10 Best Car Lifts for Home Garages in 2020 (Review + FAQs)
10 Best Home Garage Vehicle Lifts of 2020
(last updated 5-22-2020)
A car lift is an essential piece of kit for any home garage, as well as a vital piece of equipment in a professional workshop. Giving you the ability to access the underside of your vehicle safely, a car hoist enables you to complete a host of jobs in your own garage.
Maintaining your car can increase its lifespan and enhance its performance, which reduces running costs in the long-term. Whether you’re a hobby mechanic, a professional or simply an enthusiastic car owner, having a vehicle lift can make it far easier to service and maintain your automobile.
Of course, choosing the right vehicle lift isn’t always easy. With so much to consider, it’s easy to get side-tracked. To make things simple, we’ve put looked at the average real-life customer reviews to identify the best car lifts of 2020.
Without Further Ado, The 10 Best Vehicle Lifts Are:
The “ratings” listing below are based upon consumer reviews.
Editors #1 Pick Based Upon Price, Capacity, and Consumer Reviews.
With a maximum capacity of 10,000lbs and a 6’9” lift height, the APlusLift HW-10KBP is perfect for larger vehicles. The truck adapters ensure versatility, whilst the automatic arm lock restraints provide extra safety and security. As a CE Certified lift structure and hydraulic system, you can trust this 2-post lift to operate safely in your garage or workshop.
Measuring approximately 113 4/5” in height and 134 4/5” in width, this APlusLift model isn’t the smallest 2 post car lift out there. However, if you’re looking for maximum capacity and functionality, it certainly fits the bill.
Operating at 220 volts with a 3HP motor, the XK USA L1000 vehicle lift is an impressive piece of equipment. As well as rubber door guard protection, it features an ultra-high molecular self-lubricating nylon slider to ensure the vehicle can be moved up and down seamlessly.
It offers a capacity of 10,000 lbs and has an overall height of 111 1/4” and a width of 133 1/4”. Furthermore, it offers a lift height max of 78-5/32” and drive-thru width clearance of 100”. Capable of raising or lowering your vehicle in just 20-60 seconds, the XK USA L1000 makes short work of hoisting almost any car or truck.
If you’re looking for something with a higher capacity, this 2-post model by XK might be just what you need. The enhanced capacity of 12,000lbs give you scope to hoist heavier vehicles, whilst the overall height of approximately 115” and width of 154” ensure it’s compact enough for use in smaller garages.
Offering a minimum lifting height of 4.33” and a maximum lifting height of 76.77”, the Two Post L1200 Auto Lift gives you plenty of flexibility when it comes to maintaining or repairing your vehicles.
With a staggering lift capacity of 15,000lbs, the TRIUMPH NT-15 can handle almost anything you throw at it. The lifting height of 72” and lowered height of 7” gives you enough scope to access any part of the vehicle, and the overall dimensions of the unit ensure it’s as compact as possible. Measuring approximately 120” in height and 142” in width, the TRIUMPH NT-15 is a great option if you want to fit a high maximum capacity lift into a small space.
Designed to give easy access to every part of your vehicle, the TRIUMPH NTO-10A makes it easy to carry out maintenance work. You’ll have a maximum capacity of 10,000lbs with this Clear Floor model and be able to lift your vehicle to maximum height in just 40 seconds.
Its overall dimensions are 145” in height and 133” in width. Whilst this isn’t the smallest 2 post car lift, it does offer a clear floor design. Although you’ll need a garage with enough height to facilitate the extra spec, you’ll be rewarded with easier access to your vehicle if you choose the TRIUMPH NTO-10A.
The Mayflower Blacksmith car lift has a maximum lifting height of 75”, or 81” if you’re using the accompanying truck adapters. Combined with a maximum capacity of 9,000lbs, this reliable 2 post vehicle lift is suitable for most home garages.
Designed with 18 built-in locking positions and a double two-point safety lock release, you can rest assured that the Mayflower Blacksmith vehicle lift will allow you to work on your car or truck safely. Overall dimensions are 111” in height and 132” in width, so it’s ideal for smaller spaces. With a driving width of 98”, it offers plenty of scope for a wide variety of vehicles.
If you want a portable car lift with added versatility, the BendPak vehicle lift is a great option. Although it does only have a maximum capacity of 6,000lbs, most users who want a portable lift for home use will find this to be more than enough.
The Bendpak Portable Low-Rise Car Lift features a hands-free automatic safety system, which locks the vehicle at three different heights. When using the accompanying lift blocks, it offers a lifting height of 29” and can be collapsed to just 4” when not in use. As a scissor style car lift, it has an overall width of just 70” and a compact overall length of 82”.
Offering a maximum lift height of 45”-48”, the Dannmar MaxJax is ideal if you want a portable car lift with a bit of added height. The 2-post design ensures easy access to every part of the vehicle, whilst the portability of the unit provides added versatility.
The overall height of 89” ensures the Dannmar MaxJax can be used in most garage environments, whilst the 6,000lbs capacity and 30 second lift time mean you can make quick work of maintaining your vehicles.
