RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - High gas prices are inflicting pain more than just at the pump, it's also causing tire prices to soar. A new set of tires could cost you hundreds of dollars more.
Billy Allen runs Allen Tire off Forest Hill Avenue. He says tire prices have already gone up about ten percent - and it's only going to get worse.
"If you're in the market for new tires, now is definitely the time to buy," Allen said. "Waiting is not going to do you any good. They're going to keep going up, and up, and up, and up."
Allen says getting a new pair of tires for a mid-sized truck used to be about $600 - now it's more than $800.
Driving on old tires can be dangerous and give you less control at the wheel, and now the higher prices are causing some drivers to drive on these old tires longer in an effort to save money.
"There are a lot of people really pushing their tires a lot farther than they normally would," Allen said. "That's why you see more cars coming in here with steel hanging out of their tires, cars sitting on the side of the road because they're really, really pushing those things just because how much they're costing."
Windy VanCuren of AAA says falling oil prices should mean good news at the pump, but don't expect that to bring down tire prices for a while.
"Everything kind of lags behind," VanCuren said. "Prices go up a lot quicker than they come back and you take into consideration 55% of the raw materials used to make a tire are petroleum-based so as petroleum prices go up, those are going to go up."
To make matters worse, Allen Tire says natural rubber prices have also skyrocketed, meaning tire prices may not come down after oil prices drop.