Buying a new stairlift can be a liberating investment, restoring safety and freedom to people with mobility problems. It's also a lot cheaper to continue living comfortably in your own home than find alternative accomodation. However, a key question will always be "How much will installing a stair lift cost?"
To estimate a stair lift price realistically, several factors need to be taken into account. These include:
- Is the stairlift for a curved or straight staircase?
(A stairlift for a curved staircase cost considerably more money)
- The length of the staircase, or number of steps
(The longer the rail, the higher the cost)
- If a curved stair case, how many turns
The more turns, the higher the cost
- Are there obstructions at the top/bottom of the staircase?
(This could mean the addition of a powered hinge rail, or remedial works (moving radiators etc) at the time of installation)
- The actual purchase price of the equipment, whether the chairlift model is new or a reconditioned unit
(New will cost a bit more but you will get longer warranty and potential re-sale value depending on age of stairlift)
- The cover and duration of the warranty.
- The details in the maintenance contract.
- The resale value, if any, of the stair lift (unfortunately, there’s little value in used stair lifts).
For these reasons it’s clear to see why there’s really no easy way to determine an “average stair lift price”, but since this article aims to answer exactly that, we’ll try to provide some typical costs.
- Average cost of a Straight Stairlift in 2023 = £2,275
- Standard length (13 step) straight stair case
- New model (not reconditioned)
- 2 year warranty
- Straight-forward installation (no remedial works)
- Standard rail (no powered hinge required etc)
- Average cost of a Curved Stairlift in 2023 = £4,985 (more info on curved chair lift prices here)
- Average cost of a Outdoor Stairlift for 2023 = £3,350 (costs vary massively depending on length and location of external stair case/steps)
Check out our stairlift comparison table to compare features and prices for new chair lifts for home stairs.
These stair lift prices do not necessarily include the additional costs (mentioned above). A survey is always required to give consumers a true picture of the total price. For example, we always advise that an engineer should call at least once a year to make safety checks and carry out routine maintenance tasks, so a maintenance contract is always advised.
An important thing to note is that the cost of a stairlift should not differ if fitted on the left or right of your staircase. However, there is usually a better side to fit based on certain factors which will be identified and explained on a home survey.
Even if a reconditioned stair lift has been purchased, reputable suppliers will still include a warranty for the first year of use. This will cover the cost of any replacement parts should the stair lift breakdown, providing vital reassurance for anyone considering a reconditioned model.
Consumers should also remember the size and shape of their staircase. If the staircase is curved, the resale price may be negligible, as it can rarely be installed successfully into a different property without significant modification.
Making an Economical Choice
In the UK, the leading manufacturers of stair lifts are Acorn, Companion and Stannah. All produce excellent, high-quality stairlifts that are safe and reliable.
Before making a decision, the prospective purchaser should shop around and ask lots of questions about the true cost of the stairlift being considered. It is essential not to confuse low price with value for money. A reconditioned stair lift for an elderly person costing £950.00 that requires a control button to be pressed will offer less practical value for someone suffering from arthritis than a new stair lift costing £1,950 with a joystick or attendant control. The quality of the maintenance contracts and warranties offered by different suppliers also need to be carefully considered.
If you didn't already know, here comes some good news...
VAT is not applicable on Stairlifts – as it's a mobility product.
Reputable stairlift companies should make this clear to all clients, however there are some sales people that like to say "we will knock the vat off" to help close the sale.
You should never be charged VAT on a stairlift as legislated in Notice 701/7 VAT Reliefs for disabled people (August 2002).
More details can be found here on the UK Government website.
The only time vat is applicable is if it's for a company and not an individual, for example a care home or the council purchasing etc.
Choosing the right stairlift model and features to suit your needs
All the major UK stairlift companies offer two broad models of stair lift, those designed for straight stair cases and those designed for curved. The latter are always more expensive, because they take longer to manufacture and install. Since there's a considerable difference in price, we wrote a dedicated article on the average price of curved stairlifts, which will perhaps be more useful if you have a curved stair case.
However, regardless of stair case design all models vary in price depending on which features are included. Some models may be cheaper, but may not suit your home or the needs of your family – for example, added extras such as remote calling controls positioned at the top and bottom of the staircase may be essential if there's more than one stairlift user within the home, while a harness seat-belt can provide an added level of reassurance for anyone who suffers from vertigo.
All good stairlifts now include an automatic safety cut out function, as well as a swivel seat for ease of access and a virtually silent DC power supply.
