Believe it or not, although your tires may be no longer of use to you, used tires can still be valuable to someone else. You may even be able to sell those old tires for cash. Yes, selling used tires is a real industry. There are some companies that will buy your used tires and either recycle them into other rubber products or retread and resell them.

Consider supplementing your income by collecting used tires from service stations that don’t want them and selling them to a tire recycling company. You can make an average of $1 for every good passenger tire casing sold and up to $40 for large truck tire casings. 

The companies that buy old tires can retread them, making them practically good as new. Old tires are also able to be “remolded” or “re-manufactured,” meaning that they receive a new rubber veneer on the sidewall, which makes the tire look better. These processes help reduce environmental waste and prevent tires from going into landfills — and it can also provide a way for you to earn some money on the side while not having to keep old tires taking up space in your garage.

In a world where many places make you pay for tire disposal, it’s good to have the reverse be true.

Included In This Article

  • Finding a tire retreader

  • The process of selling used tires

  • Where to sell used tires locally

  • Where to sell used tires online

  • Where to recycle tires for cash

Find a Tire Retreader That Wants to Buy Used Tires

If your intent is to collect tires and sell them to a retreader, it is important to only choose and collect tire casings that retread shops can use. To help you do so, here are six common things to watch for as you rummage through an auto garage’s old casings.

  1. Make sure that there are no holes in the casing. There shouldn’t even be patches or rubber plugs repairing a small tear.
  2. Inspect the tire’s bead (the part of the tire that mounts it onto the rim of the wheel) for cuts and excessive wear. A tire’s bead must have no cuts, tears, or excessive wear.
  3. Make sure that the tire’s cords aren’t showing. (Cords are the threads that are embedded into the rubber.)
  4. Inspect the tire for surface cracks. Small, superficial cracks may be okay, but there shouldn’t be any deep cracks.
  5. Take note of the brand and the model. This is especially important if you’re selling your tires online.
  6. Find out if the tire has been recalled. This protects you if you’re selling the tire online, and also helps you bargain if a buyer tries to offer you less than a tire is worth under false claims that it might have been recalled.

The Process of Collecting and Selling Used Tires

While it may be tempting to pick up the phone and call local service shops, you may be better off traveling to your local auto shops and asking them if they have any old tires that you can take from them. If you’re collecting tires from an auto repair shop, they’ll most likely pay you by cash or check on the spot. That’s right — not only can you sell old tires to a retreader, some places will pay you to haul away old tires.

If you’re selling to a tire retreader, you simply take the tires into the retreader, who will then inspect them. You may be able to get an inspector to check over the tires while you wait, although it is more common for retreading shops to give you a receipt and instruct you to call or stop by later to see how many were accepted.

While there are too many locations to list in one article, the quickest way to find a tire retreader or recycler near you is to check out the Retread Tire Buyer’s Guide from the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau. It is a directory of tire buyers, organized by state. Not all companies will be buying tires at a given time, however. Call a few locations near you and ask about their policies for buying used tires. Make sure you ask the following questions:

  • What type of tires are accepted? 
  • What are the policies for buying old tires?
  • How many tires are accepted at a time?
  • How much do you pay for old tires?

Payment for old tires is completely dependent on the buyer as well as the size and quality of the tire. While one buyer might pay $3, another buyer might see more use for the tire and be able to offer as much as $60 for a good quality truck tire. Still, the average payout for a common passenger tire that needs new treads is usually around $3. To help you get started, we’ve provided the following list of regional tire retreaders that offer physical locations where you can sell used tires.

Where to Resell Used Tires In Store

A & A Tire & Wheel (Dallas)

  • What type of tires are accepted? Most types. Contact A & A for details about what types of tires are being accepted, as demand varies over time.
  • What are the policies for buying old tires? Used tires should be in relatively good condition and able to be retreaded and resold.
  • How many tires are accepted at a time? Dependent on demand.
  • How much will A & A Tire & Wheel pay for old tires? Dependent on demand and the quality of the tire.
  • How to get started: Contact A & A Tire & Wheel at (972) 247-5522, by email at info@aatireshop.com, or through the A & A Tire & Wheel website.

Corporate Tire (East Coast)

  • What type of tires are accepted? Truck tires only
  • What are the policies for buying old tires? Used tires shouldn’t have too much rust, critical bead damage, or other serious issues.
  • How many tires are accepted at a time? Dependent on demand.
  • How much will Corporate Tire pay for old tires? Dependent on demand and the quality of the tire.
  • How to get started: Contact Corporate Tire at (864) 915-9999 or through the Corporate Tire website.

Pomp’s Tire (Midwest)

  • What type of tires are accepted? Only semi truck tires in specific sizes. No car tires and no light truck tires are accepted.
  • What are the policies for buying old tires? Tires have to be semi truck tires in whatever size is in demand at the time.
  • How many tires are accepted at a time? Dependent on demand.
  • How much will Pomp’s Tire pay for old tires? Dependent on demand and the quality of the tire.
  • How to get started: Contact Pomp’s Tire at any location near you or through the Pomp’s Tire website.

Tire Management, Inc. (Illinois)

  • What type of tires are accepted? Dayton, Unimount, and Budd
  • What are the policies for buying old tires? Tires have to be regroovable and have capable casings. Steel and aluminum wheels must have good bold holes and rim flanges.
  • How many tires are accepted at a time? Large quantities are preferable.
  • How much will Tire Management, Inc. pay for old tires? Dependent on demand and the quality of the tire.
  • How to get started: Contact Tire Management, Inc. at (630) 844-1676 or through the Tire Management, Inc. website.

