How Much Is A Car Lift?

There is no denying that quality car lifts can turn an average auto repair shop into a profitable venture. Even for the general public investing in an auto car lift can be a huge money-saving decision. However, buying car lifts is always considered a serious expenditure due to their massive upfront costs. 

How much does a car lift cost anyway? There is no straightforward answer. The average costs for buying a car lift can be varied anywhere between 1500 to 10,000 USD depending on the type and quality of the lifts. The type of vehicles you own and how much lift you want will also factor into the costs. 

Business owners who deal with trucks, and heavy-duty cars will need factory standard (higher capacity) vehicle lifts. Surely, they will cost significantly higher than car lifts intended for a small shop or garage. 

For instance, some of the extremely high-capacity machines such as those massive parallelogram truck lifts and mobile column auto lifts can cut a whopping 10,000 USD or more. 

Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider the extra capabilities of a car lift, and determine whether that can be effectively utilized with equally matched vehicles.

how much is a car lift

How Much Is A Car Lift For Home Garage?

If you have the passion for fixing cars, automotive lifts would be an indispensable tool for your garage. Depending on what kind of vehicles you’ll want to cater to the pricing for a home garage car lift will vary. 

For small family cars a quality 2-post or 4-post lifts in the 6,000 lbs. range would be sufficient. They shouldn’t cost you above $1500. If you want to increase the lifting capacity up to 9000 lbs., there are high end products between $1,500 to $2,000. 

If you own a SUV or Truck, you might want to shop for a highly durable car lift having at least 10000 lbs. capacity. In that case, you can expect to incur $2,500 or more for a tough, high quality garage lift. 

How Much Does A 2 Post Car Lift Cost?

2-post car lifts are the most common type among residential garage and small shop owners since they take up less floor space. 

You should set a budget between $2,000 to $3,000 for a 2 post car lift with the capacity around 10000 lbs. However, you could run anywhere between $3,500 to $4,500 for a car lift that features capacities from 1000 lbs. up to 15000 lbs.

Here are the top rated 2 Post Car Lifts and their current prices:

  • Universalift 2 (7000 Lbs.) -$2,995
  • Bison 9KAF (9000 Lbs.) – $1,695
  • Atlas PV-12P (12000 Lbs.) – $4,295
  • Tuxedo (9,000 lb.) Overhead Lift – $1,949

How Much Does A 4 Post Car Lift Cost?

If you want to stack vehicles in your garage, you’ll need a 4 post car lift. Just like 2 post models they are also available in different price ranges. 

A standard 4-post car lift isn’t going to be much more expensive than a 2-post model. You might be able to find a suitable one for less than $3500. However, if you don’t want to cut corners for lifting heavy-duty cars, you might have to increase the budget up to $10,000.

Here is some of the best-selling 4 Post Car Lifts with their current prices:

  • Auto Lift Car Storage Lift 8000 Lbs. – $3,499
  • Bendpak Truck and Car Lift 14000 Lbs. – $7,970
  • APlusLift HW-8SXLT 8000 Lbs. Portable Car Lift Truck Hoist –$2,809
  • TRIUMPH 9000 Lbs. Storage Car Lift Truck Hoist – $3,945 

How Much Does A Portable Scissor Lift Cost?

Scissor car lifts are a bit pricier than regular 2-post lifts. However, the portable low-rise or mid-rise versions with weight capacity ranging from 5000 to 7000 Lbs. are less expensive. 

Let’s take a quick look at the some of the top rated portable Scissor Lifts with their prices:

  • QuickJack BL-5000SLX 5000 Lbs. portable car lift- $1,475
  • BendPak P-6BF 5000 Lbs. low-rise scissor lift – $2,295
  • APlusLift HW-SL6600X Mid Rise 6,600 Lbs. scissor Lift – $2,139

How Much Does A Hydraulic Car Lift Cost?

