Whether it is your 1st or 10th time, buying a car lift continues to be a challenging process. The dynamics keep changing, and you'll likely find yourself reading through hundreds of reviews. But it doesn't always have to be this hard. Auto lifts are ingenious inventions to our homes and businesses, and car owners know their value.
Of course, the best car lift isn't necessarily the cheapest and definitely not the most expensive. It is always a fine line between the price range that gets you value. It is also important to note that the price of auto lifts needs to be inclusive of installation (including concrete) and maintenance costs. These make a lot of sense if you're in the car repair business.
If you're buying a car lift to use at home, the maintenance costs also matter as you may end up spending more on repairing the lift than your car. But we still see folks trying to cut corners and end up complaining. Again, we're not saying shopping around is terrible, but if you're looking for a car lift, make sure you're willing to pay for the value you wish to get from it.
Like any other product, the price of an auto lift will sway according to several factors. These factors affect the price directly or indirectly but are worth knowing before emptying your wallet on an auto lift. Also, note some of these factors are generally crucial to auto shop owners but still apply to home users.
We can all agree that generally cheap is expensive. Get a cheaply built house, and you're soon going to deal with costs on mold removal, roof replacement, etc. This applies to lifts, and, of course, your business lives on the reliability of your lifts.
So, when considering the reliability, ensure:
Reputation of the manufacturing company. It is sometimes hard to know the reliability of a product without actually using it. The best way to do this is by checking the manufacturer's longevity and how well-established the business is. Of course, a reputable company will have the innovation and drive to put up a high-quality product.
Quality of manufacturing products. The design and construction of lifts must be top-notch or at least compliant with industry standards. Basically, you need an ISO9001 certified product- the highest benchmark for international quality.
There's no better quality guarantee than the warranty of a product, and when it comes to car lifts, a comprehensive warranty is crucial. Companies understand the warranty process and include limitations and information in a detailed document. In short, never skim through the warranty of your lift. Companies we recommend are the Dannmar brand, Bendpak brand, and Maxjax brand.
The best warranties should cover for three years or more, but you can always notice manufacturing flaws in as little as two months. The main components are the frame and construction, which are usually covered for longer. Repairs can also be considered under warranty, so make sure you read all the details. The downside of assuming a lift's warranty is that you may end up spending a lot on unforeseen repairs or shipping fees.
Ensure safety is paramount at all times when purchasing a car lift. It saves you, your clients, and anyone around the auto lift from unnecessary injuries. If you have an auto repair shop, safety can have financial repercussions to your staff members (medical bills, insurance cover, compensation, etc.).
When looking at the safety, consider."
Added safety features
Training and installation
A gol ETL/ALI certification
Rigorous safety testing from manufacturer
Whenever you purchase a car lift, it becomes an integral part for you, your clients, and staff members. So, customers quickly pile up whenever it breaks down, and you're close to losing money. Picture you're in a shop repairing a Ford Mustang, and the lift suddenly becomes wobbly, and the classic car falls. How much will you lose in such a scenario? $500? 600 maybe? If the lift repairs take days, your costs can quickly shoot.
So, it would help if you had a support team who's knowledgeable, experienced, and a phone call away. In a nutshell, look at:
Availability of parts. Spare parts are crucial when doing repairs, and you should consider buying a lift with readily available parts. Replacing your lift with generic or worn-out parts isn't a good decision either. Such parts can compromise the quality of the lift and, even worse, void your warranty.
Accessibility. Find a factory-trained technician who is available and can do the work as fast as possible.
Now, let's look at the actual cost of buying an auto lift.
Car Lift Pricing
Buying an automotive lift is a big investment and a necessity for homes and garages, repair shops, and dealerships. This is because they make the repair work easier and more efficient. The price of an auto lift varies from $1,500 to $15,000+ depending on the brand, type of lift, construction, lift capacity, etc. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile investment that will save you lots of money or make money as well.
The biggest differences in the cost of auto lifts rely on the different sizes and configurations. Some are designed to lift small saloon cars, others for buses and large trucks.
Two-post lifts are often used for light trucks and most cars. The two posts are placed side by side, and the lifting posts underneath are used to hoist the vehicle. The lifts come in various lifting capacities, with the 10,000 pound two post lift costing $1,500 to $3,500. A 14,000 pound capacity two post lift should be around $3,000 to $5,000. See our article on the best two post lifts.
A four-post lift is your best bet if you want a higher load post capacity. It has more stability, and the vehicles are driven to the lift to avoid lift movement. You can hoist up to two cards at a time. The average cost of a four-post car lift with a 10,000 pound capacity is around $2,000 to $4,500. A 12,000 pound capacity lift will cost slightly above $5,000. See our article on the best four post lifts.
In-ground lifts were designed to save space in your bay. As the name suggests, they fold completely into the ground, leaving more space when not in use. However, since a bit of technology is required to make in-ground lifts, it costs more. Depending on the weight capacity, they range between $6,000 to $10,000.
Parallelogram and scissor lift
If you have larger vehicles such as trucks and buses, you might want to consider scissor lifts or parallelogram lifts. They can handle huge loads, and vehicles are driven into it. These lifts are significantly costly, running $10,000 or more.
Apart from the cost of lifts themselves, installation may be required. It's sometimes included in the price of the lift, so ensure you ask about installation before purchase. If you're an expert and understand the dynamics of an auto lift, you might as well do it yourself.
But we highly recommend investing in a professional to install your auto lift. Installation costs for two-post lifts maybe $300 to $500 while four-post lifts can run from $700 to $1,000. Installation of scissor and parallelogram lifts is about $1,000 to $1,500.
Another cost that may occur during installation is adding extra kits like high-lift equipment, which is usually around $800. In-ground lifts require anchoring of the garage floor, and when done separately, it costs $300 (it is cheaper when done during installation). Compressor and electrical work may be required depending on your lift, but it is crucial to consider such expenses in your hunt for auto lifts.
Purchasing Your New Car Lift
Once you're sold on a specific auto lift, ensure to cross-check all measurements. These include the overall height and clearance of the columns, width without motor, lighting height, and length between the ramps. As a rule of thumb, have extra length in and measure according to the biggest vehicle you have. Also, check your ceiling height and ensure it has a clearance of a few inches with the car on top. Finally, the width of the vehicle lift should also fit your home garage door.
Unlike mobile phones and home appliances, buying a vehicle lift is a big decision. It needs innovative thinking and a bit of research. When you genuinely understand the auto lift types, warranty details, and the manufacturing brand, you're a step away from making an informed choice.
Of course, it is not as easy as it sounds, and we hope this guide has saved you plenty of time and effort researching through various pieces online. Just be wary of cheap used items that may cost you a whole lot of money in the future. Also, keep an eye on discounts and free shipping deals to get the best bang for your buck!
It's time to grab that perfect auto lift for your saloon car or auto repair shop. Feel free to drop a comment about the price or anything else that we might have left behind. Happy buying.