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How to buy snow tires in Canada

Let me start off by saying this: snow tires are a must if you live almost anywhere in Canada. The more northernly, the more imperative that you get a set. They can save you money on car insurance, but most importantly, they will provide you with added safety during our arctic winters. Here are a few tips to follow:

1. Know your tire
This is important. Know what type of tire you currently have. You can do by going to your current car and reading the numbers on the tire. Generally, they'd be something like this:
"205/65 R16"

The first number is the width (205 in our example), the second number is the aspect ratio (so the height is 65% of the width), and the third number after the R is the diameter of the wheel.

2. Downsize
The conventional wisdom is that you downsize your tires when you buy new winter tires. The reason being smaller tires offer more grip on the road and lower your vehicles centre of gravity for added stability. What swayed more to downsizing was the fact smaller tires are cheaper, even when you factor in the fact you have to buy new rims, which brings us to...

3. New rims
This is a must when you downsize. A set of black metal rims will probably set you back by $90 each, but think about how you'd be protecting your shiny alloy rims from the harsh Canadian winter roads and all that salt.

4. Shop online
My mistake was going to the dealership and just buying what they offered. I would highly recommend you call a few dealerships and get quotes on paper. After you do that, check the price of those same tires online. My dealership sold me my tires at $204 each. I looked online and found the very same tires at Canadian Tire going for $169. That's $140 I could have saved.

Do your homework and make sure you are getting the best deal you can get.

For more tips on saving on auto insurance and much more, check out the rest of our site!
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