunity serving people who are just looking for dependable tires to get to work," said Larry Sutton, founder and president of Rent-N-Roll. The Tampa, Fla., chain has 66 locations nationwide, including two in California, and plans to open six more this year.

Sutton registered the trademark RNR Tire Express last fall and has been rebranding many stores to focus on tires instead of the oversized chrome rims that were the chain's mainstay. Today, Sutton said, tires make up two-thirds of RNR's sales, up from less than half several years ago.

A host of economic factors are pushing the growth of tire rentals.

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MuffyBee
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 10:46:37 PM »

I first became aware of this tire/wheel rental business about ten years ago, when I was looking at apartments for my son.  We were out walking around the apartment complex and I saw this sedan on cement blocks, sans tires and wheels.  That was a red flag for me!  I asked what that was about, and the manager said the owner of the car couldn't make their payments on the tire/wheel rentals and they were repossessed.      I had never heard of such a thing.  It looks like it's continued to be around and gaining popularity.   
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 05:11:02 PM »

In Wisconsin, they sell used tires quite cheap.  I've seen them advertised 4/$100 including mounting.

There are small shops that specialize in used tires, and junk yards that sell used tires.

It's a form of recycling.  When a car is totaled, many parts are still in good shape.
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 05:14:12 PM »

If you have aluminum wheels and they have a lot of dings, junk yards might be a good source too.

Many junk yards have access to the inventories of other businesses and can help you find a part too.

Many in Wisconsin are proud to be frugal.  Also, tires have a freshness date.  In the old days there were a lot of concerns about old, dry, and rotted tires.
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All my posts are just my humble opinions.  Please take with a grain of salt.  Smile

It doesn't do any good to hate anyone,
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MuffyBee
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 05:17:20 PM »

In Wisconsin, they sell used tires quite cheap.  I've seen them advertised 4/$100 including mounting.

There are small shops that specialize in used tires, and junk yards that sell used tires.

It's a form of recycling.  When a car is totaled, many parts are still in good shape.

They sell used tires in Texas too but haven't bought any.    I have bought a used car part before.  The article I was posting was about renting tires and wheels.  That's a bit different imo.  I would be more apt to buy used tires then I would be to rent them, if you know what I mean. 
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WhiskeyGirl
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 11:00:45 PM »

In Wisconsin, they sell used tires quite cheap.  I've seen them advertised 4/$100 including mounting.

There are small shops that specialize in used tires, and junk yards that sell used tires.

It's a form of recycling.  When a car is totaled, many parts are still in good shape.

They sell used tires in Texas too but haven't bought any.    I have bought a used car part before.  The article I was posting was about renting tires and wheels.  That's a bit different imo.  I would be more apt to buy used tires then I would be to rent them, if you know what I mean. 

Yes, I would rather buy a used tire than rent.  I needed just one due to hitting something on the road.  I still had a lot of wear left on the other three.  It didn't make sense to buy one new one or a whole set of four when I could get just one for $25.
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All my posts are just my humble opinions.  Please take with a grain of salt.  Smile

It doesn't do any good to hate anyone,
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MuffyBee
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 11:04:45 PM »

In Wisconsin, they sell used tires quite cheap.  I've seen them advertised 4/$100 including mounting.

There are small shops that specialize in used tires, and junk yards that sell used tires.

It's a form of recycling.  When a car is totaled, many parts are still in good shape.

They sell used tires in Texas too but haven't bought any.    I have bought a used car part before.  The article I was posting was about renting tires and wheels.  That's a bit different imo.  I would be more apt to buy used tires then I would be to rent them, if you know what I mean. 

Yes, I would rather buy a used tire than rent.  I needed just one due to hitting something on the road.  I still had a lot of wear left on the other three.  It didn't make sense to buy one new one or a whole set of four when I could get just one for $25.

My concern with renting to own, whether it's tires, a washer or a couch is the end price the consumer pays. 
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  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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