Consumer research for older and disabled people

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How much will a stairlift cost?

Buying a new stairlift

In our research for Age UK in 2016, we asked three firms to quote for installing a lift in each of three houses. Here's what we found:

  • The quotes varied from house to house and from company to company.
  • It's worth getting more than one quote - we strongly recommend getting three quotes to compare.

See our list of stairlift suppliers

Sample stairlift prices quoted in 2016 (by place and firm)
  Firm 1 Firm 2 Firm 3
London (curved) £5,601 £6,035 £4,990
Hereford (curved) £4,690 £5,355 £5,490
Cumbria (curved) £4,700 £5,945 £4,890
  • Ask how payments are scheduled. Don't pay the last instalment until the lift is installed and you're happy with it.
  • Ask for details and quotes for servicing costs.
  • See our advice on choosing a supplier.

Renting a stairlift

You can rent stairlifts from some local suppliers and manufacturers. Prices vary and you will have to pay an initial installation fee and a weekly or monthly rental fee. The cost of removal is usually included, but check this with the supplier.

Of the major national manufacturers and suppliers:

  • Dolphin charge £700 to rent a straight stairlift for one year. This up-front fee includes installation, future removal charges, 12 months' rental fees, and servicing and breakdown cover. There is a £50/month rental fee to rent the stairlift for longer than a year. They do not rent curved lifts.
  • Stannah rent straight and curved stairlifts. You pay an up-front fee which includes administration, installation and future removal charges and then a monthly fee for the duration of your rental (costs vary). Servicing and breakdown cover are all included.

Money-saving tips and reconditioned lifts

Some firms have a price-matching scheme and will match their competitor's prices for similar products. Ask about this when you talk to them.

Many firms sell reconditioned second-hand stairlifts. These are considerably cheaper than buying new and come with a year's guarantee and sometimes a free service.

The law says that all products must be fit for their purpose, so you can expect a second-hand lift supplied by a manufacturer to be in good working order. But it's best to buy reconditioned lifts from manufacturers or a well-established retailer, just to be safe. Ask for:

  • an assurance that the lift has been tested
  • a full service history
  • a guarantee

You may find that a company can offer you a discount or a cheap deal on a particular model. Usually, you have to sign up quickly to get this discount. For more about this, see our advice - Think carefully about accepting a 'special offer'.

Running costs

Stairlifts don't cost much to run in terms of electricity. One manufacturer calculates that the annual cost would be around £5 in electricity charges, based on seven return trips a day.

Note that there should be no VAT to pay on the purchase or installation of your stairlift, because products designed for and used by disabled people are zero-rated. For more information, see HMRC's Notice 701/7 VAT Reliefs for disabled and older people (December 2014).

Last updated: November 2016


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