Rugged steel structure holds up to 400 pounds. Easy to install; adjustable from 34 to 58 inches. Limited lifetime warranty.
A costly model that's not foldable, but it is sturdier than some competitors.
An affordable model that holds up to 300 pounds. and adjusts from 32 to 48 inches. Folds against the wall when not in use. Easy to install.
It's shorter than some of its competitors, which means some tire models may not fit.
Adjustable to approximately 55 inches. Easy to put up and fold. A sleek pick for smaller tires. Easy to install.
Holds up to 300 pounds, which is less weight than some competitors can hold. Aluminum isn't as strong as steel. Expensive.
A mid-level model that's strong and adjustable from 36 to 68 inches. Holds up to 375 pounds. Mid-range price.
Not as easy to install as other models if your studs don't line up to their dimensions. Doesn't fold against wall. Has some sharp edges.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Whether you change your vehicle tires from summer to winter or keep spares for your ATV or other vehicles, you need a convenient way to store your tires. A good tire rack is a neat, effective, and simple solution.
However, there are many different tire racks on the market, and you have to determine the type, material, and weight capacity that’s right for you. If you’re unclear about your options, we’re here to help.
At BestReviews, it’s our mission to help you choose the best. We research what’s available, compare performance and value, and give you all the information you need to make the right choice. For everything you need to know about purchasing a tire rack, keep reading our shopping guide.
Tire racks (or tire shelves, as they’re sometimes called) come in several types.
Mobile tire racks
Mobile tire racks are often found in commercial garages, where they’re used to move tires from storage areas to where fitting takes place. They can hold a dozen or more tires, but as a result, mobile tire racks are large and probably too awkward for most people to consider for home use.
Fixed tire racks
Fixed tire racks vary enormously. Some fixed racks can hold 50 tires or more and are again designed for commercial use. Fixed tire racks that can hold four to six tires are ideal for home garages. This type of tire rack is best suited for the home auto enthusiast or RV, ATV, and motorcycle owners.
Folding tire racks
Folding tire racks save space when not in use, though their lighter construction means they are less durable than fixed tire racks. Folding models also tend to have a lower weight capacity. If there will be times when the tire rack is empty, and you need the space for something else temporarily, folding tire racks are ideal. However, if you’re swapping from summer to winter tires, your rack is going to be in constant use. The same is true if you are keeping spares for an ATV, garden tractor, or other vehicle. If you’re going to be loading and unloading the tire rack frequently, we recommend the rigidity of a fixed tire rack for home garages.
Again mostly used by tire technicians, a tire dolly is a lot like a hand truck, but it is specifically designed to move tires around. Though most people won’t need a tire dolly at home, it could benefit the weekend race enthusiast who has several sets of tires to transport.
A wall-mounted tire rack is a fairly simple construction. Some are a set width, but most are adjustable. There are generally only a couple of settings – for example, 32 inches or 48 inches – with no steps in between. You need to decide the setting you prefer at the start, because once the tire rack is mounted on the wall, it’s no longer adjustable.
The bars that support the tires usually have several locating holes, allowing you to rack tires and wheels of different sizes. Some tire racks have a sliding adjustment, though this doesn’t always offer the same degree of flexibility.
Aluminum tire racks weigh less, and manufacturers like to highlight this feature. You might save 10 or 20 pounds when compared to a steel tire rack, but when you add in the weight of a set of wheels and tires, at 30 or 40 pounds each, the overall difference isn’t so much.
Steel is a much more rigid material. Wheels and tires are sometimes thrown around with little consideration for the tire rack. A 40-pound combination hitting a steel rack will bounce off, with little chance of damage. The same impact on an aluminum tire rack could easily dent or twist it. If you’re always careful in the garage, it’s not a problem, but it is worth thinking about.
Perhaps the deciding factor is what you intend to store. Aluminum tire racks are often depicted by manufacturers with a full rack of motorcycle or car tires but seldom with complete wheel and tire sets. That’s probably as good an indication of structural strength as you need.
Some cheap folding tire racks carry as little as 200 pounds. This type of tire rack can cope with tires alone but could easily be pushed to its limit by a full set of wheels and tires. We prefer tire racks with a weight capacity of at least 300 pounds, and many of these are no more expensive than lighter options. Heavy-duty tire racks are usually rated for 400 pounds.
The warranty period for tire racks varies considerably. Twelve months is standard on low-cost racks, but the best tire racks come with a lifetime warranty (though be sure to check the conditions).
Tire rack prices tend to reflect the quality of the construction. That doesn’t mean cheap tire racks are poorly made, but the more you invest, the more robust the tire rack will be.
Folding tire racks are the cheapest. You’ll find 200- and 300-pound capacity models for between $35 and $45. Fixed tire racks with similar weight ratings run from around $60 to $80.
Heavy-duty fixed tire racks with 400-pound capacities can cost up to $150. Though aluminum tire racks don’t have the weight ratings of steel models, the material is more expensive. Aluminum tire racks with 300-pound weight capacities are priced around $150 as well.
Tire manufacturers recommend storing tires upright, but it’s okay to stack them on top of each other if you have to. Tires should never be hung from ceiling hooks, which will distort the bead, preventing a proper seal with the wheel rim.
Wheel and tire combinations should always be stored upright. If you stack them, each adds more weight to the set below. With a stack of four, for example, the bottom combination could have 120 pounds or more pressing down on it. That will likely cause permanent damage to the tire.
Tires should not be kept in the same position all the time, with the weight bearing on the same patch of tread. If they’re on a rack, give them a quarter turn once a month. If you’re storing a vehicle for any length of time, don’t let it just sit. If you can’t move it from time to time, put it on axle stands to take the weight off the tires. If possible, remove the wheels and tires, and rack them. If not, at the very least, give the tires a quarter turn on a regular basis.
When in use, wheels and tires pick up brake dust and all manner of dirt. If left to sit, this debris can eventually eat away at the rubber or ruin the finish of your wheels. Always clean tires and wheels before storage. A stiff brush and warm, soapy water are often all you need.
Q. How do I work out the weight capacity I need for a tire rack?
A. An average alloy wheel and tire combination for your car can weigh 40 to 50 pounds each, but truck or RV tires will weigh more. ATV tires often weigh less, but if the wheels are steel, they could be heavier. We recommend purchasing a tire rack that can hold 300 to 400 pounds, which should be more than enough for a set of four tires and wheels.
Q. Does it matter where I store my tires?
A. It’s not a good idea to store them outside. Tires warm up very quickly and can easily exceed 100°F. Expansion, followed by contraction when they cool, can eventually cause cracking that weakens the tires. Freezing temperatures are just as bad. You should also avoid storing tires near a furnace or sump pump. These appliances can produce higher than average amounts of ozone, which can damage the rubber. Do what the pros do: keep tires cool and dry in a garage or shed.
Q. Do I have to mount my tire rack to a wall?
A. It depends on the type. Mobile tire racks are designed to be wheeled around, of course, and you might find that a convenient option if you have lots of space. However, most consumer tire racks are designed to be bolted to a wall. Usually the tire rests on a pair of horizontal bars, so the bottom of the tire descends below the frame by an inch or so. If the rack is left on the floor, the tires could roll off, although you could raise the ends of the rack with bricks or cinder blocks.