I mentioned awhile ago that I’ve bought some new wheels for my Mazda 3. They’re still about two to three weeks away since, I think, a Japanese guy is still forging them at this moment in the fires of Mount Fuji. Well, probably not but I like to think that’s how they’re being made so waiting is slightly less painful. Anyways, since the new rims are 18″ and my stock ones are 17″, that means I have to get some new tires.
After looking around, the best high performance summer tire that came in the size I need of 215/40/R18 were Kumho Ecsta SPT. These are Z-rated tires, which are rated for up to 149MPH…which is awesome except for the fact that my car tops out at about 120.
I don’t quite understand why stuff is still more expensive in Canada since our money is almost on par with the American dollar right now but if I were to purchase the tires here, four would cost me near $800. However, after looking online, I soon found a deal for just under $500 (taxes in) at Tire Rack and since they don’t have a store anywhere near me, I called up Discount Tire in Bellingham to get them to match it. A 40-minute drive to save almost $300 (remember I have to pay Canadian taxes too…)? Sign me up.
The day didn’t start well. For some reason, there was a massive lineup at the border…on a Wednesday. I’ve never seen so many people on the road not having to work before. I had to wait almost an hour and a half in line and I hate lining up for anything. I didn’t get across until about quarter after 5:00 and Discount Tire closes at 6:00…so I totally caned it the 25 miles to Bellingham.
If you live in Vancouver, this is a great way to save a few bucks if you’ve got the time (and trunk space) to go to Bellingham. My winter tires cost almost a hundred dollars more each in Vancouver…and that’s already if I buy them at Costco! The guys at Discount Tire will match any price and service was excellent.
So with my car crammed full of rubber, I made my way back across the border. Well, I did stay in Bellingham for awhile until dinnertime so I could miss the traffic and when I finally did leave, there was a fraction of the lineup I saw in the morning. However, lining up was pleasant compared to dealing with…ugh…customs.
Sorry but how come NAFTA doesn’t cover anything when I just happen to go across the border to buy things? Why are we still paying duties every time we go down to the States? I think it’s absurd to have to pay taxes again but thankfully, even with the extra $50 they charged me at the border, my total was still $275 less than the $800 I would’ve paid here in Canada. Border guards are all morons, by the way. Even though I declared my tires, I was still asked all sorts of idiotic questions like I’m a terrorist. That and it took those imbeciles close to 30 minutes to process something as simple as charging me 13% of $400.
But either way, it was a good day. Saving a decent amount of cash will always put a smile on your face. I’m one step closer to completing my car!