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Last updated: 7 May 2024

Are Second Hand Stair Lifts Worth It?

  • Stairlifts can often be reused if they are in good condition and compatible with the new staircase. Factors such as the condition of the stairlift, its compatibility with the new staircase, age, model, proper installation, and adherence to safety regulations play a crucial role in determining whether a stairlift can be reused.
  • Reconditioned stairlifts are a safe option as they are very cost-effective, eco-friendly and usually come thoroughly inspected and serviced. But there are a few cons to reconditioned stairlifts like limited customization, potential for unknown wear and tear, shorter lifespan and risk of no warranty.
  • In the UK, the typical price range for a reconditioned second hand stair lift varies from £800 to £2,500 on average. Curved stairlifts usually incur higher expenses due to the need for customization to accommodate non-linear staircases.

For those navigating the challenges of limited mobility, stairlifts serve as invaluable aids, providing safe and efficient access to different levels of a home. However, the decision to invest in a stairlift often comes with various considerations, particularly regarding cost-effectiveness and reliability. 

With an increasing number of individuals seeking affordable solutions to enhance accessibility within their homes, the market for second-hand stairlifts has grown significantly. These pre-owned units offer the promise of substantial cost savings compared to their brand-new counterparts. Even though they are a cheap stairlift option, questions arise regarding safety, quality, and long-term value. In this discourse, we aim to dissect the various facets of second-hand stairlifts, weighing the pros and cons to provide a well-rounded perspective for prospective buyers. 

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Is it safe to buy a second hand stairlift?

Buying a second-hand stairlift in the UK can be a sensible and economical choice, particularly for those looking to make their homes more accessible without incurring the full cost of a brand-new stairlift installation. However, the safety and reliability of purchasing a used stairlift depend significantly on where it's bought and the due diligence performed before purchase. Here’s a detailed look at the pros and cons of opting for a second-hand stairlift.

Pros of buying a reconditioned stairlift

  • Cost-effective: One of the most compelling reasons to consider a second-hand stairlift is the cost. New stairlifts can be quite expensive, and buying used can often save you a significant amount of money. In many cases, second-hand stairlifts are almost as good as new, especially if they were barely used by the previous owner.
  • Thoroughly inspected and serviced: When purchased from reputable dealers or resellers, second-hand stairlifts are generally fully inspected, serviced, and tested to ensure they meet safety standards. Reputable companies often offer warranties or service plans, providing additional peace of mind to buyers.
  • Eco-friendly: Opting for a second-hand stairlift is an environmentally friendly choice, as it extends the useful life of the stairlift and reduces waste and the need for new materials.

Cons of buying a reconditioned stairlift

  • Limited customisation: One of the downsides of buying second-hand is that the options available may not perfectly match your specific needs or the dimensions of your staircase. New stairlifts are often customizable, tailored to fit unique staircases and individual preferences.
  • Potential for unknown wear and tear: While reputable resellers do a great job at refurbishing, there can be an element of risk regarding the stairlift’s past maintenance and usage history when buying privately or from less reputable sources.
  • Shorter lifespan: A second-hand stairlift might not last as long as a new one, simply because it’s already been in use. This means it might require more maintenance or sooner replacement than a new unit.
  • Risk of no warranty: Private sellers may offer a stairlift without any warranty, which could be problematic if issues arise post-purchase. This makes the transaction riskier compared to buying from a certified reseller who offers a warranty and after-sales support.

Safe buying tips

  • Choose reputable resellers: Always opt for well-established and reputable resellers who provide warranties, detailed service records, and transparent information about the stairlift’s condition.
  • Check for refurbishment: Ensure that the stairlift has been properly refurbished and inspected. Certified pre-owned stairlifts often go through rigorous testing to meet original manufacturing standards.
  • Seek professional installation: Regardless of where you buy the stairlift, professional installation is crucial. Proper installation ensures safety and reliability, as it is adjusted to fit your specific staircase.
  • Compare costs and benefits: Consider the total cost of ownership, including maintenance, repairs, and potential upgrades. Sometimes, the initial savings might be offset by future expenses.

In conclusion, buying a second-hand stairlift in the UK can indeed be a safe and smart investment when approached carefully. By choosing reputable sources, checking trustworthy stairlift reviews, ensuring thorough refurbishment and installation, and weighing the potential long-term costs, you can make a decision that combines safety, functionality, and value.

