Best Wheelchair Lift Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
It can be difficult to find the best wheelchair lift when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. After looking at the quality, performance, and reliability of the options on the market, we concluded that the unit you ought to consider is the Harmar Mobility AL 065. This model stands out thanks to its innovative design that features a unique lift that will mount to the hitch on the outside of your vehicle. Since it can lift wheelchairs, power chairs and scooters alike, it is a highly versatile purchase. The construction has also garnered positive feedback since it is weather-resistant and sturdy, two features that will make it capable of serving you for years to come. In the event that our first choice is not available but you are determined to get a wheelchair lift for car, we recommend the Harmar Mobility Upgraded AL600.
This wheelchair lift is designed to attach itself to the outside of your vehicle, to the hitch, and it connects to your vehicle’s battery to lift the load vertically right into the car. It is a great choice for cars that cannot accommodate an inside lift, and it is extremely lightweight, easy to disassemble, and highly durable.
It can accommodate mostly micro or travel mobility devices that weigh no more than 200 lbs.
All in all, this choice provides users who don’t own a car that can fit an inside lift with a reliable product that is very easy to use.
With this choice, you get the best of both worlds since the product features a compact design that is still capable of fitting virtually all power chairs and scooters. It is ideal for SUVs and smaller crossovers. If you have a small vehicle space, the provided accessories can lower the profile of your power wheelchair.
While this is a high-quality choice, if you are on a budget, the high price can be a big setback.
This is a versatile choice that is compatible with all standard scooters and power wheelchairs and it does not require a docking device.
You can’t go wrong with this model seeing as it is one of the most popular outside platform lifts currently on the market. It can carry a wide range of power wheelchairs seeing as it has a heavy-duty capacity of 400 lbs. It is extremely easy to operate and built like a tank so that it can provide you with years of trouble-free and reliable use.
It does not work on scooters or power wheelchairs that have a base larger than 34 inches.
The AL500 can safely lift any type of wheelchair or scooter with one press of a button. It can handle heavy loads of up to 400 lbs.
6 Best Wheelchair Lifts (Reviews) in 2020
After prospecting the market and examining the numerous wheelchair lift reviews, we have prepared a list with the top-rated models currently on the market. We have tried to make the list as diverse as possible so that everyone can find the right product for his or her needs below.
1. Harmar Mobility AL 065 Electric Scooter or Wheelchair Lift
The AL065 is among the newest lineups of quality micro lift systems from Harmar and it will make transporting your travel or micro mobility device easier than ever. It is designed to offer quality at an affordable price so that even people who are on a tight budget can rely on this nifty choice.
The manufacturer prides itself with the versatility of this option and describes it as being suitable for virtually every application. The unit mounts on your vehicle hitch to let you load your scooter or power wheelchair inside. It is compatible with a vehicle class II or III hitch.
It has a total lifting capacity of 200 lbs. and it is extremely compact, making it a perfect choice for vehicles that are not big enough to accommodate an inside lift. The powerlifting is achieved with manual rotation for higher control and easier operation, and it even includes a remote hand control.
This unit is lightweight and compact, and that makes it the perfect choice for people who don’t own a vehicle capable of accommodating an inside lift.
It does not require any scooter or power wheelchair modifications, as long as it meets the lifting capacity.
Operating the unit is as straightforward as it can get, and it even includes a remote hand control so that you can operate it from afar.
The product comes with all the accessories you will need to install it already included in the package together with easy-to-follow instructions.
If you are in the market for an affordable product that does very few compromises in terms of quality, reliability, and performance, this is the product for you.
Unfortunately, you will need to keep in mind that this choice is only suitable for micro or travel mobility devices since it can handle a total load of only 200 lbs.Buy from Amazon.com for ($1097.45)
2. Harmar Mobility Upgraded AL600 Scooter & Wheelchair Lift
The hybrid platform lift from Hamar is designed to provide the best of both worlds since it comes in a compact design that is very easy to operate and move around. In spite of its portability, it remains capable of fitting virtually all power wheelchairs and scooters. It is designed to work with SUVs and smaller crossovers.
If you have a smaller vehicle space and you worry that the wheelchair won’t fit inside it, this option includes the new EZ Detach Seatback accessory that can convert your power wheelchair to a lower profile. This way, it will be able to fit neatly into a smaller cargo area.
The lift includes weight-distribution and easy-turn handles for effortless replacement and removal. The maximum load lifting capacity is 350 lbs. which is more than enough to accommodate most wheelchairs and scooters available on the market. It does not require vehicle modifications, and it can be transferred from car to car.
It connects to the existing seat hardware, there is no need to drill into your new car since it makes use of the existing second-row seating to keep it fixed and sturdy.