Featuring a 30deg rotated column, the Bendpak Dual Width 2 Post Asymmetrical Car Lift offers easier access to your vehicle than ever before. This revolutionary design enables you to access the interior of the car and offers increased door clearance.
Incorporating an exclusive Tru-Metric carriage, vehicles can either be loaded symmetrically or asymmetrically, which gives you increased options when using the lift. The padded overhead safety shut off bar prevents damage to your vehicle, whilst the expandable top beam allows for wide or narrow drive-thru configurations.
With a maximum lift height of 69” and a maximum capacity of 10,000lbs, the BendPak Dual Width 2 Post Asymmetric Car Lift is a fantastic option in any garage. An overall width of 132-145” and an overall height of 145” means you’ll need a little extra space for this model, but the added functionality certainly makes it worth it.
Capable of hoisting 2.5 tons or 5,000lbs, the Bendpak QuickJack offers extreme portability. When in use, it will lift your vehicle almost 24” off the ground and its compact design means it can be stored in the trunk or on the back seat of most vehicles.
Easy to use, the jack frames simply need to be positioned under the vehicle before you use the handheld remote control to raise the vehicle. With a reinforced upper box frame and dual-position automatic safety locks, the BendPak QuickJack offers everything you’d expect from a portable scissor car lift and more.
What to consider before buying a car lift for your garage
When you’re buying a vehicle, it’s important to do your research first. As well as finding a suitable car lift for your current vehicle, you may want to consider what cars you plan on purchasing in the future. Choosing a vehicle lift that can hoist a range of vehicles will ensure your car lift remains functional and useful, even if you change your car frequently.
Before you make a final decision, be sure to consider the following:
When selecting a car lift, it’s vital you choose a model that is going to fit comfortably in your garage. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t consider the logistics of installing and using their vehicle hoist!
Take accurate measurements of your garage or workshop before you begin your search and remember to factor in space to move around the vehicle and the lift. Some lifts have overhead arms, which means they take up more space. Whilst they can provide added stability, they may not be suitable for smaller garages.
Whilst the dimensions of a lift will give you an idea of its shape and size when it’s not in use, you’ll need to factor in the extra space you’ll need to work on the vehicle. Once you’ve assessed how much space you’ve got available, you can begin your search for the best car lifts.
The capacity of a vehicle lift specifies how much weight it can hoist and, therefore, which cars it can be used for. Of course, vehicle lifts are designed to hoist variable weights, so there will always be a model to suit your needs. You shouldn’t assume, however, that all car lifts will be capable of lifting your specific vehicle.
Always check the lift’s capacity before making a purchase, or you could make a costly mistake. Furthermore, attempting to use a car lift without enough capacity is extremely dangerous. By making sure your vehicle lift has the capacity to hoist your vehicle, you can ensure that you’ll be able to use the lift and work on your car safely.
Mounted vs Portable Car Lifts
A scissor list is typically the most portable type of car lift and they can even be used outdoors if the weather permits. Depending on the model you choose, a scissor lift may not even need a comprehensive install and certainly doesn’t need to be mounted.
In contrast, a 2-post vehicle lift will generally always need to be mounted. Although they are ideal if you plan on using them in only one location, they aren’t a great choice if you want to be able to use your car lift in various locations.
Although 4 post car lifts are heavier than their 2 post counterparts, they can be portable if used with a caster kit. However, not all 4 post lifts offer portability, so it’s important to check the specific model before you make a final decision.
Whilst portability can come in handy, most users only plan on using their car lift in one location; their garage. If you fit into this category, a mounted car lift will give you a wide range of choices and provides added stability and peace of mind.
What are the types of car lifts?
In general, there are three types of car lift:
A scissor list is, perhaps, the most simple and straightforward choice. Easy to use and requiring minimal installation, you can get to work with a scissor lift straight away. Depending on the model you choose, scissor lifts can hoist vehicles by the wheels or can leave the wheels dangling, which may make it easier to carry out certain repairs.
Although scissor lifts are generally portable and relatively lightweight, the lift components are under the platform itself. This means that access to the underside of the car is limited in comparison to 2 or 4 post car lifts. In addition, scissor lifts tend to have a smaller capacity than 2 or 4 post vehicle lifts.
As scissor lifts don’t have posts, they are no barriers when it comes to accessing the body of the vehicle or the paintwork. If you’re buying a lift because you regularly respray vehicles, a scissor lift is certainly one to consider.
2-Post Car Lift
As the name suggested, these types of car lifts feature two posts; one on either side of the vehicle. Of course, there are plenty of variations and different models have different features. Some 2 post car lifts also have an upper arm to prevent you from hoisting the vehicle up too high and damaging the roof, for example.
Generally, 2 post car lifts need to be anchored to the floor, so they’re not a portable option. Despite this, they offer great access to the underside of the vehicle. When using a 2-post vehicle lift, the wheels essentially dangle, so suspensions and brakes are easy to work on.