Can you reuse a stairlift?

Yes, reusing a stairlift is possible and can be an economical and environmentally friendly option, especially if the unit is still in good working condition. The feasibility of reuse, however, largely depends on the type of stairlift and the specifics of the staircases involved. Straight stairlifts typically have greater reusability potential, while curved stairlifts pose a higher level of complexity in terms of reuse. 

Straight stairlifts are the easiest to reuse because they travel up and down stairs without curves or landings. This simplicity in design means that the railings of straight stairlifts are more universally applicable across different homes with similar stair configurations.

Curved stairlifts, on the other hand, present more challenges for reuse. Because the rails are custom-made to fit the specific contours and bends of the original staircase, finding a new home with an identical or even similar staircase configuration is unlikely. This specificity can significantly limit the reuse potential of the entire unit.

In summary, while reusing a stairlift is certainly feasible, it requires careful consideration of the type of stairlift, its condition, and the specifics of the staircase where it will be installed. Straight stairlifts generally offer a straightforward reuse solution, whereas curved stairlifts may need component salvaging and more customised solutions for effective reuse.

Benefits of purchasing a second hand stair lift

Purchasing a second-hand stairlift in the UK offers several appealing benefits, making it an attractive option for many who require assistance with mobility in their homes. Here are the key advantages:

Cost savings

The most significant benefit of buying a second-hand stairlift is the potential cost savings. New stairlifts can be quite expensive, often ranging from several thousand pounds upwards. In contrast, second-hand stairlifts can be purchased for a fraction of the original price, typically saving buyers anywhere from 50% to 75% off the retail cost. This makes them an economical option for those on a tighter budget or who may not require the stairlift for an extended period.

Immediate availability

Unlike new stairlifts, which may need to be ordered and manufactured to specific requirements (especially curved models), second-hand stairlifts are usually readily available for immediate installation. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who need a stairlift urgently, perhaps due to a sudden change in mobility or after a hospital discharge, as it eliminates the wait times associated with the production and delivery of a new lift.

Warranties and service plans

Many reputable sellers of second-hand stairlifts offer warranties and service plans, providing peace of mind to buyers. These warranties often cover significant components and labour, ensuring that any issues that might arise after installation are addressed without additional costs. Service plans can also help maintain the stairlift in good working order, extending its useful life.

Sustainability

Choosing a second-hand stairlift is a more sustainable option than purchasing a new one. By reusing an existing stairlift, you reduce the demand for new materials and energy that go into manufacturing a brand-new product, thus minimising your environmental footprint. It also helps keep the stairlift out of landfills, contributing to a circular economy.

Tested for safety and reliability

Second-hand stairlifts sold through reputable dealers are generally tested thoroughly to ensure they meet safety standards. These stairlifts are inspected, serviced, and certified by professionals to ensure they operate as intended, which can alleviate concerns about the reliability and safety of buying a used product.

Customizable to some extent

While second-hand stairlifts may not offer the full range of customization that new ones do, reputable resellers often provide options to modify or adjust the stairlift to better fit your staircase or personal needs. Whether it's altering the length of the rails or adjusting the seating position, some level of customization is usually possible.

Quick installation

Professional installation services offered by second-hand stairlift providers can ensure quick and efficient setup. Since the products are ready to be deployed and technicians are experienced in handling a variety of models, the installation process is generally swift, allowing for immediate use.

In summary, purchasing a second-hand stairlift in the UK provides numerous benefits, from substantial cost savings and immediate availability to environmental sustainability. These factors make it a compelling option for those in need of mobility assistance in their homes, aligning with both economic and practical considerations.

Are there any drawbacks with second hand stairlifts?

While purchasing a second-hand stairlift offers numerous benefits, including cost savings and immediate availability, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. These can impact the overall satisfaction and usability of the stairlift. Here are the main drawbacks associated with buying a second-hand stairlift:

Compatibility with staircase

One of the main challenges with second-hand stairlifts is finding one that matches the specific configuration of your staircase. This is particularly problematic with curved stairlifts, as the rails are custom-made to fit the exact shape and size of the original staircase they were designed for. Even with straight stairlifts, differences in stair length and layout can make it difficult to find a perfect match, potentially requiring modifications which can diminish the cost savings.

Limited selection

The availability of suitable second-hand stairlifts can be limited. Unlike new stairlifts that are made to order, second-hand options depend on what previous users are selling, which may not always meet your specific needs or preferences. This limited selection can make it challenging to find a stairlift that meets all your criteria. These include specific features like stairlifts for narrow stairs,  colour options, or different models.

