If you’re thinking about buying a stairlift for yourself or a loved one, probably the first thing you want to know is the price. A stairlift is not something you purchase every day, so it’s likely you have no idea of how much one will cost. Understandably you want to find out prices so you can decide whether it’s something you can afford.
We’ve written this guide to help you get a clearer picture of what sort of price you can expect to pay for a stairlift. As you will see, it is difficult to give an exact price because there are several factors that will determine the cost. The price will depend on things such as what type of stairs you have, how much work is involved and which model and features you choose.
Read on to learn more about approximate stairlift prices and our tips for ways you can save money.
The only way to get an accurate price for a new stairlift is to get a quote from a reputable supplier. Most stairlift companies will arrange for a surveyor to visit your home to assess your stairs, take measurements and discuss your specific needs. This will enable them to calculate a fixed price quote for you. The visit and the quote should be free of charge. There should be no obligation for you to buy a stairlift from the company, you are simply getting a quote.
Some stairlift companies may be able to give you a price over the phone. In this case, they will usually ask you to send them a photo of your stairs so they can see which model will fit.
As a rough guide, prices for brand new stairlifts can range from around £2,000 to £6,000 or more. The following variables will affect the price:
If your staircase is straight and goes directly in a straight line with no bends or corners, you will be able to have a straight stairlift installed.
Straight stairlifts are the cheapest type because there is less work involved in fitting a stairlift to a straight staircase. They can be fitted on a readymade track, which costs less to produce than a custom made one. Models for straight stairs start from around £2,000 in price.
If your stairs have turns or curves then you will need a curved stairlift. This type of stairlift is more expensive because it requires a bespoke track to be manufactured to fit the exact contours of your stairs. Curved stairlifts can cost from around £3,950 upwards.
If your stairs are particularly narrow or steep, a model with a slimline design or a perching seat may be the best option. Again, this type of stairlift will vary in price according to the configuration of your stairs.
If you select to add any additional extras to a standard model this will also affect the price you pay. Depending on your particular circumstances there are various options that may be useful for you.
These can include:
- A Perch Seat
As we mentioned previously a perch seat can be handy on narrow stairs where space is at a premium. A perch seat can also be a suitable alternative if you have issues bending at the knees or find it difficult to get in and out of a chair seat.
- A Power-Swivel Seat
A powered swivel seat can be easier to use than one that is operated manually. It can make it easier and safer to get on and off the stairlift at either end of the stairs.
- A Track with a Power Hinge
While a standard stairlift track will be fixed in position, a power-hinged one can be folded up out of the way. This can be useful if the track is in the way of a thoroughfare or doorway when the stairlift is not being used.
VAT is another variable that can affect the price you pay for a stairlift. In many cases there is no VAT at all to pay on a new stairlift, which can save you paying 20% more than the purchase price.
Stairlifts for disabled people are classed as zero-rated for VAT. If you are disabled or chronically sick you will be exempt from paying any VAT on your stairlift. If you don’t qualify for 0% VAT but are over 60 years old, you should pay a discounted rate of only 5% when you buy a stairlift.
To make sure you pay the correct rate of VAT you will need to fill out the relevant form when you place your order. A good stairlift company should be able to provide you with more information about VAT exemption, or you can visit the HMRC website for clarification.
Finding the lowest price is likely to be a big priority when you’re choosing which stairlift to buy. However, you should also enquire about the ongoing future costs of servicing and an extended warranty.
While the purchase price should include a year’s manufacturer’s warranty as standard, you may wish to buy an extended warranty or servicing contract. This should cover the cost of repairs, maintenance and call out charges if your stairlift develops a fault.
You can expect to pay in the region of £90 for an extended warranty and approximately £100 for a servicing contract. Remember this cost will vary between companies. It is also important to read the exact terms and conditions of any cover you purchase to make sure it meets your needs.
Some stairlift companies will offer to match or beat any cheaper quote you’ve had from one of their competitors. If you can get quotes from more than one place you will be in a stronger negotiating position to get a better price. You can always ask if it’s possible for a company to reduce their price to match your lowest quote. An example of this type of policy is Companion’s Price Match Promise.
If you have a very limited budget and are concerned that you can’t afford a stairlift, you may be able to get a grant to help pay for some or all of the cost. Local authorities can provide financial assistance to disabled people in need, under the Disabled Facilities Grant programme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Scheme of Assistance in Scotland. Some charities also offer small grants to help pay for home adaptations.
As you may expect, a used stairlift can cost a lot less than a brand new one. If you’re limited to a tight budget it can be tempting to save money by buying a pre-used stairlift. However, it is imperative to be aware of the differences between purchasing a reconditioned model from a reputable dealer and a second-hand stairlift from a private seller.
A reconditioned stairlift from a stairlift company can cost around £1,500. For this you will get your stairlift professionally installed and the peace of mind of a warranty. A reconditioned stairlift will have been fully refurbished, serviced and tested to ensure it is in a safe condition and in full working order. In the event of a breakdown you will be able to call the seller’s helpline for assistance. The cost of repairs should be covered by a guarantee.
In contrast, a second-hand stairlift from a private seller from Ebay, Facebook or other selling website or newspaper ad may be considerably cheaper, perhaps under £1,000. However, this price will not include the cost of installation and you will need to find someone to fit it for you. There will also be no warranty from a private sale. If the stairlift breaks down you will have to pay for repairs yourself. Without the customer support of a reputable stairlift supplier it could take you several days to find a local engineer who can fix it.
Another important factor to take into account is that a curved stairlift will need a custom made track in order to work on your stairs. For this reason it is advisable to purchase a new stairlift if your staircase has bends or corners.
If your stairs are straight, then you may want to consider a reconditioned straight stairlift from a reputable company. When comparing prices with brand new models you should take into account the age of the reconditioned model, the level of warranty cover and after sales care offered, and whether you want the benefits of optional features that could be added to a new model.
In certain situations renting a stairlift can be a feasible alternative to buying one. The main benefit of a rental stairlift is you don’t have such a big financial outlay when you get it installed, although there is likely to be a one-off setup cost. You will pay a fixed monthly fee for the duration of the time you need the stairlift. You also won’t have the worry of unexpected repair bills, as servicing and maintenance costs should be included in your rental agreement.
In the short term renting can be a cheaper option than buying. If you are going to need a stairlift for only a temporary period – while you recover from an operation for example – it may make financial sense to rent.
So how much does it cost to rent a stairlift? It’s hard to give an exact answer. Prices vary according to which company you choose and whether you need a straight or curved model. If your stairs have bends or turns you’ll need a curved stairlift with a made-to-measure track, which will be more expensive than a standard model for straight stairs.
As a rough guide you could pay anywhere from £40 to £160 a month. Bear in mind that most companies will also charge an initial setup cost, which could be from a few hundred to a couple of thousand pounds.
It is worth comparing prices from different companies to see who can offer the best deal for your circumstances. For instance, some places offer reconditioned models for rent, which can be cheaper than renting a brand new one.
It is important you check the terms of any rental agreement. You will need to be clear about how much notice you must give to cancel your contract. Check if there is a minimum rental period. Also, ask if the company will charge a fee to remove the stairlift when it’s no longer required and find out if there are any additional costs.
While renting can be a good option for some people, for others looking for a longer term solution buying a stairlift can work out cheaper in the long run.