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Guide to buying a stairlift

Buying a stairlift will allow you to focus on more important things in life than getting up and down the stairs. Making sure you get the right one from the start means you can relax in the knowledge you have the best possible solution that will stand the test of time.

What should you look for in a stairlift?

Once you’ve made the decision to get a stairlift, the next step is choosing the right model for you. The type of stairlift you purchase will depend on whether you have a curved or straight staircase but also remember that different products offer different features that could be of real benefit to you. For example, if your balance is not the best you should look for models that allow the footrest to be folded via a link to the arm or seat, or even better via an automatic button in the arm, rather than having to bend down. Make sure the sales consultants explain any features fully so you can properly compare models.

Peer recommendation

Do you know anybody that owns a stairlift? If so, talk to them – their experience could prove useful. What do they like about their stairlift? What would they change? You may find some of our customer testimonials and customer letters useful as a starting point.

New or reconditioned? Rent or buy?

Quality stairlifts can be refurbished and offer great value. If you are considering a refurbished stairlift make sure you understand where the stairlift has come from and how it has been refurbished, for example, will it have new batteries, has it been serviced, will you get a comprehensive year’s warranty?

You may also consider renting a stairlift if you are recovering from an injury and only expect to need a lift in the short term. Rental agreements should cover the cost of installation, servicing and removal in the set up fees and monthly charges.

Professional advice

Make sure that you choose a stairlift manufacturer that has a British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) accreditation, with OFT Code of Conduct approval. They assure you of the integrity of the company you are dealing with and the service you receive. Another good way of assessment is checking which awards and accreditations the stairlift provider may already have, such as Which? Trusted Trader status or Buy with Confidence accreditation.

An impartial guide

The BHTA have produced an independent guide to buying a stairlift. Call them on 0207 702 2141 for your free printed copy or visit the BHTA website to download it. If you are a Which? subscriber you can also see their report on stairlifts on their website.

Try before you buy

We understand that purchasing a stairlift is an important decision. Not all stairlifts are made equal but that can be difficult to discern from the pages of a brochure. This is why we recommend you visit one of our many demonstration centres around the country and go for a test ride before you buy.

Shop around

Ensure you have more than one stairlift quote so you can do a like-for-like comparison on the complete package, including product features and aftercare services. Choose the right stairlift in your own time. To find out more about stairlift pricing view our stairlift prices guide.

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