Signs of wear and tear

As with any used product, second-hand stairlifts may show signs of wear and tear. Depending on the age and the previous usage, these can range from cosmetic blemishes to more significant mechanical issues. Components like the motor, batteries, or the chair itself may not be as reliable as those in a new unit, potentially leading to increased maintenance costs and shorter lifespan of the product.

Warranty concerns

Second-hand stairlifts often come with limited or no warranty coverage, especially if purchased privately. While you can find many reputable resellers offering warranty, these are usually shorter and less comprehensive than those offered with new stairlifts. The lack of robust warranty coverage increases the risk of facing unforeseen expenses should the stairlift require repairs or parts replacement after installation.

Potential lack of latest features

Technology in stairlifts, like in many other products, continuously evolves. A second-hand stairlift may lack the latest safety features, ergonomic designs, or technological enhancements found in newer models. This can affect not just the comfort and ease of use, but also the overall safety and efficiency of the stairlift.

Uncertain history

When buying a second-hand stairlift, especially from a private seller, it's often difficult to verify the complete history of the product. Details about past maintenance, repairs, or how intensively the stairlift was used might not be readily available, which can affect its condition and reliability.

While the decision to purchase a second-hand stairlift can be economically beneficial and environmentally friendly, it is important to weigh these potential drawbacks against the advantages. Thorough inspection, careful consideration of the source, and professional installation are key factors that can help mitigate these risks and ensure that the stairlift serves your needs effectively.

Reconditioned stairlift prices in the UK

The average cost of a reconditioned stairlift in the UK typically ranges from £800 to £2,500. This range is influenced by whether it is straight, curved or standing stairlift, as some stairlifts tend to be more expensive due to the customisation required for fitting along non-linear staircases.

Reconditioned stairlifts offer a significant cost-saving opportunity for those in need of mobility assistance within their homes. In the UK, the price of reconditioned stairlifts can vary widely based on several factors, including the type of lift, the complexity of the installation, the age of the unit, and any additional features or services provided by the seller.

Type of StairliftAverage Cost of Reconditioned (£)Average Cost of New (£)
Straight£800 - £1,500£2,000 - £3,500
Curved£1,500 - £2,500£4,000 - £8,000
Outdoor£1,000 - £2,000£2,500 - £5,000
Standing£1,200 - £2,200£3,000 - £5,500
These costs are estimates. Get a local installer QUOTE now!

Where you can find used stairlifts for sale 

In the UK, there are several places where you can find used stairlifts for sale, each with its own considerations in terms of safety, reliability, and convenience.

Online marketplaces

Platforms like Gumtree, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace often have listings for used stairlifts. While these platforms offer a wide selection and potentially lower prices, there are risks associated with buying from private sellers. These risks include:

  • Limited or no warranty coverage
  • Uncertain maintenance history
  • Difficulty verifying the condition or safety of the stairlift

Stairlift companies

Reputable stairlift companies often offer both new and used stairlifts for sale or rent. This is safer than buying from private resellers. Purchasing from a stairlift company provides several benefits:

  • Professionally inspected and serviced stairlifts
  • Warranty coverage and after-sales support
  • Expert advice on selecting the right stairlift for your needs
  • Installation services by trained technicians

Classified ads

Local newspapers or classified ad websites may feature listings for used stairlifts. While these listings can offer options closer to your location, it's essential to exercise caution and thoroughly research the seller's reputation before making a purchase.

When considering where to find a used stairlift for sale in the UK, it's crucial to prioritise safety, reliability, and customer support. While online marketplaces offer convenience and potentially lower prices, purchasing from a reputable stairlift company ensures peace of mind and quality assurance.

The process of obtaining stairlift quotes offers invaluable benefits. By gathering quotes from multiple providers, you can explore a diverse range of options, compare prices, and ultimately find the most suitable solution for your needs and budget. Whether it's ensuring competitive pricing, assessing customization options, or evaluating service quality, obtaining quotes empowers you to make a well-informed decision and invest in a stairlift solution that enhances both your mobility and quality of life.

Just complete our short 30-second form, and you'll promptly receive up to 3 FREE QUOTES from installation experts in your area. This service is entirely free of charge and devoid of any obligations. Click the button below to get started!

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