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8 Jan 2024

Should you rent or buy a stairlift?

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist

Are you or a loved one facing mobility challenges at home? Stairlifts have emerged as a modern solution, offering a safe and convenient way to navigate stairs, so you can maintain your independence and enjoy every level of your property. 

If you’re considering investing in a stair lift to adapt your home or a loved one’s property, you may be wondering whether you should rent or buy one. The good news is that there are options for both of these choices, depending on what’s best for your situation. 

How much does a stairlift cost?

Before we delve into the decision of renting or buying a stairlift, it's essential to consider the various cost components associated with stairlifts in the UK. The cost of a stairlift can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the type of staircase, brand, and specific features.

  • A basic straight stairlift in the UK may range from £1,500 to £3,000.

  • Curved stairlifts, designed for more complex staircases, can cost between £3,000 and £5,000 or more.

But it's not just the initial cost of the stairlift unit that you should factor in. You must also consider a few other aspects too. 

The cost of stairlift installation

Installation charges can vary based on the complexity of your staircase and any necessary modifications. On average, you can expect to pay between £500 and £1,000 for installation in the UK. This is an important consideration, as improper installation can affect the performance and safety of your stairlift.

The cost of servicing your stairlift

Regular servicing and maintenance are crucial to ensure the safe and smooth operation of your stairlift. Maintenance costs typically range from £50 to £150 per year. Some manufacturers offer service contracts, which can cover maintenance for a set period, providing peace of mind and potentially reducing long-term costs.

Now that we have a grasp of the cost involved in stairlift, let's explore the reasons why you might choose to rent a stairlift instead of buying one.

Why should you rent a stairlift?

Stairlift hire can be an attractive choice for those who prefer a more flexible and short-term solution. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks to help you decide if renting a stairlift is a good option for you.

Pros of renting a stairlift

There are several advantages to renting a stairlift instead of buying one. Depending on your needs, they can be much better suited for your home.

  • Lower initial cost: Renting a stairlift usually involves lower upfront expenses, making it accessible for individuals on a tight budget.

  • Flexibility: Renting offers flexibility in terms of contract length. You can rent a stairlift for a short period, such as a few months, without a long-term commitment.

  • Maintenance included: Rental contracts often include regular maintenance and servicing, relieving you of the responsibility and cost of upkeep.

  • No installation costs: In most cases, installation costs are included in the rental price, and you'll have somebody come out to install it.

Cons of renting a stairlift

While stairlift hire has a number of benefits, it’s important to make sure that you weigh up the potential disadvantages too. 

  • Long-term cost: While renting may be more affordable initially, the cumulative cost over several years may exceed the cost of buying a stairlift.

  • No ownership: Renting means you won't own the stairlift, and you won't build any equity in the equipment.

  • Limited customisation: Rental stairlifts may have limited customisation options compared to purchased ones.

  • Not ideal for permanent use: If you require a stairlift for the long term, renting may not be the most cost-effective option.

Buying a stairlift

If you're considering investing in a stairlift for your home or property, it's important to weigh up the extra costs involved in buying a stairlift.

Pros of buying a stairlift

Buying a stairlift can be a more sensible option for you compared to renting one, here are some advantages to buying a stairlift. 

  • Long-term investment: Purchasing a stairlift is a long-term investment. Although the initial cost is higher, you won't have ongoing monthly rental payments.

  • Ownership: You own the stairlift, giving you the freedom to customise it according to your preferences and needs.

  • Equity: Buying a stairlift means you have an asset that could potentially add value to your home.

  • Suitable for permanent use: If you anticipate needing a stairlift permanently, buying is often the more cost-effective option in the long run.

Cons of buying a stairlift

As with any investment, there are some potential downsides to buying a stairlift. For one, it might not be necessary for your circumstances.

  • Higher initial cost: The upfront cost of purchasing a stairlift can be significantly higher than renting. This is not ideal if you don't have the funds readily available for a lump sum.

  • Maintenance costs: You are responsible for maintenance and servicing, which can incur additional expenses over time.

  • Less flexibility: Buying a stairlift may not be suitable for those who need a short-term solution or expect to move to a different residence in the near future.

Which stairlift is the best to buy?

When it comes to buying a stairlift, choosing the right one is essential. Make sure you take time to think about what you need from your stairlift before you purchase one.

Staircase type

Do you have a straight or curved staircase? This will impact the type of stairlift you need.

Weight capacity

Stairlifts come in a variety of weight thresholds, so it's important to choose a stairlift that can safely accommodate the user's weight.

Safety features

Look for stairlifts with essential safety features such as seatbelts, swivel seats, and obstruction sensors.

Brand reputation

Research reputable brands known for their quality and reliability, and make sure to pick a stairlift that aligns with your needs.


Consider any specific customisation options you may require, such as seat style or upholstery.


Check the warranty offered by the manufacturer to safeguard your investment. This will make sure you're covered in case you have any problems once your stairlift is installed.

Making your decision

The decision to rent or buy a stairlift depends on your unique circumstances and preferences. But it's important to think carefully about which choice is right for you, from both a financial and practical standpoint.

Compare stairlift prices with SpotDif

Stairlifts can be a transformative addition to your life, from giving you that extra bit of support you need to helping you take care of a loved one. Whether you've decided to buy your own stairlift, or you've made the decision to rent one instead, it's important to find the right price for you.

From our extensive database, we’ll find you the best deal on your stairlift provider. Browse our deals with our price comparison tool, or get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist
Combining in-depth research with an interest in all things home improvement, I aim to keep SpotDif readers up to date with interior design trends, renewable energy options, and more.
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