A home garage car lift is a useful tool that allows you to raise and lower vehicles in your residential garage. By doing so, you can efficiently use the available space in your garage by storing one or more vehicles above ground level. The convenience of having a car lift cannot be overstated. It caters to a variety of users, from car enthusiasts who prefer to work on their vehicles themselves to those who need extra floor space in their garages.
- 1 Things to Consider Before Buying A Car Lift for a Home Garage
- 2 Types of Car Lifts for Home Garages
- 3 How We Chose the Best Car Lifts for Home Garages
- 4 Should I pick a 4-post or a 2-post lift?
- 5 Can I use the space under a car lift for additional storage?
- 6 Are home car lifts safe?
- 7 Are residential car lifts safe?
- 8 How long do car lifts last?
- 9 How thick does the garage concrete need to be for installing a car hoist?
- 10 How tall does my garage need to be for a car lift?
Raising a vehicle in the air allows DIYers to work on their cars more comfortably and ergonomically. It also makes it possible to stack two cars where only one would fit otherwise. Garage car lifts can become a vital tool in your life if you spend a lot of time in your garage tinkering, repairing, restoring, or customizing your vehicles. While they can be a little costly, think of it as an investment in your long-term health and sanity.
With the money you save from not having to visit the chiropractor frequently due to back pains from working on your car on the ground, you can invest in one of the top car lifts available in the market to make your life easier. In summary, a garage car lift is an essential equipment for any car enthusiast or mechanic looking to maximize their garage space and work on their vehicles more efficiently.
The 7 Best Car Lifts for Home Garages of 2023：Tested and Reviewed
#1.APlusLift HW-10KOH 10,000LB
- CE-certified construction
- Features hydraulic lift with a maximum 6-foot, 9-inch lift height
- Includes truck adapters
- Installation and assembly instructions are confusing
- No ANSI certification
This lift is pretty versatile thanks to its unique arm assembly that offers both symmetrical and asymmetrical configurations, making it suitable for working on various types of vehicles. Additionally, it boasts a sleek and tough powder-coated finish that’s resistant to rust and corrosion, promising to serve you for a long time.
The lift’s column is built to be sturdy, measuring 13/64 inches, so you can rely on it to support most everyday cars and even some heavier ones. However, it does require a concrete base of either 6 inches at 3500 psi for the maximum weight capacity of 10,000 pounds, or 4 inches for vehicles that weigh 9,000 pounds or less.
Unfortunately, this lift loses some points due to its poorly written assembly and installation instructions, which can make putting it together a frustrating experience. Moreover, it lacks the crucial American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certification, meaning that it doesn’t meet certain safety standards.
#2.BendPak QuickJack BL-5000SLX Portable Lift
- Easily portable & easy to store
- Stable and safe
- Perfect for home use
- A hefty price tag
This car lift has a standout advantage compared to other options – it won’t eat up too much of your precious garage space. Despite its lightweight and small size, it packs a powerful punch and is an ideal tool to elevate your home garage experience. Some may see its compact size as a drawback, but it makes up for it with its stability and effectiveness in accomplishing its purpose.
If you’re someone who values storage space and has a small garage, this car lift is definitely worth considering since it’s easy to store due to its compact design. However, it’s worth noting that the price may be a bit steep. Nonetheless, when you take into account all of its excellent qualities, the investment is well worth it.For anyone who’s currently weighing their options when it comes to automotive gear and has limited garage space, I highly recommend this small car lift for home use.
#3.XK L2900 Car Lift
- Lower price point than competition
- Self-lubricating sliders
- Automatic locks and restraints
- Symmetrical design makes getting in and out of the vehicle difficult
This particular model of two-post lift has a weight capacity of up to 9,000 pounds, which means it’s more than capable of lifting most cars and trucks for any necessary repairs or modifications. What’s even more impressive is that it’s available at a lower price compared to other similar models, making it a more affordable option.
Despite its lower price, the L2900 doesn’t skimp on important features. For instance, it comes equipped with self-lubricating nylon sliders that ensure smooth lifting and lowering of your vehicle. Additionally, this lift has standard two-post safety features like automatic safety lock releases and automatic arm restraints that keep your vehicle securely lifted in the air. The only minor drawback is that it’s only symmetrical, which means users need to be mindful of opening and closing their vehicle doors.if you’re looking for a reliable and cost-effective option for a two-post lift, the L2900 is definitely worth considering. It’s a solid choice that won’t hurt your wallet, yet still comes with all the essential features you need to safely lift your vehicle for any necessary work.
#4.NT-11 11,000 lb Two Post Floor Plate Auto Lift
- ISO 9001 compliant and CE certified for safety
- Includes truck adapters and floor anchors in your purchase
- Large lifting capacity
- Only backed by a 1-year warranty
- Heavy and hard to ship and install
Looking for a heavy-duty and versatile lift that can handle a variety of garage setups? Look no further than this rugged option, which boasts an impressive 6-foot lifting capacity. One of the standout features of this lift is its compliance with both ISO 9001 and CE certification standards, ensuring that it meets strict quality and safety guidelines.