You won’t need to purchase any additional docking device which makes this option so much easier to use.
It is the perfect wheelchair lift for SUV, minivans and full-size vans, and customers have reported it can be used in some crossovers as well.
Buyers were also very happy with the three-year limited warranty that the seller offers since it allows them to feel more confident when using the lift.
It is one of the most compact units on the market and it only requires a 32” cargo headroom and merely 43” of depth.
While customers have only great things to report about this model it is worth mentioning its price which while attractive for the features it offers, is too high for anyone who has a tight budget.Buy from Amazon.com for ($2775)
3. Harmar Mobility Upgraded AL500 Power Wheelchair Lift
The universal power lift from Hamar is one of the most popular choices currently on the market thanks to the versatility, performance, and affordability that it offers. It features an aluminum deck design that is extremely durable without adding unnecessary weight to the product.
The lift capacity of 400 lbs. allows it to carry a wide range of power wheelchairs especially since the unit relies on automatic retractors to secure the chair. This means that you will be able to carry different types of wheelchairs with a single lift.
Using it is as straightforward as it can get and there is no need to modify the wheelchair, but simply place it on the platform and watch as the lift will carry it into your vehicle. It is fully automatic and it attaches to any vehicle class II or III hitch or straight to the battery with the help of the wiring harness.
It is designed to carry all types of power wheelchairs which makes it capable to serve you for years to come even after you upgrade your power wheelchair or scooter.
You don’t have to be tech-savvy to utilize this choice since all you will need to do is press the up or down keys to raise or lower the platform.
This heavy-duty choice is not only durable but also capable of handling a total load capacity of 400 pounds, much more than other products in this price range.
You won’t have to worry about making alterations to the wheelchair itself since this model relies on automatic retractors to secure the load.
The automatic folding feature allows you to store the lift in a compact shape when it is unoccupied.
While this is an excellent choice for the average user, people looking for a product that comes with the latest technology will need to look elsewhere.Buy from Amazon.com for ($1850)
4. Best Choice Products Hitch Mount Carrier with Mobility Ramp
The design of this model makes it very cheap to produce, and it is perfect for those who are looking for an affordable wheelchair carrier that can give them an easier transport solution for their mobility devices. It has a heavy-duty steel construction with pull locks to keep your chair protected.
The basket-style and hitch-mounted cargo carrier can easily be used as both a carrier and as a ramp, and it is capable of carrying a total weight of up to 500 lbs. Thus, despite its low price point, it remains one of the most promising choices in terms of lifting capacity on our list.
The carrier has an integrated ramp which folds into three different positions (open flat, L-shape, and closed flat). The installation process is a breeze since you get all the necessary hardware and accessories included in the package, no additional purchases required. It is compatible with hitch class III or IV.
If you are in the market for cheap wheelchair lifts, you can stop searching because this is one of the most affordable options you’ll be able to find.
When you are not using it, it can be locked flat so that it remains compact and easy to store for extended periods.
It comes fully assembled and it is very easy to operate, you’ll just need to attach it to your vehicle’s hitch and lower the ramp down.
The product dimensions of 31” W x 47” L x 9” H make it compatible with a wide range of vehicles, such as a wheelchair lift for van.
The durable black powder coated finish does not only help extend the longevity of this option, but it also gives it a premium look.
At 73 lbs. this wheelchair carrier can be difficult to operate by a single person, so it is best to have another person to help you out.Click to see the price on Amazon!
5. Freedom Mobility Scooter Universal Fully Automatic Lift
This alternative is designed to handle the requirements of modern customers and their state-of-the-art mobility scooters. The lift itself installs on vehicles with a Class II or Class III hitch receiver which allows it to be used for years on end even if you purchase a new car.
It has a positive lock-down system that helps secure the scooter without any additional clamps that can make the entire process more time-consuming. It has a lift capacity of 350 lbs. and it will fold automatically when the weight-sensitive platform senses that there is no scooter on it.
The Freedom Mobility lift can fit medium and large sizes vehicle, making it a worthy choice if you wish to get a wheelchair lift for pickup truck. The aluminum deck is 27.5” x 39” and it has an adjustable cradle that can extend up to 46 inches, allowing it to adapt to three or four-wheeled scooters.
The platform is weight-sensitive, and it will fold automatically once there is no scooter on it, a feature that will make it easier for you to store the lift when you’re not using it.
The lift is highly-adjustable and it can adapt to a three or four-wheeled scooter with no modifications required for the mobility device.
It has an optional Swing Away option that lets the hitch-mounted lift swing away from your vehicle.
