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

Short Answer: Michelin tires are more expensive than other popular brands because of their quality, warranty options, and the company’s satisfaction guarantee. You can purchase Michelin tires directly from the brand or from tire retailers like Discount Tire, Tire Rack, and Walmart. Below, we compare Michelin tire prices with other popular brands and explain the reasons experts give for why Michelin tires are generally more expensive.

Why Are Michelin Tires so Expensive?

Michelin is well-known by consumers and auto shops as one of the more expensive tire brands on the market. We did a price comparison of Michelin tires and other popular tire brands in the U.S. through Discount Tire Direct. We used a 2018 Honda CR-V LX as our sample vehicle. Michelin tires are, on average, more expensive than the other popular brands. See the table below for the price comparison of major tire brands.

Tire Retailer Price Per Tire Price for Four Tires
Minimum Maximum Minimum Maximum
Michelin $182 $209 $728 $836
Bridgestone $160 $178 $640 $712
Continental $126 $170 $504 $680
Cooper $114 $147 $456 $588
Falken $122 $128 $488 $512
Goodyear $119 $192 $476 $768
Hankook $117 $134 $468 $536
Kumbo $95 $124 $380 $496
Pirelli $139 $158 $556 $632
Yokohama $112 $170 $448 $680

To understand more about Michelin’s pricing, we contacted representatives at Discount Tire Direct, Tire Rack, and Michelin and asked them why the company’s tire prices are generally higher than other brands.

Tire Quality

Representatives from both companies said that Michelin tires cost more than other brands because they are of higher quality. Michelin does more than some other manufacturers to construct a superior product, a representative from Discount Tire Direct said. A representative from Tire Rack told us that Michelin tires also have the lowest defect rate compared to other brands.

In an interview with IndustryWeek, former company president Pete Selleck explained that at Michelin’s factories, samples of every dimension of a tire are dissected and examined for quality. If the sample does not match Michelin’s specifications, the factory halts production and has 24 hours to correct the issue.

Consumer and Industry Rankings

Michelin tires are typically rated 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.

Depending on where and how you drive, you’ll likely want to compare several models and brands before purchasing tires. Certain models from brands like Pirelli, Continental, Cooper, Yokohama, and Bridgestone actually rank higher than Michelin on Tire Rack’s all-terrain consumer ratings chart.

Longevity

The longevity of Michelin tires will 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.

Note that while Michelin tires are known to be of high quality, they may 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.

Warranties

A Michelin customer service representative said the brand’s available warranties also contribute to the higher price tag for tires. All Michelin tires come with a standard six-year warranty, and select tires also have a mileage warranty. Edmunds cites Michelin as one of the only tire manufacturers that offer a tread-life warranty on its winter tires. The most common Michelin warranty options include:

  • Limited Warranty: Standard for all Michelin tires; this warranty covers tire vibration, sidewall cracking, tire noise, and defects in materials or workmanship for six years or the life of the tread (whichever occurs first). If you experience one of the listed issues/concerns, you can receive credit toward a replacement tire.
  • Mileage Warranty: Available for select Michelin tires. This warranty covers tread wear on tires; if your tread wears out before a pre-determined number of miles, you can receive a prorated credit toward a replacement tire.

Satisfaction Guarantee

Michelin backs all of its tires with the Michelin Promise Plan, which includes a 60-day satisfaction guarantee, plus three years of flat tire changing assistance, fluid delivery, lockout and jump start service, and free towing up to 150 miles.

Keep in mind that Michelin tire prices are set by individual retailers and auto shops. This means you can shop around to find the best price. You can buy Michelin tires directly from the brand or from any of the following retailers:

In Summary

Michelin tires are typically more expensive than most other popular brands because of their quality, warranty offerings, and the company’s 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, NTB, and Tire Rack.

For information on tire financing, see our article about wheel and tire financing for all types of credit.

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