Buying second hand stair lifts is a viable and cost effective alternative to purchasing a brand new stair lift. Most stair lifts can be purchased new or second hand.
Second hand stair lifts should be every bit as reliable as a brand new lift and most reputable firms will offer the same 12 month guarantee.
The life expectancy of a stair lift should be in excess of 10 years, however, anything much older than this and it is probably not worth using anymore. Stair lift suppliers generally stop making spare parts for the lifts after about 10 years.
Straight stair lifts can usually be adapted to fit another staircase because the stair lift rail can be cut to suit the length of the stair. This means that you can use a second hand rail and motor.
Curved staircases will need a new stair lift rail to be manufactured as it essential to have a rail that is made to measure. It is important that the rail is tight to the stairs and does not cause obstruction to others. A second hand motor and chair can still be used.
If you order a curved rail second hand stair lift, make sure that it is a brand new rail that you are getting. Some companies re-manufacture old pieces of rail to try and get them to fit on a new stair case. Most experts agree that this is not a safe practice. A re-manufactured rail or reconditioned rail will not conform to British Safety Standards. If you are in doubt ask to see a copy of the manufacturers drawing.
Christian Dunnage is a director of Dolphin Mobility Ltd, a UK based independent supplier of stair lifts and mobility products http://www.dolphinlifts.co.uk and author of http://www.stairlift.co.uk an impartial online guide to having a stair lift in your home.