2 post car lifts usually have a higher weight capacity than scissor lifts but take up much less space than 4 post lifts, so they’re ideal for home garages and smaller spaces.
4-Post Car Lift
As you might expect, a 4-post lift uses four posts to lift your vehicle into the air. You can opt for a mountable 4 post lift or a portable one, so they offer a lot of versatility. In addition to this, it can be far easier to maneuver your vehicle on to a 4-post list, as you can simply drive on and off the ramps.
If you’re looking for a lift because you need long-term car storage, a 4-post lift may be your best option. However, they do take up a fair amount of space, so they’re most suited to larger garages or dedicated workshops.
Although some maintenance work can be carried out using a 4-post lift, you may need to use a jacking beam for some jobs. With a 4-post car lift, the wheels are lifted, rather than dangling. This means you’ll need a rolling beam to hoist the car slightly higher in order to undertake certain maintenance work.
Despite this, 4 post lifts are a popular choice and offer the maximum in weight capacity. Whilst you’ll need a larger area in which to use this type of lift, they’re the perfect choice for heavier or larger vehicles.
How do I use a car lift?
Before you attempt to use a car lift, it’s vital you read the manufacturer’s instructions…and then read them again! Every car lift is slightly different, so don’t assume you know how it operates. In addition to this, your vehicle manual will provide valuable information regarding the best parts of the frame to attach hoist supports too. As some parts of the frame are stronger than others, it’s important to clarify this in relation to your specific vehicle model.
When using a scissor or 2 post lift, it is the frame of the vehicle that will be directly supported by the lift. You’ll need to position the arms or the supports to ensure the vehicle can be lifted evenly, which can take some practice. With most 4 post car lifts, you can drive the vehicle straight on to the ramps and simply apply the handbrake. However, some 4 post lifts do have extra supporting features that should be used.
Car Lift Safety Tips
Safety should be your priority when using any type of vehicle lift. The purpose of a car lift is to hoist thousands of pounds of weight into the air, so if anything goes wrong, it’s going to go VERY wrong.
Follow these car lift safety tips to help you and your vehicle stay safe:
Choose the right car lift for your needs
Finding the right car lift is the first step to using a vehicle lift safely. Making sure your chosen lift can lift the weight you need it and ensuring you have enough space to work around or under the vehicle will help you to operate it safely.
Install the lift properly
Every mounted lift will have comprehensive installation instructions, so make sure you follow them. Many firms offer an installation service, so you can always opt to have your vehicle lift professionally mounted if you prefer. If you’re using a portable car lift, you won’t need to install it into a fixed location but it’s still important to study the operating manual carefully and set up the equipment safely.
Make sure the vehicle is secure
Before using the lift, always make sure the vehicle is positioned properly and is utterly secure. It’s easy to be complacent, especially if you’re familiar with car lifts, but it only takes seconds to check that the vehicle is properly aligned and secure.
Always stick to the weight limit
Never be tempted to exceed the capacity on a vehicle lift, even by a small amount. The upper capacity limit should always be adhered to, no matter how inconvenient this may seem. In practice, it’s advisable to choose a lift with a maximum capacity that exceeds your needs, as this gives you the spare capacity to work with.
Vehicle Lift Question FAQs
How are car lifts powered?
Car lifts use hydraulics to hoist vehicles into the air, but they do typically need an external source of power. In general, 4 post lifts use a 110-volt motor, which doesn’t require special wiring, whilst many 2 post lifts use a 220-volt single phase motor. However, manufacturers are using differing power options all the time, so it’s important to check each model to see if it fits your requirements.
Which gives you more space, a 2-post or 4-post car lift?
Again, each model will vary so you can find a vehicle hoist to suit your exact requirements. In general, a 2-post vehicle lift will give you more space under the car in a small environment. Essentially, it can list the car higher in a small space than a 4-post car lift can. This is because a 2-post lift hoists the car by its frame, whilst a 4-post hoist lifts the car by its wheels. This difference can give you an extra room to access the underside of the vehicle if you opt for a 2-post car lift.
Is it easy to install a car lift?
Although you can install a car lift yourself, it’s advisable to arrange assistance in advance. At the least, you’ll need a qualified electrician on hand to connect the lift to the power and ensure circuit breakers are in place.
As car lifts can weigh over 2,000lbs, you’ll need equipment capable of moving the equipment into place. Whilst you don’t have to opt for a professional install when buying a car lift, it’s often easier to do so.
Can car lifts be used for storage?
Absolutely. People often use 4 post car lifts to store vehicles they don’t use on a regular basis. Whilst 4 post lifts are most commonly used for vehicle storage, there are some 2 post lifts that offer this feature too.
What is a clear floor car lift?
A clear floor car lift relies on arms, rather than posts, to lift the vehicle off the ground. This design provides more access to the vehicle itself and makes it easier to undertake maintenance. Most often seen on 2 post car lifts, a clear floor design gives you maximum flexibility when it comes to accessing every part of the vehicle.