The ultimate stairlift buyer’s guide
Please don’t buy a stairlift until you have read these important points!
- Stairlifts are fitted to the tread of the stairs not the wall so there is no mess when fitting. For this reason there are absolutely no structural issues to be concerned about.
- If you use an independent stairlift company to purchase a stairlift they are not tied to one particular manufacturer. They are therefore free to choose the best product to suit you and your home not what they have to sell.
- A straight stairlift can be fitted in under an hour. A curved takes around 4 hours to install.
- When required, a straight stairlift can be installed next day (in urgent cases the same day is possible). Normally a curved stairlift can be installed within 7 days.
- If you need a stairlift because you have a permanent debilitating condition or illness you do not have to pay VAT. More details on VAT exemption>>
- If you are over sixty, even if you are not VAT exempt, you only have to pay 5% VAT on a stairlift. More details on reduced VAT for over 60s >>
- Stairlifts can be fitted to staircases as narrow as 61 cm (24 inches) when using the Flow 2 stairlift system. Don’t give up if you have been told otherwise.
- Acorn Stairlifts, the national stairlift company, sell their stairlifts through mobility dealers branded as Brooks. The Brooks stairlift is exactly the same stairlift as the Acorn Stairlift except for the colour of the body panels and the seat but you can buy them from an independent dealer for as little as £1,595.00. They come with the same manufacturer’s warranty and the same level of service.
- A used/reconditioned straight stairlift will cost as little as £995.00 and that includes a fully comprehensive 12 month warranty.
- For those recovering from an operation or a fall, a straight stairlift can be rented for £45.00 per month. (Click here for further details)
- Finally, PC Mobility Services Limited have been in the mobility industry for over 24 years. Our experience has often allowed us to modify a staircase or to use a bridging platform to avoid the cost of buying a more expensive curved stairlift. There can even be ways around paying for a hinged option, so please don’t buy a stairlift until discussing these options with us first.
- Stairlifts can be installed outdoors too, they are weather proof and work on low voltage so they are completely safe.
We hope you have found this guide enlightening. If you have already dealt with some of the national stairlift companies and their sales representatives you may have found this information very sobering, refreshing and eye opening!
If you have been in long term ill health or you are disabled you will not have to pay any VAT on your stairlift, which will mean a substantial saving.
It worth knowing too that not all goods and services are VAT exempt however so if you are looking to purchase other aids or products then it is worth checking this guide from HMRC.
If you'd like any further information about VAT reductions or exemptions we recommend you call the HMRC helpline for VAT relief for disabled and older people 0845 302 0203. The line is open 8.00am - 5.00pm Monday - Friday and is closed weekends and bank holidays.
Did you know that if you are over sixty years of age, you don't have to pay the full VAT rate for stairlifts even if you are not VAT exempt? The VAT rate for certain mobility aids is reduced to 5%.
Whether your stairlift or other mobility aid is in your own home or that of your families home which you share, if you are over 60 you will qualify for the lower VAT bracket- great!
This VAT rate doesn't apply to residential care home mobility device installations, however.
You can qualify for this rate when a mobility product is installed and supplied to you, just purchasing an item doesn't count unfortunately.
This rule also applies for grab rails, ramps, bath lifts and walk in baths as well as stairlifts.
For more information please visit HMRC's web page.