THE TIRE DOCTOR IS IN
House calls from ASAP Tire
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, Feb 21, 2016
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
By Glenn Oyoung
I’m about to turn 40 (YIKES!) and as a father with two young children I have growing responsibilities to go along with my growing midsection. One of those responsibilities is keeping our family shuttle, AKA my wife’s 2015 Toyota Highlander, in service. Last month I noticed that two of the Highlander’s tires were balding. I immediately thought of how incredibly inconvenient that was for going to be for me with my packed schedule. Then I remembered ASAP Tire and sighed a breath of relief.
For some context, in my late 20’s (Holy Stance Batman! Has it been that long?) I used to work at American Racing and was spoiled with free wheels, discounted tires, and free installation. It was like having my own pit crew. I changed wheels and tires as fast as politicians change their position on the Keystone XL pipeline. Fast forward a decade or so and I’m just a civilian in dad jeans with a tire problem. Now with work following me everywhere in this age of mobile devices and constant Internet connection, I have a time management problem too. That’s where ASAP Tire comes in.
Axis Wheels founder James Chen is no stranger to innovation. James noticed the uptick in mobile services including dog grooming, house cleaning, and the like. He asked why people should have sit and wait at their local tire shop while their tires were mounted and balanced. Why couldn’t the tire shop come to them?
Thus in 2012, ASAP Tire was born and quickly built a strong following in Southern California. From its home base in La Habra ASAP first set out to cover LA and Orange counties. Next came metro San Francisco. ASAP just recently expanded on the East coast to include Washington D.C., Baltimore, and northern Virginia.
Cut back to me staring at the two balding front tires and now noticing that the back tires may as well be changed out too. After running the numbers in my head as to how many In N’ Out burgers I’d have to forgo to help fund the tire replacement endeavor, I realized thanks to the good ole’ penny treadwear test that this had to be done sooner rather than later. You can’t make Honest Abe wait when it comes to tires.
I gave ASAP a call from my driveway. Since they are a Tire Rack recommended installer, they have a wide selection of tires available to them. I decided that to ditch the stock tires that didn’t even make it to 25,000 miles and go with another brand that was cheaper and showed better treadwear reviews on Tire Rack’s website. Schedule set, wife alerted, back to work for me.
One week later Sal showed up in a sleek black ASAP Tire van with my wife’s new tires. He arrived earlier than the 9:30 appointment time, so I was still decked out in my jammies. Coffee cup in hand, I gave Sal the keys and went back to checking my emails. Forty five minutes later, Sal was done. Highlander was shod with brand new sticky rubber to conquer the suburbs.
Drunk on convenience, I asked Sal if he would help me rotate my tires on my truck. I was selling my truck and wanted to put the OE wheels back on while I saved my precious TE37 aftermarket wheels for the new truck. No problem, and boom Sal was off to the races again. Back to work for me. Fifteen minutes later OE wheels are mounted and I’m on the phone with ASAP offering to pay for that additional work. They threw it in for free, which was not necessary but much appreciated. Job complete, wife happy, and I was feeling super smart that I killed two birds with one cell phone… in my jammies no less.
A review of Yelp and Tire Rack suggests that my experience with ASAP seems to be the norm. The phrase “no more waiting rooms for me” puts traditional tire shops on notice that they should probably renew their magazine subscriptions or invest in some XBOX games.
Lest you think this is all done for the greater good of mankind, this is a premium service. Let’s look at a traditional tire installation experience, using Discount Tire/America’s Tire as a baseline.
If you buy from Discount Tire Direct they’ll mount and balance your tires for $16 per wheel, so that’s $64 for all four corners. Add in disposal fee of $2.50 per tire and you’re at $74.00 before tax. With ASAP it’s $25 per wheel, so that’s $100 for all four. Add in the disposal fee of $3.50 per tire and you’re at $114, which is a $50 or 44% premium. Low profile tires are $35 extra each with ASAP. Traditional tire installers will also typically charge an upcharge to deal with low profile tires.
If you were to factor in lower price alternatives like Wal-Mart or Costco the difference would be even higher. If you have shipping costs to deal with that also can potentially increase the cost – though some of that increase may be offset by higher retail prices in the traditional storefronts.
The response ASAP gives of course is that time is money, and they exist to serve a customer base that values their time and has the good fortune to be able to afford this premium service. In the back-of-the-envelope math comparison above anyone who values their time at more than $50 per hour would be incentivized, as economists say, to choose ASAP over a traditional installer.
For me the ability to still help get my kids ready for school, get work done, and wait from the comfort of own my home is well worth the premium. Plus to be honest it’s really cool to have your own pit crew. Hey what can I say – I may be getting older but some things never change.
For more information about ASAP Tire, go to asaptire.com