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second hand stairlifts

This article was last updated on 1 October 2020.  

Second hand stairlifts and cheap stairlifts – Your ultimate guide

Why should I buy a second hand stairlift?

If you’ve just begun looking into buying a stairlift, you will likely be looking at the question of whether to buy a new or a used stairlift. There are many reasons why some buyers opt for a reconditioned stairlifts or second hand stairlift rather than a new one.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

Who is a second hand stairlift a good option for?

Stairlifts are often used by the elderly. While stairlifts can be particularly helpful for many older individuals, they are also helpful for those living with a disability or recovering from an operation or motor vehicle accident. Stairlifts are particularly beneficial for those who want to maintain their independence and ease of living while living in multi-storey homes.

What is the difference between second hand stairlifts and new stairlifts?

Used stairlifts, especially reconditioned stairlifts, are often very similar to new stairlifts. However, the cost of reconditioned stairlifts and second hand stairlifts is generally lower. 

It is important to first check that the stairlift companies you are considering buying from offer the same quality assurances for used stairlifts as it does for new ones, and are willing to offer maintenance or a labour warranty.

Here is a short video that sets out the differences between a second hand refurbished stairlift and a new one.

Is a used stairlift a safe option?

If you buy from a reputable company, a used stairlift has many of the advantages of a new stairlift, as well as often being quite a bit cheaper.

  • Used and second hand chair lifts often come directly from manufacturers so you know the full history of what you are buying, and the product will have been tested by engineers and experts.
  • Many stairlift companies stock replacement parts which can help keep down the cost of maintaining your stairlift in good working order.
  • There is often the option to customise second hand stairlifts with special features so that the stairlift will fit your stairs safely and comfortably.
  • If you purchase a stairlift second hand from a reputable company, you can have confidence in its quality that provides invaluable peace of mind.

What are the potential disadvantages of buying a used stairlift?

Though you should not assume that a used stairlift is any less safe or functional than a new one, you may encounter some issues which it is important to consider before making your purchase.

  • There may be maintenance issues if the model you purchase is not in production anymore, because it will then be expensive to find replacement components if required. Even worse, if the footplate or batteries of your stairlift- for example- malfunction and need replacing but cannot be found anywhere, your expensive piece of mobility equipment will be rendered useless!
  • It may be difficult to find a used or reconditioned option that will fit your staircase, if your stairs are very unique. If this is the case, you may have to look at new bespoke options.
  • There may be a more limited warranty if something goes wrong

How do I buy a second hand stair lift?

After an occupational therapist has assessed your needs and recommended that you purchase a stairlift, you should contact a reputable stairlift company, who will assess your home to determine which stairlift is right. This is often free of charge, and therefore does not factor into the overall price you will pay for your stairlift.

How do I search for the right second hand stairlift for me?

You can select a brand and contact them for a free quote to discuss your options and the needs of your property.

Alternatively, you can search online for particular models of stairlifts second hand, and see if they are available from other sites like eBay. This is not recommended though, as you cannot necessarily be assured of the quality of used stairlifts purchased from private sellers. The disadvantages of this option are outlined below.

Which stairlift suppliers sell 2nd hand stairlifts?

There are many companies to choose from. However, we recommend using Acorn, as we have identified them as the best stairlift providers in the UK based on many factors including quality and value for money.

Try our equity release calculator and see how much money you could release to pay for your second hand stairlift

Where else can I find second hand stair lifts?

You can also buy used stairlifts through online platforms such as eBay, Gumtree and Preloved. On these platforms, people who no longer need their stairlifts offer them for resale. It can often be tempting to purchase a stairlift through these sites, not least because they can appear to be bargain deals, but there are some issues to bear in mind.

Firstly, second hand stairlifts for sale on these websites will not come with their full service history, which can result in big unexpected bills down the line. You could shell out hundreds or even thousands for a seemingly cheap used stairlift that looks to be in good working order and fine condition, but then realise it has sustained previous damage that you end up paying for.

Even worse, unsafe second hand stairlifts could cause a serious accident, such as a fall from the seat or a collision of the seat with the wall or bannister. Make sure you prioritise your safety over saving a few pounds on the purchase price.

Secondly, a stairlift is a sophisticated piece of mobility equipment, and suitability to your home and your needs is vital. Second hand stairlifts prices shouldn’t lure you into purchasing a stairlift that doesn’t suit your house and your particular mobility requirements. For example, a seated stairlift may not suit a stairlift user who has trouble bending their knees.

Thirdly, those who purchase second hand stairlifts on these online platforms have to arrange for installation themselves, which is a hidden cost that makes many used stairlifts seem not so cheap after all. This brings another risk, as a disreputable or insufficiently trained engineer may fit the used stairlift wrongly and cause a safety hazard.

How much are second hand stairlifts?

