We've preached tires at you before. They are the single most important part of your car, because they are the only part that actually interacts with the world. The rest of the car just tells the tires what to do. That's why if you need new tires, buy them and don't skimp. If you can't afford them, borrow some money from that creepy uncle if you have to, just don't do this.
A number of retailers have started renting tires for "as low as $3.50/week"¹ which works out to $56 per month for a set of terrible, but serviceable tires. They lock you into an 18 month contract, which means that takers are paying $1,008 for a $380 set of tires. Because of the rising price of rubber, many are finding that they can't afford tires, yet need them in order to get to work, and get suckered into this.
Why can't retailers come up with a way to sell to these people that isn't a twisted scheme to make the poor pay nearly three times as much for a necessary good? What happened to just letting them finance the damn things? That still sucks, but it's at least relatively fair.
[via LA Times]
¹Based on info from www.rnrwheels.com.