To top it all off, this lift sports a sleek and modern design, thanks to its durable powder-coated steel construction that adds an extra layer of protection against rust and corrosion. It’s worth noting, however, that this lift is on the heavier side, which can make shipping and installation a bit tricky. To ensure proper installation, you’ll need a concrete pad with a minimum strength rating of 4,000 psi.
While the 1-year warranty may not be the most impressive, this lift setup does come with handy truck adapters and floor anchors to maximize its value. So if you’re in the market for a durable, heavy-duty lift that can handle a variety of vehicles and setups, this one is definitely worth considering.
#5.QuickJack 7000TL 7,000lb Portable Car Lift
- Portable design allows for easy storage
- 7,000-pound capacity
- 3½ inches at its lowest makes it suitable for low-profile cars
- Increase lift height for trucks and SUVs
- Requires stable, even ground for safe lifting
If you’re looking for a versatile lift that can handle both low-profile cars and taller trucks and SUVs, this model is worth considering. With a lowered height of just 3½ inches, it can easily slide under vehicles with minimal clearance. But when you need to lift larger vehicles, it can extend to a height of 24 inches. And if you need even more height, there are additional blocks available for purchase that can bring the maximum height to 27 inches.
The lift is powered by a hydraulic pump and features automatic safety locks on each of the two lifts. However, it’s important to note that even with these safety features, it’s crucial to place the lift on flat, solid, and even ground to ensure maximum safety. With that in mind, this lift could be a great option for those looking for a versatile and reliable way to lift vehicles of varying sizes and shapes.
#6.Triumph NSS-8SQ Classic Lift Shorter
- Impressive maximum lift height of 7 feet
- Extra stable and sturdy construction components
- Shorter length is good for limited garage space
- No assembly instructions included
- Requires 30-amp circuit to operate
Looking for a heavy-duty lift that can handle a decent amount of weight and offer a generous lift height? This lift might be just what you need, as it boasts an impressive 8,000-pound lifting capacity and a max lift height of 7 feet. In fact, it’s one of the tallest lifts on the list, making it a great choice for those who need a lift with some extra height.
One of the standout features of this lift is its sizable 5/16-inch lock rods, which provide added stability and durability compared to other lifts that rely on flimsier 1/4-inch lock rods. The steel oil tanks are also designed to be extra durable and long-lasting. For added safety, the unit comes equipped with a UL-listed power unit plug.
Other features include lightweight aluminum approach ramps that are easy to add or remove, but strong enough to hold most vehicles. And at just 141 inches in length, this lift is a good option for those with more compact garage spaces. However, it’s worth noting that this lift doesn’t come with any assembly instructions, and it requires a 30-amp circuit to function properly, which many home garages may not have. Additionally, this lift does come with a premium price tag.
- Low profile allows for floor storage
- Maximum height of 51 inches for trucks or SUVs
- Weight capacity can handle most passenger vehicles
- Limited chassis access
Looking for a lift that can handle a variety of vehicle sizes and has a range of lift heights? Consider this scissor-style lift, which has a minimum height of just 6⅛ inches, making it ideal for regular storage underneath a vehicle. When lifted, it provides an impressive 51 inches of lift height, which allows users to work comfortably on various parts, including tires and brakes.
This model can handle up to 6,600 pounds, making it suitable for lifting cars of all sizes, as well as most SUVs and trucks. Its adjustable arms make positioning on the frame or subframe a breeze, providing a safe and secure lifting method. There’s also a manual release safety lock to prevent accidental flattening of the lift.
However, like all scissor lifts, one downside is that access to the chassis can be limited. Despite this, if you’re looking for a versatile and reliable lift that can handle various vehicles and provide ample lift height, this scissor-style lift might be a great option for you.
Things to Consider Before Buying A Car Lift for a Home Garage
When it comes to car lifts for home garages, there are a lot of confusing options and much to consider. It’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all choice. Today’s home garage car lifts come in a wide variety of functions and options suitable for different vehicles. Be sure to get the one that most suits your specific needs by checking the following boxes.
Depending on what you want to lift, weight capacity is a major consideration. Some basic lifts may offer a maximum weight capacity of 5,000 pounds, which is fine for a lot of daily drivers and collectors sports cars, but if you want to lift a truck, classic American steel, or work vehicle, you’ll probably need a lifting capacity of between 8,000 to 11,000 pounds.
Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical
Post lifts can be designed with symmetrical or asymmetrical columns and arms for different vehicle positioning. How the columns and arms are oriented can change accessibility to getting in and out of the vehicle, as well as change the accessibility to different parts of the vehicle’s exterior.
Hydraulic vs. Electric
Some lifts use hydraulic power to function while others use electric power to function. While hydraulic lifts are usually superior in lifting capacity and efficiency, electric lifts are usually smoother, quieter, more precise, and fail less often.
Each lift will come with additional safety features to prevent slipping or collapse of your vehicle. An auto-lock mechanism when the lift is ascending is key, and a lock bar mechanism when the lift is descending is important. Each brand has its own proprietary safety technology, so be sure to check that when comparing lifts. Also, look for CE or ANSI safety certifications to ensure that your lift has been independently tested by a third party.