One of the factors when buying a stairlift is the cost. There is a lot of price variation, so while it may be tempting to look for cheap stairlifts, it is essential to ensure that your stairlift is the right one for you. Prices can also vary depending on a range of factors:

  • The functions of the stairlift you choose, including how easy it is to mount and dismount.
  • Necessary preparations for the installation process, such as modifications to your stairs or perhaps the removal of a radiator.
  • Whether or not you need a straight or curved rail.
  • Whether you opt for a reconditioned stairlift.

What are reconditioned stairlifts?

The difference between reconditioned stairlifts and other used or second hand stairlifts is that a reconditioned stairlift has been refurbished by its manufacturer, so is of a higher quality than an ordinarily used stairlift.

Reconditioned stairlifts are sold by established companies at significantly lower prices than brand new models.

What should I look out for when buying a reconditioned stairlift?

There are numerous considerations when buying a reconditioned stairlift:

  • Whether the stairlift meets the same safety standards as a new stairlift
  • The warranty time and whether servicing is included
  • Whether it can be fitted to a curved staircase
  • The age of the stairlift
  • Whether the stairlift’s full history is available
  • If support services are available

Book an appointment to speak to a  stair lift specialist

second hand stairlift

How much does a reconditioned stairlift cost?

Though prices vary, if you opt for a reconditioned stairlift, you can expect to pay significantly less than the cost of a new model, and sometimes as little as half. However, a reconditioned model may cost more than a non-refurbished second hand model.

Is there funding available to cover stair lifts costs?

It can be possible to apply for sources of extra cash to cover the stairlift cost if your budget is looking strained. These include:

  • The Disabled Facilities Grant
  • Types of assistance from local authorities
  • Referrals to charities from your occupational therapist or health and social workers
  • More specialist charities like the Edward Gostling Foundation.

Additionally, you may be eligible for 0% VAT if you suffer from any conditions that leave you chronically sick or disabled and the stairlift is for personal or domestic use.

How do I get my stairlift into my home?

The seller will often include delivery and fitting in the cost, though there are specialist companies that can do this if you buy a used stairlift. Fitting generally takes around four hours, although it can be longer if you need a stairlift for narrow width stairs.

second hand stair lifts

Where can I get a reconditioned stairlift?

  • Stannah Lifts is a well known and reputable new and used stairlift company, with a wide collection of stairlift models. 
  • Handicare UK also offers a price match promise if you find the same or a similar model of reconditioned stairlift elsewhere. 
  • Unicorn stairlifts is a small UK-based stairlift supplier that specialises in refurbished and reconditioned stairlifts.

What other stairlift costs are there to consider?

  • Delivery- if you buy your stair lift from a supplier it is likely they will fit it into your home and delivery will be included.
  • Warranties- if you purchase a warranty, the business will fix your new or used stairlift if it breaks within the labour warranty period. Although it can feel like an unnecessary expense, it is wise to purchase a warranty, as otherwise you may be saddled with unexpected costs down the line. 
  • Servicing- if you do not decide to purchase a warranty, companies such as Acorn recommend your stairlift is serviced every 12 months, and offer a service providing this. It is always a good idea to ensure your stairlift is serviced by a reputable technician.
  • Stairlift removal costs- if the new or used stairlift you purchase isn’t right for you and your home, you may have to think about stairlift removal. Some warranties may cover stairlift removal costs, should the model you purchased not suit your home. It is a good idea to check if stairlift removal costs are included in your warranty.

What is the difference between straight and curved rails?

The layout of your stairs at home will make a difference to the type of new or used stairlift you need to buy.

A straight rail is for an ordinary staircase going straight up, whereas a curved rail is for if your staircase changes direction. Not all stairlifts can operate on a curved rail, which is generally more complex to fit and therefore often significantly more expensive.

stairlifts for sale

What other factors should I consider before looking at stairlifts for sale?

  • There will be a vast variation in the quality of used stairlifts for sale. This is why it is important to only buy from reputable stairlift companies to ensure safe results, and to steer clear of dodgy second hand options on websites such as Ebay and Gumtree.
  • You cannot use one brand of stairlift on a track that comes with a different brand, but you can have a track cut down to fit your staircase. If this seems like a good option for you, consult the supplier, and make sure you do not approach an untrained person to modify a used stairlift you have purchased.
  • It is easier to fit a used curved stairlift to a straight case than the other way round. Again, this is a procedure that should only be carried out by a professional, or your stairlift may end up unsafe to use. 

Can you rent a stairlift?

As an alternative to second hand options, it is indeed possible to get your stairlift as part of a stairlift rental package. For example, Stannah allows you to rent your stairlift by paying monthly, and the cost includes servicing and removal.

This may be a good option if you are living with only temporary mobility problems, such as recovering from a road traffic accident, and expect to no longer need access to mobility equipment in the medium to long term.

