Tire retailers get over 30% of wheel upgrade business, survey shows

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“Don’t discount the women,” is just one of several findings in a new survey conducted by Nation Safe Drivers.

Nation Safe Drivers, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., creates and markets auto-related supplemental products such as tire and wheel warranties, towing and roadside assistance packages and Gap and Etch protection products.

Its survey looked at the auto-upgrading tendencies of approximately 1,000 car owners 18 and over and was conducted by Opinion Research Corp. as part of their Caravan Study.

The survey showed that men and women demonstrated an equal propensity to upgrading their tires and wheels. While men and women reported they had an equal interest in upgrading, women who responded to the survey tended to spend less than men when doing so.

While survey respondents were evenly split about spending above or below a total of $500 on their upgrades, 60% of women who upgraded said they spent under $500, while only 37% of men reported they had spent under $500.

Overall, approximately 11% percent of the respondents reported they spent more than $2,000 on their tire and wheel upgrade, with more men saying they spent that much than women.

In regards to the purchase of a warranty for their upgrade, 50% of women who were offered the warranty bought it while 37% of men who were offered the warranty made the decision to buy.

Another key finding in the Nation Safe Drivers Tire and Wheel Survey was where the wheel and tire purchases were taking place. Almost 40% of respondents said they made their purchase at a local auto parts store or speed shop. Just over 30% reported making their purchase at a national tire retailer followed by 20% at the car dealer at the time of purchase and approximately 18% at a major retail store such as Wal-Mart or Sears. Mail order catalogues accounted for about 3% of sales. (Respondents were allowed more than one response,)

Overall, the Nation Safe Drivers Tire and Wheel Survey found that 14% of those making a new or used car purchase in the past three years upgraded the wheels or tires on their vehicles and that upgrading was taking place in all regions across the country and across all income and education levels.

The survey also found that upgraders tended to be under the age of 45 with virtually all regions demonstrating some level of upgrading habits.

“The Nation Safe Drivers Tire and Wheel Survey provides some valuable, interesting and even surprising insights as to who is upgrading, where they are doing it and a glimpse about purchasing habits,” said Michael Wiener, senior vice president of marketing for Nation Safe Drivers.

“We knew there would be something to be learned about the upgrading trends and habits among men and women and were surprised to see just how important a factor women were in this area. It was also quite revealing to learn that there’s a lot of room for growth. The survey showed that overall there are opportunities for marketers of these products and related supplemental products to further inform and impact consumers.”

For additional information about the survey, call Shep Doniger at (561) 637-5750 or For more information about Nation Safe Drivers and its affiliates, visit Web site

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