Tire purchase on leased vehicle

I am leasing a 2004 Volvo XC90, current mileage is 40,000. My lease is up in December 2007 and I plan to turn it in. I have to purchase new tires to pass inspection this month (Septmeber). Do I purchase low quality tires(low price)to get me through until December? This would be the second set of tires for my XC90. The original Michelins barely lasted 20,000 and when I complained they gave me a discount on the next set as long as I purchased the same tire model. And here I am faced with replacing them again,I but don’t want to fork out alot of money since I will be turning in the car in few months. Any thoughts?

Get the cheapest tires you can safely put on that vehicle. Why spend the money on more expensive tires.

Are you willing to risk your safety riding around on cheap-o tires for the next few months? Depending on where you live, winter may be arriving before you turn in the vehicle.

I’d spring for something at least mid-grade, but I would certainly not buy another set of Michelins.

I would suggest that you read the “fine print” of the lease agreement. It is possible that you have to use equivalent replacement parts, such as tires. As an example, if the original tires were V-rated for speed, and you put H-rated tires on it, you have put parts on the car that are not equivalent.

Hopefully my suspicion is wrong, but if I am correct, then the dealer could charge you list price for new tires of the correct specification when you turn the car in. It pays to check this detail.

Call around tire prices wildly vary from place to place. One tire brand that will quicken the process and in general are very good for price point are Kumho tires.

I would not go for the cheapest tires but I would look for an economical tires.  

I would also suggest you check your contract as suggested.

I have found myself in this situation a couple of times. Read your contract before you make a purchase, as others have indicated. Mine have always said that they all had to be the same brand and otherwise equivalent. I interpret this to be size, speed rating, etc. Then I shop around for the best deal on a tire that meets these specifications. I’ve never had a problem at turn in.

Thank you for confirming my suspicions.

Someone who buys cheap tires prior to returning a leased car may well find himself paying for those tires as well as the proper specification tires that the dealer will put on the car in place of the cheap-o specials. And, we all know about the prices charged by car dealers for tires.

I think that this is another case of “penny wise–dollar foolish”.

See if you can find some used ones.