Tire prices skyrocket

If you're in the market for some new tires, be prepared for some sticker shock.  The price for tires has risen 20% to 30%.

The miles on a set of wheels can add up quickly.  That means you could find yourself with Jerry Sweeney, buying new tires and paying more out of pocket.  Sweeney says, “I was aware of it; that I was going to be paying more than I did three years ago.”

20% more.  Most tires now sell for about $150 a piece.  T.O. Haas Tire and Auto President George Hoellen says there a number of reasons for the increase, including high oil prices.  Hoellen says, “A lot of it's being attributed to raw materials, labor costs, transportation costs, getting the product from factories to dealers like us.”

Hoellen says luckily, T.O. Haas stocked up before the price increases hit, so customers like Sweeney aren't really seeing the full affect.  that can only last for 30 to 60 more days before Hoellen says he'll have to roll up his prices too.

With no relief in sight, and another price increase expected to hit the tire industry next month, drivers like Sweeney will just have to make do.  Or perhaps drive less.  Sweeney says, “Oh, no.  How can you cut that back?  That'd be a change of lifestyle, that's pretty hard to do regardless of the economy.”

The best way to get the most bang for your buck is to check your air pressure on a regular basis.  Also, make sure to rotate your tires every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.