All-weather grip is the most sought-after attribute when shopping for a replacement tire, according to a new survey of tire buyers conducted by Consumer Reports. Fewer than one in three respondents specifically looked for the lowest price.

These are among the findings from a large, tire-buying survey of 48,525 CR subscribers, who reported on 50,125 tire buying and/or installation experiences from walk-in chains, online retailers, independent tire retailers, and car dealerships.

The length of the manufacturer’s treadwear warranty was considered important by 49 percent of shoppers. This oft-touted information can be found in stores and on manufacturer websites, but it is not an ideal comparison, given that the number is self-reported.

MORE FROM OUR SURVEY & TIRE-BUYING ADVICE

That’s why Consumer Reports tests tires up to 20,000 miles on public roads, allowing us to project mileage based on how the tires wear. Based on our testing, we found that most tires should live up to their mileage warranty claims, but some are even better, making a difference in the overall operating costs. (Learn more about tire treadwear.)

Other leading considerations among tire buyers were brand, traction, and handling. We were surprised to see that braking was a factor only for 31 percent of respondents, as stopping distance is a key safety factor. Even a variation of a few feet can mean the difference between a confident stop and minor collision.

Features Tire Buyers Look For When Shopping

Tire Shopping Features

Percent

All-Weather Grip

54

Length of Manufacturer's Treadwear Warranty (Miles)

49

Brand

47

Traction

44

Handling

43

Braking

31

Free Follow-up Services and Maintenance

31

Lowest Price

31

Treadwear Traction Temperature Ratings (Located on Sidewall of Tire)

27

Tread Type

23

Retailer Recommendation

20

Other

11

  1. Subscribers could select more than one response.

When it comes time to purchase replacement tires, don’t rely solely on retailers for guidance. Be sure to check the our tire ratings. To help our readers make informed decisions, we put tires through a battery of tests, including braking, handling, hydroplaning resistance, winter traction, ride comfort, and rolling resistance—a factor for fuel economy. The resulting data can help you find the best tires for your needs, emphasizing the factors that matter most to you.

See our tire buying guide and ratings.