I-Team: 'Tire Rental' gains traction as alternative to buying

I-Team: 'Tire Rental' gains traction as alternative to buying

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Have you tried to buy a set of new tires lately?  Well, if you haven't, you are in for sticker shock!

Too many families can no longer afford to buy four new tires, so they've turned to an alternative way of getting them. It's called ‘tire rental.'

Now, while tire rental has been around for a while, in the past it was for specialty tires and rims.  That's not what we're talking about. Today, we're talking about regular, run-of-the-mill tires.

According to a trade Web site, the price of tires has gone up 57 percent in the last six years.  At the same time, salaries have dropped and credit is harder to come by, so it's tougher for families to buy a set of new tires.

Now enter rent-to-own tire shops that will let you walk out the door with a set of tires -- perhaps for as little as $50 -- and a monthly payment. That is doable.  

But, be careful because in the long run, you could end up paying twice as much.   

If you have the money, rent-to-own is a bad financial decision. But, if you don't have the cash and really need tires, Conrad Ciccotello -- an associate professor of finance at Georgia State University -- says this is the one time he recommends using your credit card.

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