12 On Your Side: New spin: Rent-to-own tires

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, March 29, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There's a new spin on tires that's wheeling in new business for a local company.

A few years ago, Rimco switched its focus from wheels to tires.

"We saw that they were not really needing rims ... but they were really needing tires," said Director of Operations Michael Ramirez.

Ramirez says overseas manufacturing has caused tire prices to soar. In the spirit of its parent company Ashley, which offers rent-to-own furniture and appliances, Rimco offers rent-to-own tires.

"We give the customer the opportunity to come in here that are not able to make the full large payment," he said.

About 70 percent of Rimco's current business comes from tires.

The rent-to-own tires can be purchased through either a 120 day or 12-month program.

News 12 On Your Side looked into whether the rent-to-own is worth the price. Here's how it breaks down:

The Rimco cost on four Goodride SPO6 tires is $449.99, if you pay cash. If you do, the lease to own over 12 months the same set of four tires costs $599.88.

The mark up comes to 24.9 percent. Right now, the average credit card interest rate is 15 percent, to put that in perspective. Credit card interest for someone with bad credit is about 24 percent, which is the same as the markup on the rent-to-own tires.

"It's always better if you pay cash on anything," Rameriz said.

Cash is always best. However, Rameriz says tires are a necessity and the rent-to-own is now another option for someone short on cash.

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