Renting a stairlift may also be a useful option if you don’t have the financial resources to meet large upfront costs.

How can I go about selling my stairlift?

Some companies allow buy back of unwanted staircases, though this is not standard procedure due to the bespoke nature of fitting many stairlifts, and due to the stringency of health and safety regulations.

You can, however, sell your stairlift privately on sites such as Gumtree or Ebay. However, you will have to either check the buyer will be able to have your stairlift removed privately, or you will have to pay for removal of your stairlift yourself.

If you opt for private resale online, be sure to consult a tech-savvy family member if you lack experience using such sites. Consulting a family member can ensure you avoid online scamsters.

Where can I find other information on stairlifts?

You can read more information and advice about stairlifts throughout this site.

Who Is The Best Company For Second Hand or Cheap Stairlifts In The UK?

At UK Care Guide we have reviewed the main stairlift companies and manufacturers in the UK.

If you are looking for a stairlift, then our recommendation would be for you to use Acorn Stairlifts. This is for the following 8 reasons:

1. History

They have been a major stairlift provider in the UK for over 20 years- longer than most other manufacturers in the UK.

2. Cost

Having reviewed the prices of Acorn and compared them to other providers, we found that they were most often the cheapest.  This combination of value and quality makes them, in our opinion, unbeatable.

3. The World’s Largest Manufacturer

They are the world’s largest stairlift manufacturer, which will help provide you with peace of mind that they will supply you with a good quality lift.

4. British Based

Having a British based company is important as increasingly we are seeing more and more products coming from the likes of China.  Whilst they can sometimes be a little cheaper, we do sometimes have doubts about their quality.  After all, who wants to end up stuck on a stairlift halfway up the stairs!  Acorn are based in Yorkshire.

4. Cost

Having reviewed the prices of Acorn and compared them to other stairlift companies, we found that their average price was often the cheapest for a straight or curved stairlift.

5. Well rated by others

Don’t just take our word for it.  Based on over 1,000 customer responses, they have a 5-star review on Trust Pilot.

6. Speed of Response

The need to get a stairlift can often be urgent, especially if someone has been in hospital and is looking to leave.  Acorn has over 65 UK surveyors and can do same-day assessments as well as a home visit if needed. This help ensures you get the lift as soon as you possibly can.

7. Speed of Installation

Having possibly done an assessment on the day you contacted them, they are also able to complete installation within 3 days in 80% of the UK and within 5 days for the other 20%. Other organisations can take up to two weeks to install your stairlift, causing unnecessary inconvenience.

8. Rent a Stairlift Instead of Buying One

If you find that you are not sure whether you need a stairlift, then Acorn will allow you to rent one of their stairlifts to see how you get on with it.  Not all manufacturers do this and we think this flexibility will be valued by many.

How to contact Acorn

For all of the above reasons, we have no hesitation in recommending Acorn as the best stairlift company for you.  If you do want to buy or rent a stairlift, need a quote, or you have some more questions, you can contact them by ringing –  0800 0169 435.

Alternatively, you can leave your contact details below and we will arrange for Acorn to call you straight away.

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More helpful articles about Stairlifts

Stairlift costs

The price of a stairlift can be expensive.  This articles examines the costs involved in buying a stairlift and what is involved in its installation.

Curved stairlifts

Curved stairlifts are necessary where you do not have a straight staircase.  In this article we look at what you need to consider if getting one.  

Reconditioned stairlifts

A reconditioned stairlift can be a good balance between a new and second hand stairlift.  In this article we look at what you need to look out for.

Used Stairlifts

A used stairlift is a good option if you are looking to save some money.  This article looks at what you need to think about if you want to buy one.  

second hand stairlifts

A second hand stairlift is a great cheap option if you need to be careful about what you spend.  In this article we look at what you need to consider.

stairlift rental

Buying a stairlift can be expensive.  Therefore, and especially if you need it on a temporary basis, renting one could be a good option to consider.

cheap stairlifts

Stairlifts range in prices.  This article looks at what you need to consider if you want to buy a cheap stairlift and what it may cost you.

Stairlifts for Narrow stairs

If you have a narrow set of stairs then you may need a specialist staircase.  In this article we look at the issues involved in getting one fitted.

Paying for a stairlift

Equity Release is one way that you can pay for your stairlift.   Use our calculator to see how much money you could receive from your home.  

Meet the author

Hayley Kenyon

Hayley Kenyon

Hayley is responsible for writing content on the site as well as managing the social media channels. She has a degree in Art and Humanities. Hayley has been reviewing and writing on products for a number of years and uses her experience to recommend the best products.

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Are you looking to get a stairlift or have some questions you would like to speak to someone about? We can help!

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When it comes to buying a stairlift the amount of choice can be very confusing.  Luckily, we, alongside Acorn Stairlifts are here to help and guide you. 

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