Why Are Michelin Tires so Expensive? Brand, Experts Give Reasons Why

Michelin tires are more expensive than other popular brands because of their quality, warranties, and a satisfaction guarantee. Michelin tires can be purchased directly from the brand or tire retailers like Tire Rack and Walmart. We have details on a price comparison and more details on reasons why Michelin tires are so expensive.

Why Are Michelin Tires so Expensive?

Michelin tires are well-known by consumers and auto shops as one of the more expensive brands on the market. To understand more about Michelin’s pricing, we did a price comparison of Michelin tires and other well-known tire brands through Discount Tire Direct. We used a 2017 Toyota RAV4 as our sample vehicle. Michelin tires are, in fact, more expensive than other popular brands like Bridgestone and Goodyear. In our test, Michelin tires ranged from $194 to $240, Bridgestone tires ranged from $170 to $232, and Goodyear tires ranged from $174 to $209.

There are a few main reasons for the price difference: quality, warranties, and a satisfaction guarantee. We contacted representatives at Discount Tire Direct and Tire Rack and asked them why Michelin tire prices are higher than other brands. Representatives from both companies said it’s because Michelin tires are high quality.

Michelin does more than some other brands behind the scenes to construct a superior product, a representative from Discount Tire Direct said. Michelin tires also have the lowest defect rate compared to any other brand, a representative from Tire Rack said. In an interview with IndustryWeek, former company president Pete Selleck explained that at Michelin’s factories, samples of every dimension of tire are dissected and examined for quality. If the sample does not match Michelin’s specifications, production is halted, and the factory has 24 hours to correct the issue.

Due to its tire quality, Michelin ranks highly in surveys and rankings from consumer agencies and industry sources. The Consumer Reports tire buying guide notes that Michelin tires perform well in all-weather tests and have a long tread life. Michelin also holds five of the top ten spots on Car Bibles’ list of the best all-season tires.

While Michelin tires are known to be of high quality, they are not necessarily the best tire for every car or environment. For example, if you live in an area with gravel roads, the life span of your Michelin tires may be shorter than if you primarily drive them on paved roads, a representative from Discount Tire said. Longevity may also vary depending on the style of the tire; some models, like the all-terrain LTX A/T 2 (which has a projected lifespan of 85,000 miles), will typically have greater longevity than the brand’s lighter-duty tires, for example.

Depending on where and how you drive, it’s best to compare several models and brands before purchasing tires. It is worth noting that Continental and Bridgestone also come highly recommended by experts. Models from brands like Pirelli, Continental, BFGoodrich, and Kumho also rank higher than Michelin on Tire Rack’s all-terrain consumer ratings chart.

A Michelin customer service representative said the brand’s available warranties also contribute to the higher price tag. All Michelin tires come with a standard six-year warranty, and select tires also have a mileage warranty. Automotive information website Edmunds.com cites Michelin as one of the only tire manufacturers to offer a tread-life warranty on its winter tires. Here are details on Michelin’s tire warranties:

  • Standard six-year warranty: A six-year warranty comes standard on all Michelin tires. The warranty covers tire vibration, sidewall cracking, and tire noise. If your tire wears out or you experience one of the listed issues/concerns, you can receive a credit toward a replacement tire.
  • Mileage warranty: A mileage warranty is available on select Michelin tires. The warranty covers tread wear on tires. If your tread wears out before a set number of miles, you can receive a pro-rated amount toward a replacement tire.

Michelin backs all of its tires with the Michelin Promise Plan. The Michelin Promise Plan includes a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, plus three years of flat tire changing assistance.

Keep in mind, Michelin tire prices are set by individual retailers and auto shops, Michelin customer service representatives said. This means you should shop around to get the best price. You can buy Michelin tires directly from the brand or can shop at one of the following retailers:

In Summary

Why are Michelin tires so expensive? Michelin tires are more expensive than other brands because of their quality, warranties, and a satisfaction guarantee. Tire experts agree that Michelin tires have superior construction and a lower defect rate than the competition. You can purchase Michelin tires directly from Michelin or from popular retailers like Belle Tire, Discount Tire Direct, Tire Rack, and Walmart. For information on tire financing, see our article: Wheel and Tire Financing: Bad Credit, No Credit, Here Are Your Options.

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