This page was last updated on 1 November 2020.
Is it possible to rent a stairlift?
It is indeed possible to rent a stairlift. In fact, renting a stairlift is a popular alternative to purchasing one, and most major stairlift suppliers offer a wide variety of rental options. Whether renting a stairlift is right for you depends on your specific mobility needs, as well as your financial resources and the layout of your home.
Topics that you will find covered on this page
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How does it work?
Renting a stairlift is simple.
Rental stairlifts work a lot like renting a car or a house. A stairlift rental owns a selection of models to suit different people’s needs. When you rent a stairlift, they will provide you with a model that suits you and your home.
The company handles installation for you, and at the end of the rental period they take the stairlift back.
Is renting a stairlift expensive?
Most people expect stairlift hire to cost a fortune. But in many cases renting a stairlift can actually be very affordable, at least in terms of the cost per week.
Renting a straight stairlift often costs as little as ten pounds per week. Most people will hardly notice these payments, and in return you get a piece of mobility equipment that can dramatically improve your quality of life.
So if you are an average customer who just needs a straight stairlift, the rent should be well within your budget.
It costs more to rent a curved stairlift. This is because curved stairlifts are often more specialized, so the model you choose might be more rare and thus more costly. Plus curved stairlifts are often more expensive and time-consuming to install, which further drives up the total cost.
Even so, you can expect to rent an ordinary curved stairlift for as little as twenty pounds per week. So without taking the installation fee into account, rental stairlifts are a steal.
Here is a useful video explaining more about stairlifts.
Will I have to pay anything in advance, such as installation costs?
While you can rent a stairlift for relatively little on a per-week basis, this isn’t taking the installation charge into account. It is standard practice for a stairlift rental to levy an installation charge. This is no small fee- installation charges of a thousand pounds or more are quite normal. Straight stairlifts come with lower installation charges.
Installing rental stairlifts is quite an undertaking. This is because installations can require an electrician, a plumber, and a carpenter, as well as an engineer trained to work with stairlifts.
A radiator or pipe may have to be re-routed, banisters and skirting boards may have to be altered, and new wiring may have to be fitted. Such things are often necessary to clear the area so you can access the stairlift safely. Then there’s the installation itself- engineers often charge a hundred pounds an hour if you want to hire one yourself.
So while the installation charge may feel extortionate, you get what you pay for.
Can you rent any type of stairlift, including curved ones?
The most commonly available rental models are straight stairlifts. This is because they are more versatile; it’s easier to fit a straight stairlift to multiple flights of stairs. So if your staircase is straight, you’re in luck. You will likely be able to choose from a range of models that will all fit your stairs.
It is harder to rent a curved stairlift, as they are often custom-built. But if you want to fit a stairlift to a curved staircase, there’s no need to despair. Some stairlift rentals offer both straight and curved stairlifts. For example, Stannah is one of the foremost stairlift companies in the UK, and it offers a selection of both straight and curved stairlifts to rent.
If you are overweight or obese, there is stairlift technology to suit your needs. Heavy-duty models are increasingly common and available to rent from many suppliers. Swivel-seat models and remote controls are also available.
But you should bear in mind that some staircases are so unique that they require a custom-built stairlift. For example, a spiral staircase will not fit an ordinary curved stairlift. Nor will a very long flight of stairs fit the average straight stairlift. It’s vitally important for your safety that the stairlift fits properly. So if you have a particularly unusual staircase, consider purchasing a bespoke model.
Is there a minimum or maximum time period for stairlift rental?
It depends on the stairlift rental, but there is often no minimum period. Many small stairlift rental services provide this option, such as Easystep Stairlifts and Affordable Mobility. With some organisations, the minimum may be a short period of one to three months.
Though technically there is no minimum period, you should take the installation charge into account when deciding whether you will need the stairlift long enough. Since you may end up with a sunk cost of one thousand pounds or more, it is rarely cost-effective to rent a stairlift for less than a few months.
While there is no mandated maximum rental period, it may not be cost-effective for you to rent a stairlift over a long period of time. There is a whole section of the article dedicated to this question below.
Do stairlift rentals charge on a weekly or monthly basis?
Most services provide stairlifts on a monthly rental basis. But monthly rental is by no means mandatory, and you may be able to arrange weekly payment if this is easier for you. Get in touch with your rental service to find out if this option is available.
Will the stairlifts rental sort out maintenance for me?
One of the big upsides of rental stairlifts is the ease of maintenance. It’s a lot like if you were renting a house or a car. The rental company will arrange and pay for the maintenance of your stairlift. The rental company has an interest in keeping the stairlift in good working condition, as this protects their rental income in the long run.
What’s more, servicing is usually in-house. This means the rental company employs its own maintenance and servicing team. This has the added benefit of guaranteeing you a trusted and trained engineer. Plus many companies provide a 24-hour phone line so you have the option of calling for assistance at any time.
(Covid-19 update: it may not be possible for the rental company to perform maintenance in your home. Please ensure that any maintenance and servicing arrangements are safe- do not put yourself at risk.)
How do I know the rental stairlift will be right for my staircase?
If you are dealing with a reputable rental service, you can be certain that any rental stairlifts they provide will fit your staircase safely. This is because the rental service will undertake a surveying process to ensure you end up with an appropriate stairlift.
Before fitting the product, the rental scheme will usually send a surveyor to assess your staircase and the relevant features of your home.
