This article was last updated on 1 October 2020.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
There are numerous considerations when buying a reconditioned stairlift:
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.
It can be possible to apply for sources of extra cash to cover the stairlift cost if your budget is looking strained. These include:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can read more information and advice about stairlifts throughout this site.
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:
They have been a major stairlift provider in the UK for over 20 years- longer than most other manufacturers in the UK.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t just take our word for it. Based on over 1,000 customer responses, they have a 5-star review on Trust Pilot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
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