It is very easy to install and it comes with all the accessories required for proper operation, including a vehicle hardwire kit, a manual crank back-up, and a license plate mount.
While other models require a lot of muscle to set up and operate, customers have reported that using this model is a breeze.
The only major complaint with this model is that it can start squeaking if left in the rain but that does not appear to affect its performance.Click to see the price on Amazon!
6. Silver Spring Manual Wheelchair Carrier with Tilting Platform
A good wheelchair lift needs to offer increased security and safety and perhaps there is no other option on the market that can match what Silver Spring brings to the table with its new and affordable MWCC model. The lift can be hitched quickly and easily using any vehicle hitch ball mount.
The standout feature is without a doubt the tilted platform that makes loading and unloading a wheelchair or scooter look like child’s play. If you’ve had a lift that required a lot of effort to use, you will appreciate the innovative design that this model employs. It also comes with a height adjustable stability arm so that you don’t have to fear that your wheelchair will fall off.
The heavy-duty steel construction allows this option to perform better than expected when exposed to the elements. It is more than capable of handling itself in the rain or snow.
The lift attaches to your vehicle’s hitch ball mount and the tilted platform makes loading and unloading your wheelchair easier than ever.
Weighing just 33 lbs. this product is extremely lightweight yet the heavy-duty steel construction allows it to handle use in any environment.
It can fold upright and this lends it to easier storage and portability, which in turn makes it a perfect choice for use with foldable wheelchairs.
It includes a height adjustable stability arm that provides extra safety.
Customers have praised the design because it makes the product very easy to operate with minimal effort.
Unfortunately, this option can only be used with foldable wheelchairs since the weight capacity is of just 100 lbs. And it is not sufficient for heavier mobility devices.
There are a few reports of the top holding bar becoming unusable.Buy from Amazon.com for ($157.98)
Yearly Guide & Report
Wheelchair lifts are indispensable accessories that make it easier for wheelchair-bound people to get their trusty mobility device into a car, van, or pickup truck. Finding the right option is not always easy, but you can rest assured since we have compiled a guide that will go through all the factors one needs to bear in mind.
Main types of auto wheelchair lifts
There are three main types of auto wheelchair lifts: outside, inside, and hybrid auto lifts. We will explore each one of them below. The product to get depends on what you seek to get out of it since each one has its own advantages.
Outside lifts are the easiest to operate and they are attached to the vehicle by a hitch. They consist of an actuator and a platform that secures and carries the wheelchair on the back of the vehicle.
In order to operate this option, the person should be capable of walking from the front to the rear of the vehicle and back and stand for up to three minutes while the lift operates. The lift works by inserting a key and rotating it 90 degrees. Some models might require you to secure them with retractors.
Inside auto lifts have a moderate to hard operation difficulty and they are mounted in the cargo area of the vehicle with a hoist mechanism. This mechanism swings outside the vehicle to load and then lift the mobility device back into the car.
Operating this type of lift requires the user to be able to bend over or kneel, and have good balance and hand dexterity to attach the docking device. This type of lift should only be purchased if you are certain that you can handle it or if you have someone to help you when traveling.
Hybrid auto lifts combine the best out of the two types. The unit itself is mounted in the cargo area of the vehicle just as in the case with inside auto lifts. It is designed to move out and down to allow the mobility device to be loaded onto the platform on the ground and then be lifted automatically into the vehicle. The operation difficulty for this one is easy to moderate.
There are other types that you can consider such as a wheelchair lift for home. Incline lifts, in particular, can be used to help you get over stairs as well as get your mobility device into a pickup truck or RV.
Weight capacity and compatibility
Once you get familiar with the wheelchair and scooter lift options available, it is time to decide on the one that will fit your vehicle and the need of your loved one. To do so, you will need to narrow down to one category of lifts that you prefer and then consider a few basic factors.
The weight capacity is very important since you want to get a product that is capable of handling the weight of the wheelchair or scooter. In the case of incline lifts, for example, they should be able to handle the combined weight of the mobility device and the user.
Similarly, you need to make sure that you can rely on your new purchase to lift as many types of wheelchairs and scooters as possible so that you don’t end up with a unit that you won’t be able to use once you upgrade to a new mobility device. The cost of a wheelchair lift that comes equipped with such features might be higher, but it will save you money in the long run.
Last, but certainly just as important is the safety that the product can offer. Seeing as lifts can carry hundreds of pounds of heavy metal, a wrong move can result in not only damage to your mobility device but also to you or your loved one.
Make sure that the product you get is sturdy and that it can keep your wheelchair or scooter secure during the lifting process. You should definitely take the time and read some of the customer reviews to learn more about their experience with the product.