Some drivers may be noticing they are paying more for tires, and it may simply be because the vehicle they are driving comes with bigger wheels. A new set of trade tariffs also threaten to raise prices.

The rise of the sport utility vehicle in America has also led to the rise of the SUV tire, which is often pricier than a tire for the smaller wheels historically found on passenger cars such as sedans.

One 2019 survey from Consumer Reports found the median customer was spending $137 on a a tire for a sedan, coupe, hatchback or minivan, not including the cost of installation. The price for an SUV tire was $162. Pickup trucks were even more expensive, at $175.

Different forces have been exacting contrasting influences over tires and their pricing. A small but significant slice of consumers are buying tires online - and retailers such as Amazon are thought to have a "modest" impact on tire selling, in the words of analyst John Healy of Northcoast Research.

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