There are also 2-post, 4-post and scissor car lifts that use hydraulic systems. Usually, they are more stable to lifting heavier cars and offer easier underneath access. The price of hydraulic car lifts varies by manufacturers based on the features and warranties they offer. 

However, the average cost of a hydraulic car lift parking system can range from 1400 to 2400 USD. A hydraulic car lift that carries loads of up to 10,000 lbs. will cost higher, anywhere from 2200 to 3700 USD.

Here is some of the renowned hydraulic car lift models in various categories:

  • TRIUMPH NT-9 9000 Lbs. (2-Post) Auto Lift –$2,045
  • APlusLift HW-10KBP 10,000 Lbs. (2-Post) Overhead Auto Hoist Car Lift – $2,300
  • APlusLift HW-8S 8000 Lbs. (4-Post) Portable Storage Auto Lift -$2,609
  • BendPak Portable Mid-Rise (Scissor) Car Lift 6000-Lbs. – $2,530

How Much Does An ALI Certified Car Lift Cost?

If you own a commercial shop with tons of cars to repair you shouldn’t base your decision solely on price. Safety of your employees and bay must be ensured. 

Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) is an independent authority established in 1945 by U.S car lifts manufacturers. ALI has specific standards ensuring the strength, durability and safety of a car lift is maintained. Check whether the auto lift you intend to buy carries the gold “ALI Certified” label. 

Since the certification requires periodic inspection of the manufacturing plants and process ALI Certified lifts are little bit more expensive than regular ones. However, it can’t be specified by how much they would vary. Below are some of the ALI Certified car lifts you can find in the market. 

  • Atlas Apex 14 14000 Lbs. Capacity (4 Post) Car Lift – $7,745
  • Atlas Apex-10 Overhead (2 Post) Car Lift 10,000 Lbs. – $4,645
  • BendPak GP-7LC 7000 Lbs. (2 Post) Car Lift – $3,825
  • MaxJax M6K 6000 Lbs. (2 Post) Portable Car Lift – $2,440

Remember the certification is voluntary and every lift has to earn that individually. Just because you see a car lift is certified doesn’t guarantee all other lifts from the manufacturer are ALI certified. 

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Car Lift? 

The installation of your car lifts will add up to the initial costs if it is not included in your purchase. Unless you are an experienced mechanic you would have to hire a professional to do the installation especially if you want to venture into those higher capacity lifts. You might not need a lot of things to add, however this can easily become a headache if you don’t take this into account. 

According to BendPak the installation costs for two-post lifts can be approximately $500, which is $1000 for four-post versions. For parallelogram and scissor lifts this can be increased up to $1500. Additionally, you might incur approximately $250 for floor anchoring and $700 for adding a high-lift kit to the garage door. 

Last but Not the Least…. 

Whatever your reason to get a car lift, it’s fair to say you’ll get what you pay for. The important thing to remember is to check whether the lift you plan on meets your specific needs. It must be able to hold your car’s weight comfortably. 

Try to strike a balance between your budget and quality of product, but don’t be tempted for mediocre lifts just to save a couple of hundred bucks. There is nothing wrong with shopping around for a good deal; however, those low-priced auto lifts will almost certainly be cheaply made.

You can live with a car lift that doesn’t last for a lifetime, but you can’t deal with it if it has an undersized cylinder or lacks safety features. For a professional shop, an inferior car lift could mean countless hours of downtime and an untold amount of money spent on repairs and damages.

In addition, you have to consider the size of your service bay, the thickness of your concrete floor, and the load (per square foot) it can sustain. 

Manufacturer’s warranty should also be a top priority when shopping for an auto lift. Check whether the warranty is on terms. This could vary by models and brands, but the importance of reading every detail carefully can’t be overlooked. 

Since frames make up the most in a car lift it should be covered for much longer periods. If you are getting an expensive one for your shop ensure the repair costs are also considered under the term.

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Frederick James is an expert mechanic with years of experience under his belt. He excels in diagnosing, troubleshooting, repairing, and modifying everything related to automobiles including but not limited to cars and pickup trucks. Read more...

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