The Acorn 130 and Companion's 1000 and 1100 "Straight" models can be fitted with a specially designed perch seat or standing platform for people who have difficulty in bending their knees in order to sit down. Stannah entered the market more recently with a totally new concept to perched seats based on a saddle design. Like other perched seats, The Sadler minimises weight on the users legs whilst maintaining a more upright position, often ideal for an elderly person or overweight.
Whatever features you choose, it is essential to get a free home assessment to find out exactly much your stairlift will cost.
Acorn Stairlifts Prices
Having produced stairlifts since the early nineties, Yorkshire-based Acorn has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers in the industry, supplying various different stairlifts to the people of Britain and across the world. Like all stairlift manufacturers, the cost of Acorn stairlifts will depend upon a number of factors.
- The type of staircase you have. Curved Acorn stairlift prices are significantly more expensive than those for a straight staircase. A straight Acorn stairlift will typically start at around £1,900 compared to £4,400 for a curved Acorn startlift. If you should require a stairlift for outdoor use, Acorn can cater to your needs; however, you should expect to pay more as these models are built to deal with the rigours of outdoor life.
- A second factor which affects the price of an Acorn stairlift is the type of carriage/chair you choose: users that are unable to bend may benefit from a perch model or a sit/stand model, which allows users to travel up and down stairs safely and comfortably. Perched models are designed differently from the generic seated stairlifts and this is likely to reflect in the cost.
Stairlift Prices FAQs
How much do straight stairlifts cost?
The average price of a straight stairlift for a standard 13 step staircase is around £2,200. Narrow stairs, longer staircases and choice of straight stairlift manufacturer may increase the price.
How much do curved stairlifts cost?
The average price of a standard single-turn curved stairlift is around £4,500. Narrow curved stairs, longer staircases and stairs with more than one turn will be more expensive, as will your choice of curved stairlift manufacturer.
How much does an Acorn stairlifts cost?
A standard Acorn straight stairlift (Acorn 130) will typically start from around £1,900. Acorn curved stairlifts (Acorn 180) start at around £4,400. If a sliding rail/powered hinge is required these additions would increase the cost.
Why are curved stairlifts more expensive?
Curved stairlifts are more expensive to manufacture as the rail is curved. They are often manufactured specifically for the dimension of a staircase.
Do you pay VAT on stairlifts?
If the person requiring a stairlift is chronically ill or registered disabled then they are exempt for VAT on stairlifts, for domestic or personal use.
What are the ongoing costs of running a stairlift?
If you have a warranty which includes a maintenance and annual service plan (which most do), there's no additional running costs other than the cost of electricity to power the stairlift.
Electrical cost of running a stairlift?
Modern stairlifts are very economical to run. The electricity required to power an energy efficient stairlift is 0.024kWh per journey, so based on average usage or 4 journeys a day this use around 35kWh/year. Based on 2023 energy prices the electricity required to run a stairlift is approximately £12 per year. Longer curved track stairlifts would be slightly more.
How much is a stairlift maintenance contract?
Stairlift maintenance contacts, or extended warranties as they're often known typically start from £250 per year but are often cheaper per year if bought to cover longer periods, e.g. 3 year or 5 year cover.
What does it cost to repair a stairlift?
Stairlift repairs and call-out fees are usually covered in a maintenance contract which is typically included when you buy a new stairlift. Make sure you check your maintenance contract and warranty details for adequate cover. Extended warranties are available from the stairlift manufacturers upon request.
How much is stairlift insurance?
Typically, you won't need stairlift insurance if your stairlift is within warranty period. However, if out of warranty you can opt for extended warranty with the manufacturer or buy mobility equipment insurance, which covers stairlifts, from a 3rd party provider.
Is there any resale value in used stairlift?
Very little unfortunately. Straight stairlifts are easier to sell compared to curved stairlifts. Newer stairlifts are obviously easier too sell and command the highest resale price. However a few hundred pounds is the most you'll receive and this very much depends on the make and model. Use this stairlift valuation tool to check the resale value.
How much does it cost to rent a stairlift?
Stairlift rental typically starts from £12 per week for straight stairlifts and £17 per week for a curved stairlift. On top of this is an high installation fee which typically starts at £350 for a straight and £950 for curved stairlifts.
Can I get funding for a stairlift?
Potentially, yes! You need to apply for a mobility grant from your local council.