Approximately 1.5 million Americans are wheelchair-bound or use mobility scooters in their daily life. But nearly half of them report that their community public transportation has been disrupted or it has become too difficult to use. For private vehicle owners, a vehicle scooter lift can make all the difference by bridging the gap between a home-confined life and mobility independence.

Because it is a significant investment, many people want to postpone the thought of making a purchase. But with research and information, one can feel confident in their choice. Using mobility scooter lifts one can carry their mobility scooter or power chair virtually anywhere, making it easier to travel. The vehicle lift can be used with nearly all makes of cars and vans, enabling you to easily transport your scooter or power chair wherever your travels take you. There are some models of vehicle lifts that are designed to carry scooters on the exterior of a vehicle while, others are designed for interior transport.

Installing a mobility lift means that a scooter or wheelchair can be safely stored and transported with minimal effort. Seriously, this can make a whole lot of difference to the life of an individual who is homebound and wants to explore the world and enjoy the experiences like a normal individual.

First Things First When Considering Vehicle Lifts

Here are three main factors that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to choosing the right vehicle lift.

  • Are you mobile?

Though scooter lifts do take 99% of the work out of getting your scooter or chair from point A to point B, you do need to have the ability to walk around your vehicle. Additionally, can you stand for 2-3 minutes while the lift is operating? Unless you have an assistant or caretaker, you must be able to do these two things.

  • Where can you put the vehicle scooter lift?

Where do you want the lift to be on your vehicle? On many mobility-adapted vehicles, you can have the lift come out from the side door.  But for standard vehicles you can have the lift on the rear or in the rear bay.  If you own a sedan or standard-sized SUV, you are probably going to go with an exterior lift that attaches to your receiver hitch on the back of the vehicle. If you have a truck, large minivan, or one of the bigger SUV’s you may the option of an inside lift. The former is an exterior lift, and the latter is an inside lift. The exterior lift will be exposed to the weather which is typically not a problem. If you are using the exterior lift, you will also want to consider a swing-away option. This allows the lift, when you do not have your scooter or power wheelchair on it, to be ‘swung away’ thus giving you access to the rear of the vehicle.

  • Know your vehicle and know your scooter.

Not all scooters or power wheelchairs can be lifted onto or in all vehicles. The feasibility of a vehicle lift depends on your vehicle, model and year of manufacture. Same goes for your scooter or power wheelchair. Make sure you have the manufacturer and model name when you start shopping.

Carrier Vs Mobility Lift

Some people find that a carrier is sufficient for their needs. Carriers simply slide into your receiver hitch and lock in place, usually with a bolt. They may or may not have a fold-down ramp. You can get a carrier ramp at any number of outdoor supply locations, i.e., Lowe’s, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, etc. If you go with a carrier lift you still need to make sure that your vehicle’s hitch has a tongue weight that can support both the carrier and the scooter! Conversely, the mobility lift operates electronically and may be either a flat lift or a hitch lift.

There are many providers and types of mobility scooter lifts.  Harmar is an industry leader. The Harmar AL150 Universal Scooter Lift will handle many of the more popular scooters and power wheelchairs. It has a heavy-duty platform and a locking arm (to hold the scooter in place).

Harmar AL100 Universal Scooter Lift

The Harmar Hybrid Platform Lift AL600 is one of the best power lifts that comes compactly designed and is ideal for most scooters. This mobility scooter lift can be used in small cargo carrier vehicles, SUV’s and crossovers. The weight distribution handlebars provide easy and secure lifting of power chairs and scooters. “We really enjoy having our Harmar scooter lift. It makes it a lot easier and efficient or us to go visit people and bring my husband's scooter with us.”- Mary

If you are considering an interior lift the Armstrong is an excellent choice. If you have a truck, minivan or SUV the Armstrong Lift can be an excellent choice.

Deciding the type and model of mobility lift that fits your vehicle and your lifestyle is your personal choice. It is also dependent on your physical capabilities in terms of operation, the scooter or power chair you own and the vehicle itself. Finally, do you want your scooter or wheelchair being carried inside or outside your vehicle? Your decision on these options depends on your carrying preferences, budget, your physical condition and the type of equipment and vehicle you own.

Finally…

We hope this article has helped expand your knowledge base about mobility scooter lifts. You now have a lot more information and some ideas of what may work best for you. Now let’s review a few final pointers.

New or Used?

Are you going to add a wheelchair or scooter lift to a car you already own or are you thinking of purchasing a new vehicle? Affordable Medical Equipment can help make sure all your bases are covered so you can make the right decision!

Find Out if any Cost are Covered

Today, a mobility device has become, in some cases, a necessary tool for the daily life of people with disability. As such, they may be occasionally covered by insurance. Sometimes car alterations or lift installations are included as well. Call your provider and confirm if there are any benefits available.

Pick Your Best Vehicle Lift

Best Vehicle Lift

The market is full of a great variety of lifts, whether attached outside or inside the vehicle, or from the side or the back. A platform lift is designed to lift your mobility scooter, while an arm lift picks up your chair or scooter with a strap. Each lift is designed in a way to withstand certain amount of weight and could be functioned manually or powered.

The Compatibility of the Lift with Your Car

Car Compatibility Scooter Lift

All lifts are not compatible with all cars. Some cars may not accommodate lifts due to size or weight constraints. Before you purchase a mobility lift, be sure to check with your car dealer or lift dealer to see what information is available before you make an investment.

Find a Professional for Installation

Your mobility scooter lift has a specialized nature of operation. We recommend letting professionals that know, install and deal with lifts daily do the job for you. Compared to the investment you are making in the lift; installation is usually the least expensive part. Consider the benefits of well-fitted and properly functioning equipment and how that can impact you or your loved one's life.

If you are ready to purchase, you can visit our store and talk with experts for professional suggestions. A vehicle scooter lift can be a game-changer for you, providing the freedom of movement more accessible.

Please visit our store or search our website for product details, including product recommendations, mobility resources, etc. You can give us a call 803-926-1493 and talk to an expert anytime.