Tire Works of Denver

  • What type of tires are accepted? A variety of used tires and rims.
  • What are the policies for buying old tires? Tires have to be in good enough shape to retread and resell. Rims cannot have signs of damage.
  • How many tires are accepted at a time? Dependent on demand and the type of tire being sold. Contact Tire Works of Denver for further details.
  • How much will Tire Works of Denver pay for old tires? Dependent on demand and the quality of the tire.
  • How to get started: Contact Tire Works of Denver at (303) 975-9123 or through the Tire Works of Denver website.

Santa Ana Wheel (California)

Santa Ana Wheel uses the following grading scale when purchasing tires:

  • A+ is new from the factory and has never been mounted.
  • A is like new. It applies to a wheel that has been mounted but only slightly used.
  • A- is very good. It applies to a wheel with very light scratches on the surface that are not noticeable from a distance.
  • B+ is good. It applies to a wheel with minor curb scratches that may not be noticeable from a short distance.
  • B is fair. It applies to a wheel with noticeable, minor curb scratches. The finish is still good and looks like what would be expected out of regular usage.
  • B- is acceptable. It applies to a wheel with noticeable curb scratches and some clear coat issues.
  • C is poor. It applies to a wheel with a combination of surface issues, but that isn’t cracked or bent.
  • What type of tires are accepted? Only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) wheels. These are wheels that are produced by a car maker’s specific equipment manufacturer.
  • What are the policies for buying old tires? Tires must have a rating of A through C on the tire grading scale.
  • How many tires are accepted at a time? Dependent on the current demand. Contact Santa Ana Wheel for further details.
  • How much will Santa Ana Wheel pay for old tires? Dependent on demand and the quality of the tire.
  • How to get started: Send a text to (949) 478-2033, use the contact form on the Santa Ana Wheel website, or email sell@santaanawheel.com with the year, model, wheel grade, and photos of the wheel for a quote.

Where to Sell Used Tires Online

Tire-Trader.com

Tire-Trader.com offers specific pricing information regarding the payout for used tires. Although the Tire-Trader.com headquarters are located in Detroit, MI, sellers can arrange tire pickup in many areas of the United States.

  • What type of tires are accepted? Used truck tires or tire casings by Michelin, Goodyear, Firestone, BF Goodrich, Cooper, or Yokohama.
  • What are the policies for buying old tires? Tires must have a rating of A through C on the tire grading scale.
  • How many tires are accepted at a time? Dependent on the current demand and pickup availability. Contact Tire-Trader.com for further details.
  • How much will Tire-Trader.com pay for old tires? Dependent on tire quality and size, in accordance with the tire grading scale. The payout is as high as $60 for some tires.
  • How to get started: Call (519) 999-1488, email sales@tire-trader.com, or fill out the contact form.

SellMyTires.com, WheelWharehouse.com, and Craigslist.org are websites that allow sellers to post free listings advertising their used tires. If you sell your tires through any of these websites, make sure that your descriptions are accurate and that you upload multiple photos. Be sure to always conduct transactions in a safe, public place, and only accept cash or money orders for payment.

Where to Recycle Used Tires

Although tire recycling companies won’t pay you — they’ll charge you a fee for each tire you bring them — you can still make money by recycling tires. Auto repair shops don’t want old tires lying around, usually because they don’t have room for storage and can even be fined for keeping the tires on site. These auto shops have to get rid of old tires quickly, which involves hiring someone to come pick them up and take them to a recycling facility. This can be costly. While some recycling companies offer pickup of old tires, many won’t provide this service unless the auto shop has a minimum amount of tires.

This is where you can earn money. If you have a truck you can use, you can pick up the tires yourself and take them to a recycling center. If the auto shop pays you $3 per tire and the recycling center charges $1 per tire you drop off, you can make $2 per tire that you deliver.

Besides making money, you’ll also be helping the environment. Recycling companies can turn the recycled rubber into other products that they sell to manufacturers. State-funded tire recycling programs are responsible for decreasing the number of stockpiled scrap tires in the United States.

Turning those old tires into reusable products costs money. Therefore, recycling plants have to charge a fee for each tire donated. The fee ranges from $0.25 per tire in Indiana and Kansas to $10 for large (off-road) tires in Louisiana. On average, the fee is $1 per tire if all states are taken into consideration. For a complete list of fees, visit this guide from Tirebuyer.com — a website that sells (but does not buy) tires and charges this recycling fee upfront.

Liberty Tire Recycling

With its recycling plant located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Liberty Tire Recycling has more than 60,000 tire collection points across the country and works with individuals, institutions, and private companies. According to the Liberty Tire website, the company provides a complete service profile of collection options, including backdoor pickup, drop-and-hook pickup, and drop-off sites. Tire deliveries are accepted at any Liberty Tire facility.

Emterra Environmental USA

Emterra Environmental USA has its recycling plant in Brampton, Canada, but serves a large part of the northern United States. Through the use of innovative recycling techniques, the company can conduct emission-free recycling with no waste.

  • Used tire pickup services offered? Yes
  • Pays for used tires? No
  • Does Emterra Environmental USA charge a fee for accepted used tires? Yes. Fees vary by state. Request a quote on the Emterra website.

In Summary

As of 2015, approximately 67 million tires sat in stockpiles across the United States. Recycling or re-purposing old tires (as long as it is done safely) is a great way to curb pollution and waste.

While tire retailers, scrapyards, and retreaders have their own unique policies regarding selling and buying used tires, it can be worth the effort to contact them to see if they have a need for your old tires. With a little bit of work, you can supplement your income and benefit the environment at the same time. Who buys used tires? You now know. Enjoy the process.