They will take in the angle of the stairs, how steep they are, as well as any corners and potential sources of obstruction. Then they will give you a choice between all the models that could be safely fitted to your stairs.
Which companies provide rental stairlifts?
Many of the UK’s most well-known mobility equipment companies offer rental stairlifts. Acorn Stairlifts and Stannah both offer a range of rental stairlift models. It is a good idea to call a few companies for information, advice and a quotation. Many firms will send you a free guide or brochure detailing the rental stairlifts they offer.
To ensure a safe customer experience, the first step is to make sure any stairlift company you’re dealing with is reputable.
Some firms will have a showroom so you can try out different types of rental stairlifts on-site. To find a local dealer, search ‘stair lift rental near me’ in your internet browser.
What happens if I no longer need the rental stairlift?
You may find that a rental stairlift isn’t right for you. Maybe you have determined that it would be more cost-effective to buy one, or maybe you want to look at other rental stairlifts. In this case, the stairlift rental service will typically remove it for you so they can check it’s in good working order before renting it to somebody else.
Can you get a stairlift for free?
There are a few ways to bring down the cost of renting a stairlift. While this might not mean getting a stairlift for free, it could make a difficult expense much more manageable.
If you are disabled or suffering from a serious and debilitating long-term illness, you qualify for full Value Added Tax relief on stairlifts. This means that you will pay no VAT whatsoever when renting a stairlift (or, for that matter, buying one). Since the usual rate of VAT is twenty percent, you could end up paying thousands less than you otherwise would.
Even if you do not qualify for full VAT exemption or relief , anyone over the age of sixty pays a reduced rate of only five percent when buying or renting stairlifts.
You could also receive a grant to help with the cost of renting a stairlift. The Disabled Facilities Grant, though usually given as a lump sum, is dispensed by local councils to assist those with limited mobility in carrying out home improvements. You may be eligible for financial aid from a charity when getting a stairlift.
A grant can help with the cost of rental stairlifts, especially that hefty installation fee.
Would buying a stairlift be more cost-effective?
Considering the costs associated with renting a stairlift, you may be wondering whether buying one would be cheaper after all. The answer to this question depends primarily on how long you are likely to need the rental stairlift for.
Stairlift rental is often the most cost-effective option for those who have elderly or disabled relatives visiting for an extended (but not indefinite) period. Stairlift rental can also be cost-effective if you are recovering from an operation or a road traffic accident, as your mobility needs are only short-term.
But if you expect to be using the rental stairlift many years down the line, it makes a lot more sense to buy it outright. This is because the rental charge and the installation fee will add up to more than the cost of outright purchase after a few years.
It also depends upon what type of stairlift you need. If you require a specialised or custom-built model, renting may be an option, but it may work out cheaper to buy.
What are the positive aspects of stairlift rental?
To sum up, the following are the main benefits of renting a stairlift, as opposed to buying one.
- Stairlift rental might be your cheapest option, especially if you are renting the stair lift for a relatively short period.
- If you need a straight stairlift, it should be easy to find one to rent. Finding straight stairlifts to rent is easy, provided your staircase is not abnormally long or steep. You might be able to find a more specialised stair lift for rent too.
- The stairlifts rental will take care of maintenance for you.
- If you don’t have a lot of money set aside in the short-term, monthly rental stairlifts allow you to spread some of the cost over time.
- The stairlift rental will arrange for removal at the end of the period, meaning you can avoid the fuss of hiring a contractor.
What are the negative aspects of stairlift rental?
- If you need a curved stairlift, you may be unable to find a rental option.
- Likewise, if you have bespoke requirements there is the worry that rental services will not have rental stairlifts that suit your needs.
- Rental is not the only way to arrange for maintenance of stair lifts. You can get a warranty or maintenance contract if you buy a stair lift. So if guaranteed maintenance is a game-changer for you, stairlift rental is not necessarily the best solution.
- High installation prices mean you will likely be hit with a four-figure bill at the start of the stairlift rental process. This can be a problem, especially for the kind of buyer whose financial circumstances are suited to renting in the first place.
Would you like some help to understand what your options are with regards to renting a stair lift?
You can contact us in one of 3 ways:
- Option 1 – Call us directly on – 0800 0169 288
- Option 2 – Leave your contact details and we will get in touch with you
- Option 3 – Book an appointment directly in the calendar below, and one of the team will call you back at the chosen time
You can call us directly:
Monday to Thursday – 8am – 7pm
Friday – 8am – 5:30pm
Saturday & Sunday – 9am – 5pm
Leave your details below and a rental stairlift specialist from Acorn will get in touch
Please note that all calls relating to Stairlifts are undertaken by Acorn stairlifts.
More useful articles about stairlifts
A Guide To Stairlifts
This article explains all you need to know about buying or renting a stairlift in the UK alongside information on where to find one.
Not all stairs are straight, so you may need a curved stairlift to go around a landing, This article explains how you get a curved stairlift.
Renting a stairlift is a popular alternative to purchasing a new stair lift. This article explains how the rental process works.
Second Hand Stairlifts
A reconditioned stairlift allows you to get an almost new stairlift for a much lower price than a new one. This article explains how.
Stairlifts For Narrow Stairs
Thos will narrow stairs will need a specialist chair. However, there are lifts that could work. Our article explains what you need to know.