This article was last updated on 1 January 2021.
Many people who either have temporary mobility issues or cannot meet the upfront costs of purchasing a stairlift outright look into rental stairlifts as a solution.
Stairlift rental is when you pay a service to temporarily install a stair lift onto your staircase. There will be a rental charge every month for as long as the use of this stairlift is required.
This article will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not stairlift rental is the best available option for your needs- including how much it costs to rent a stairlift and your contractual obligations and entitlements.
We will answer the most frequently asked questions regarding stairlifts to rent, the costs and benefits of different options, and the options you have when it comes to buying or renting a stairlift.
Buying your own new stair lift might not always be a feasible option if you can’t afford to pay the full stairlift cost in one go. But don’t worry: if you’re looking for cheap stairlift options, a monthly rental scheme can help.
The option to rent a stairlift is now relatively common among stairlift companies. Acorn offers a rental service for a selected range of stairlift models, and other well known stairlift companies also offer rental stairlifts, such as Stannah Stairlifts and Handicare.
Many customers wonder whether renting or buying a stairlift is going to work out cheaper overall, given their circumstances. For those with only short term mobility needs, a rental stairlift with only temporary installation might make a lot of financial sense.
If you require a stairlift because you are having difficulty using your staircase while you recover from an illness or a procedure, you will likely find a stairlift rental scheme a more cost effective idea. By paying for a monthly rental or paying per week of use, you can discontinue your rental once you no longer need the stairlift.
Using a stairlift rental service is also a great option if a family member or guest with reduced mobility will be coming to stay with you for a short period of time; however, if the guest is visiting for a very short period, it may not make financial sense to rent a stairlift, as the installation charge is often expensive in itself, and even if the company covers this, they may be reluctant to provide a rental stairlift for a very short time.
The minimum monthly rental duration of many stairlifts rental services is often 1 month or more.
In the longer term, moreover, the rental premium for using an installed stairlift will add up and may end up being more expensive than if you had chosen to simply buy a new or used stairlift outright.
In cases where you will need a stairlift for a period of years, it is likely best to purchase a new or used stairlift, as long as you have the financial resources to achieve this. In this case, you will have to pay for some additional servicing to your stairlift over the years, which is normally included in the rental cost.
Here is a short video about stairlift hire.
As a rough guide, the stairlifts rental cost for a straight model should not exceed around £10 per week.
However, it’s important to remember that there will be an initial installation charge for fitting the stairlift to your home. The full fee can total between £350 and around £1000, but this price will cover administration, installation and the later removal of the stairlift from your staircase.
This charge may sound like a lot, but a rental stairlift will most likely work out more cost effective for you in the short term than buying a new or used stairlift outright. The cost of purchasing a straight stairlift can end up totalling between £3000 and £5000, meaning even a couple of years of renting a stairlift might work out cheaper, even factoring in that installation charge.
While not everyone will be able to get a stairlift for free, you can apply for a government grant- the Disabled Facilities Grant- which could cover all or part of your stairlift bills, as well as funding assistance from a number of charitable organisations.
Even if you can’t get a stairlift for free, you can also get a VAT exemption, which will significantly reduce the cost.
The prices of stairlift rentals vary according to the rental service and the exact specifications and requirements of the staircase onto which the stairlift will be installed.
Factors such as the following will all affect the cost of rental stairlifts:
If you call a stairlift rental company, their customer service team will be able to answer any questions you have about the cost of their rental stairlifts options.
One of the company’s expert surveyors will conduct a home visit to make an in-depth assessment of your stairs. (COVID-19 update: a home visit may not be available under the present circumstances, and even if the stairlift rental still offers home visits, ensure it is a safe option.)
Once they have conducted the visit, they will know what adjustments they will have to make so you can start renting a stairlift, such as the refitting of radiators and the removal of other potential obstructions.
After this visit, the stairlift rentals service will call and provide you with a full personalised price quotation.
This quote should include the size of the deposit, the one-off installation costs, and the monthly price for you to rent a stairlift with them. (Some companies apply a per week rate, but it is less likely for companies to charge per week than per month).
There are a number of different options to choose from when renting a stairlift, to suit the dimensions of your home, and corresponding to the extent of your financial resources. These rental stairlifts options include a curved stairlift, straight stairlifts, and new, used and reconditioned models of stairlift.
Curved stairlifts are not always available as rental stairlifts. This is because a curved stairlift is in many cases custom made for your home’s staircase, and so is unlikely to be able to be reconditioned for use by another customer after you are no longer in need of the lift.
Straight stairlift models, on the other hand, are generally suitable for easy and safe installation to any standard straight staircase. Therefore there are generally many straight stair lift for rent, as companies can viably install the same stairlift in different homes.
The more simple design of straight stairlifts also means that installation and removal can happen quickly at the beginning and end of the rental period.
Information about the types of rental stairlifts a company has available can usually be found easily on their website- and, as mentioned above, most of the flagship UK stairlift providers offer a variety of rental options.
Acorn Stairlifts has a number of attractive options for renting stairlifts, as well as buying new, used and reconditioned models. They offer both curved and straight stairlifts, and because maintenance and servicing is included for free in the service, there is no need to worry while you are renting a stairlift from Acorn Stairlifts- peace of mind is assured.
The exact amount of time the company’s engineers will need to install a new stairlift to the stairs in your home will vary on the basis of the service and the space in your home.
More complex installations will take longer. For example, if you need a radiator removed or relocated, a bannister modified, or other home modifications carried out, this will increase the length of time needed to install rental stairlifts.
A curved stairlift will also generally take longer to install than a straight stairlift, due to the more complex design of curved stairlifts, and the consequent difficulty of fitting the curved stairlifts to staircases, and removing all obstacles that might get in the way.
However, more simple models will raise fewer of these time-consuming problems. The installation of a straight stairlift from Acorn, for example, will typically take between 1 and 5 hours- it can easily be completed in a single afternoon!
To start your stairlift rental, start by finding a reputable stairlift company that offers a rental stairlifts option. Aside from the companies mentioned above, a quick internet search for key phrases like ‘stair lift rental near me’ should bring up a number of results.
Once you have found a service that looks good, ring them up or fill in their online contact form and inquire about the possibility of stairlift hire, and find out whether it would be a cost effective option in your case.
If you would like a personalised quote, you will also need to give the rental business your address in order to arrange a home visit. (COVID-19 update: a house visit may not be available under the present circumstances, and even if the stairlift rental still offers home visits, ensure it is a safe option.)
To find the most cost effective stairlift rental for you, it might be worth giving one or two stairlift rental services a call and comparing the installation cost and monthly prices they offer.
You may be asked to agree to a set rental period when renting a stairlift.
If you anticipate that you will only need the stairlift for a month or two, you will want to make sure that your rental stairlift agreement doesn’t require a more long term commitment. You don’t want to end up locked into payments for continued use of a rental stairlift when you don’t need it anymore; what a waste of money!
Not all stairlift rental companies will require you to sign a contract, but you should be aware that when you are renting a stairlift this is a common feature of the rent agreement. A standard renting term would fall between one month and three months.
One advantage for customers who choose to rent a stairlift is that they can save themselves the fuss and expense of servicing, maintenance, repairs, or breakdown cover.
Many stairlift rental services, especially from major UK stairlift providers, will offer free cover for any maintenance or servicing required during the rental period. This is a great way to ensure a problem-free customer experience while renting a stairlift, as instead of worrying about having to make a big payment should your stairlift fail, the provider will cover any problems (subject to terms and conditions).
When one purchases a stairlift, by contrast, the buyer needs to budget for servicing; this can be a major headache as time goes on, especially in the event of major issues.
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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