Used vs. New: Which Car Lift Is The Best Deal?

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It’s human nature to think that when you buy something used, especially in an auction or liquidation sale setting, that you’re getting a great price. But that’s not always the case. And unless you’ve done your homework, you won’t really know the true cost of the equipment you’re buying and how it would compare to buying new.

Buyers will discover that most used lifts are missing parts which will need to be replaced at an additional cost. (If the lift has already been dismantled, any missing parts may not be apparent). At a minimum, all used surface lifts will require 10 new anchor bolts for a cost of $50. Many also need hydraulic cylinder repair at an average cost of $900. A new power unit will run $1,025. Also factor in labor, at an average of $75/hour for miscellaneous repairs. Used lifts are not covered by manufacturers’ warranties.

A used car lift also comes with a lot of unknowns,the buyer generally won’t know how the lift was used and how often. Lifts used for fast service have been cycled many more times than those in standard bays and will therefore require more frequent maintenance and more replacement parts. The new buyer also won’t know if the lift was ever overloaded or if it was properly maintained. It also won’t be clear whether or not any replacement parts on the lift are original equipment — and remember, installing non-OE parts on an ALI-certified lift voids that lift’s safety certification.

Productivity is another important factor to consider. Many older lifts (from 2003 and earlier) have lower rated lifting capacities than modern lifts, making them unsuitable for picking up today’s heavier vehicles.

Used lifts, and their perceived lower price, are not always the best deal. Choosing a new car lift that is certified -- with a full warranty -- gives you the peace of mind that you are protected, not only with third party backing, but with a manufacturer that has unmatched support for our customers.

So, the next time you're thinking about buying that used lift go through the check list, and see what that used lift is really going to cost you in the long run.  


Lift Buyer's Guide

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