How Much Does A Stairlift Cost? [The Ultimate Guide 2020]

As you might expect, the answer isn’t always a simple one. Finding the right stairlift for you means weighing up some key considerations:

  • Will the stairlift need to move in a straight line only or travel round bends?
  • Is a new stairlift the only option you’ll consider, or is a reconditioned unit a possibility?
  • Do you need a stairlift permanently or temporarily?

It’s important to have answers to these questions at the outset so that when you’re weighing up prices you know you’re comparing like with like.

What’s the average cost of a stairlift?

According to a Which? Survey, in 2018 the average cost of a new stairlift was £3,369. But there are some problems with such a figure. Averages don’t work very well in a market where there’s such a wide range of stairways and stairlift types.

Which? did break the figures down a little more. It said, for example, that the average for a new straight stairlift was £2,679 although, by definition, that average means you can find them for less.

Does the brand affect the stairlift price?

It can do. Some stairlift brands market themselves aggressively and all that marketing budget has to come from somewhere. Generally speaking, a well-known stairlift brand will cost more than a lesser- known one, even though the stairlift itself may be very similar (and in some cases almost identical).

Why do curved stairlifts cost more than straight ones?

It’s simply a matter of complexity. A straight stairlift, such as the Handicare Simplicity 950 or 950+ costs less than a curved stairlift because it costs much less to manufacture and there’s less work involved in installing it. There are fewer variables too. A straight track is a straight track, and the only thing that’s likely to alter the cost is the number of steps in your stairway (which affects the length of track).

With a curved stairlift, such as the Bison 180, costs are influenced by the total number of stairs and the number of turns your stairway makes. Effectively, each twist and turn adds to the cost, but there are ways to minimise this.

  1. Consider multiple straight stairlifts: If yours is the sort of stairway that doubles back on itself, you may find installing a straight stairlift for each flight of stairs costs less that installing a curved stairlift to cover the entire length.
  2. Go modular: Some curved stairlift tracks are custom made for the space in which they’ll sit. Naturally, these will be at the more expensive end of price ranges. Others use a modular track (that is, a track designed to fit any shape of building by using standardised pieces). Think of it as building a Lego or Scalextric track on a grand scale. Because the pieces are standardised, costs can be kept low, whilst ensuring the stairlift can still fit the contours of any stairway.

How much do straight stairlifts cost?

We’ve compared prices for straight stairlifts across leading brands and suppliers. When comparing, remember to look at whether the price a supplier quotes is a ‘from’ price (i.e. the minimum you can expect to pay) or an average or typical price:

 Company ACompany BLeodis Stairlifts
Straight (New)From £2,000From £1,900Typically £1,750 Installed
Warranty Period12 Months12 Months2 Years Parts & Labour

How much do curved stairlifts cost?

And here’s the same comparison for curved stairlift prices:

 Company ACompany BLeodis Stairlifts
Curved (New)From £4,500From £4,950Typically £3,950 Installed
Warranty Period12 Months12 Months2 Years Parts & Labour

What’s included in the cost of my stairlift?

When comparing prices, it’s important to check that you’re comparing like with like. A low priced stairlift may look like a good deal, but if installation costs extra it will be far less of a bargain.

Check that the following are all included in the price you pay for your stairlift:

  • Survey
  • Installation: Are there any additional costs (e.g. extra power sockets) you need to be aware of?
  • Warranty: Will your stairlift be guaranteed for two months or two years? And what’s included with the warranty? Parts and labour – or just parts?
  • Aftercare standards: If there’s a problem, how quickly can you expect an engineer to be with you?
  • VAT: so you can factor in any exemption (see below)

Do second hand stairlifts cost less than new ones?

Yes. You’ll almost always pay less for a used stairlift than a new one BUT it’s important to ensure that the other factors that influence your decision to buy all add up.

  • Buying a used stairlift from a private buyer: Often the option with the lowest upfront cost, but there can be issues with buying privately. You may not know the age and reliability of the stairlift you’re buying. You’ll need to pay separately for installation and, unless the stairlift you’re buying is still in warranty and that warranty is transferrable, you’ll need to pay for all servicing and breakdown costs too.
  • Buying a used stairlift from a supplier: Installation will typically be included, but you’ll need to check there’s a warranty and that the stairlift you’re buying has been checked/serviced before its installation
  • Buying from a stairlift engineer: Usually the safest route, as engineers have the capability to service the used stairlifts they sell before they install them and maintain them once they are in place. Check to see whether any maintenance or breakdown service is included with the purchase price.

How much do reconditioned stairlifts cost?

Which? suggests the average cost of a reconditioned stairlift is £1,990 although again that combines costs for straight and curved stairlifts.

  • At Leodis, reconditioned straight stairlifts such as the Handicare 950+ or Acorn 130 will typically cost £950 supplied and installed with a 1 year parts and labour warranty.
  • Reconditioned curved stairlifts such as the Bison 180 will typically cost £2,500 supplied and installed with a 2 year parts and labour warranty.

Can you rent a stairlift?

Yes. Not everyone needs a stairlift in their home permanently. If you’re waiting for an operation, recuperating or receiving ongoing treatment, a stairlift can make a big difference in the short term even if you don’t need to buy for the long term.

That’s where renting a stairlift can help.

Things to check when renting a stairlift

  • Are installation and removal included in the upfront cost?
  • Are you clear on how much renting a stairlift will cost you in total? If things were to change and you needed to rent for longer, would you face a stiff penalty?
  • Are you covered for breakdowns and servicing? How fast will an engineer be with you if you need to call one out?

How much does it cost to rent a stairlift?

Costs vary significantly between stairlift companies and depending on all the factors mentioned above (curved vs straight, length of stairway etc).

At Leodis, for example, the typical cost of rental for a straight stairlift is £650. Typical cost for curved stairlift rental is £1,500.

For both types, that price includes installation, removal and two months’ rental. Additional months cost just £50 per month for all stairlift types. A comprehensive parts and labour warranty is included for the duration  of the rental, with a 24 hr on call service.

Do I pay VAT on a stairlift?

VAT is, in theory, chargeable on stairlifts but many people can get an exemption to reduce or remove it entirely. If you have a chronic health condition or are registered disabled, you can claim an exemption from all VAT. If you don’t meet those criteria but are over 60 you’ll pay just 5% VAT.

To claim either exemption you’ll need to complete a declaration form which your stairlift company will be able to give you.

Can I get a grant for my stairlift?

Quite possibly. Help is available for many people from numerous sources:

Disabled Facilities Grants (DSGs) are arranged through your local council. They are means tested on all income and savings above £6,000 but can be worth up to £30,000 in England (they are also available for many home improvements other than stairlifts). The council will need to approve the work and decisions can take up to 6 months.

Independence at Home is a charity which works to “help improve independence, comfort, safety, dignity and quality of life for people with long-term illness and disability.” Grants average £360 for qualifying applicants and can be put towards the cost of a stairlift

SSAFA, the armed forces charity offers help for veterans with a range of needs including mobility.

RABI offers support for farming families, including support with paying for adaptations in the home such as stairlifts.

Margaret’s offers funding for women suffering from any illness. Applicants must be referred to the charity by a health professional.

Questions?

If you need help finding the right stairlift options for you, talk to the stairlift engineers for expert advice. Contact Leodis now.

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