Ease of Use and Setup
Go for a lift with user-friendly features. The setup should be easy for the average user. The system should come with simple instructions that show you how to mount the lift with your vehicle, lift it, lock it in place, and lower it without damaging your vehicle or the lift. Also, a hydraulic lift is easier to use than one that runs on electricity.
Car Lift for Home Garage Pricing
You can get a well-constructed, reliable portable car lift for between $1,000 to $2,000. These will offer less lifting capacity, but a major convenience factor. If you want a more heavy-duty, permanent solution that’s capable of lifting some serious weight, whether you go with 2-post or 4-post, expect to spend between $3,000 to $4,000.
Types of Car Lifts for Home Garages
When it comes to choosing a car lift, shoppers need to know which type will best suit their needs. And because there are four types from which to choose, they need to do their research. The following are the four most common types of car lifts for home garages.
Four-post lifts are some of the most common types of lifts in both professional garage settings and homeowner shops. These car lifts feature one post at each corner, providing a stable and heavy-duty method of lifting a vehicle in the air. The user simply drives up on the ramps, secures the vehicle in park, and then activates the lift.
These car lifts can typically carry more weight more safely than other types. This makes them ideal for storage situations where a homeowner may want to park a vehicle underneath another for storage. However, because these lifts have large ramps and crossbars or drip trays, they tend to obstruct the user’s access to the undercarriage and chassis.
When it comes to servicing, fixing, or modifying a vehicle, two-post lifts are typically the best option. As the name suggests, these lifts have two posts, one on each side, and arms that extend out from the posts. These arms then sit on the frame under the vehicle, at which point the lift is able to raise the car off the ground without hindering access to underneath.
Two-post lifts come in symmetrical and asymmetrical designs. With the symmetrical designs, the posts are directly across from each other, and the arms are equal length. With asymmetrical designs, the posts are offset, helping to balance large, naturally unbalanced vehicles while also allowing access to the vehicle’s doors. Note that some models are both symmetrical and asymmetrical due to their arm design, despite the posts being directly across from each other.
Another popular tool for lifting vehicles in the air is the scissor lift. Scissor lifts feature crisscross frames that create a scissor action as they operate (this may even be referred to as accordion style). They have large platforms that rest on the vehicle’s chassis, providing a secure, low-height lifting method.
These lifts are typically affordable and offer relatively heavy-duty lifting capacities, though capacities vary by model. These lifts are convenient because they collapse to just a few inches tall, allowing the user to drive over top of the lift. However, they obstruct almost all access under the vehicle.
Portable lifts are great for home garages. They’re easy to set up, use, break down, and store—something most DIY garage keepers would appreciate. These car lifts are actually more lift systems, as they generally require two different sets of platforms that lift together in unison. Although the lift height is minimal, the convenience is certainly a factor.
Portable lifts are typically best for light service work, as they tend to crowd the underside of the vehicle. They’re best for oil changes, brake jobs, and wheel and tire rotations, but they can be helpful for some repairs.
How We Chose the Best Car Lifts for Home Garages
Despite being lifelong gearheads, putting together a list of the best car lifts for home garages was no small task. We had to put together all of our experience wrenching on project vehicles and repairing daily drivers to come up with some of the most important features to look for in a car lift.
Once we knew what to look for, we performed extensive product research to find models that met our needs. We compared these models based on their capacities, abilities, and prices, ensuring that we were suggesting car lifts that provide real value despite their cost. The models that didn’t make it were tossed to the side while those that passed were given awards based on their strengths.
Should I pick a 4-post or a 2-post lift?
If the lift is primarily for servicing, repairing, or restoring a vehicle, the two-post lift is the best option. However, for storage, four-post lifts are best because they’re more stable.
Can I use the space under a car lift for additional storage?
Lift owners can store other vehicles and items underneath four-post lifts, but these are the only models that are safe for this purpose.
Are home car lifts safe?
Yes, modern car lifts are safe as long as they are installed and used properly. They have built-in safety features and devices to prevent accidents.
Are residential car lifts safe?
Residential car lifts are far safer than floor jacks or jack stands. They have heavy-duty support posts, solid lifting mechanisms, and plenty of built-in safety standards. Most have been certified by independent third parties to ensure added safety. That said, as with any mechanical mechanism, there is always room for failure or user error, so always be sure to use caution during operation.
How long do car lifts last?
Depending on how often you use it and how well you maintain it, your garage car lift can last 10, 20, or even 30 years. As long as you’re diligent about properly servicing the hydraulic and electrical components on your lift, there’s no reason to think that it won’t far outlast the manufacturer’s warranty.
How thick does the garage concrete need to be for installing a car hoist?
The recommended concrete thickness for most 2- or 4-post home garage lifts is usually 4 inches. Some lifts with lesser lifting capacity can get away with a 3-inch slab, while other, more heavy-duty, larger lifts may require as much as a 6-inch slab.
How tall does my garage need to be for a car lift?
The height requirement can vary for different lifts, but in general, most 2- and 4-post garage car lifts require a ceiling height of 11 feet to fit and function properly.