Best Car Lifts of 2023 | The Drive

These sturdy and reliable car lifts will be a game-changer when it comes to working on your own vehicles at home.

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Best Car Lifts of 2023 | The Drive

Is a garage complete without a lift? Nope. Until you have one, you'll be spending a lot of time thinking about how much better life would be if you had one. They can become an integral staple in your life if you spend a lot of time tinkering, repairing, restoring, or customizing your vehicles. Yes, they can be a little costly but think of it as an investment in your long-term health and sanity. Plus, you can take all that cash you'll be saving at your chiropractor and invest it in one of these top car lifts to help ease the sting.

There are some risks involved, though, and you really want to take your time and do the research to make sure you end up with the right lift for your home garage. That's exactly what we're here to help you with. Here are the best around.

APlusLift HW-10KOH Two Post Overhead Auto Hoist

Triumph 11,000 lb Two Post Auto Lift

Your safety is nothing to take lightly. I wanted to provide you with a well-rounded list that features a good variety of reputable manufacturers with solid track records of providing high-quality, reliable lifts. That means diving a little deeper than reading the description and top, likely bot-generated, reviews. I made sure to research the companies in question and get feedback from real consumers to build this list. That said, you still need to protect yourself and do as much homework as possible to find a lift that is both practical and safe for your situation.

Features hydraulic lift with a maximum 6-foot, 9-inch lift height

Installation and assembly instructions are confusing

The APlusLift 10,000LB Two Post Overhead Auto Hoist is a top overall pick thanks to its quality construction, heavy-duty design, safety features, and price point. This two-post lift features a clever symmetrical and asymmetrical combo arm assembly, giving you plenty of options for working on a variety of vehicles. It’s also got a sleek-looking, durable, powder-coated finish that will resist rust and corrosion for years to come.

This CE-certified car lift also offers a double-point safety lock release mechanism for added peace of mind. With a column thickness of 13/64 inches, you can rest assured that it’s plenty stable enough to confidently hold most everyday drivers and more. This unit does have a concrete requirement of 6 inches at 3500 psi for the maximum capacity of 10,000 pounds, or 4 inches for vehicles that are 9,000 pounds or less. Unfortunately, it loses some love for having very poor assembly and installation instructions and it lacks the American ANSI certification for safety standards.

More affordable than some other options

Lacks an independent third-party safety certification

Only has a 12-month warranty

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, check out the XK L1100 2 Post Lift. It has one of the lowest price points on the list, but let’s face it, it’s still a sizeable investment for many folks. However, with a maximum lift capacity of 10,000 pounds, you should be able to work on a wide array of vehicles with ease and confidence. This lift features a double-point safety lock release, along with automatic arm lock restraints for added protection. There’s also a built-in power pump relief valve that prevents accidental overloading.

This is an easy to operate and intuitive car lift that includes bilateral hydraulic lifting mechanisms. It features ultra-high molecular self-lubricating nylon sliders to help ensure smooth up and down motions. This lift does require a minimum garage pad height of 3-7/8 inches to be safely installed.

One drawback to this car lift is that it doesn’t include truck adapters, so plan on purchasing those separately if you need them. It’s also only backed by a 12-month warranty, which isn’t the best, and it hasn’t been certified by an independent third party.

ISO 9001 compliant and CE certified for safety

Includes truck adapters and floor anchors in your purchase

Only backed by a 1-year warranty

Heavy and hard to ship and install

For maximum lifting capacity in a two-post setup, the Triumph 11,000 lb Two Post Auto Lift deserves your attention. This is a rugged and versatile choice that offers an impressive 6-foot lifting capacity, making it a great choice for plenty of garage layouts and setups. Unlike some others, this unit is also ISO 9001 compliant and CE-certified. It also features a modern-looking and durable powder-coated steel that adds an extra layer of rust prevention and comes with truck adapters and floor anchors for added value.

As you might expect, this lift is one of the heaviest on the list, so shipping and installation can be a logistical nightmare. It needs to be installed on a concrete pad with a minimum strength rating of 4,000 psi, so be sure to double-check your specs prior to purchase. This home garage car lift also features a somewhat lackluster 1-year warranty.

Impressive maximum lift height of 7 feet

Extra stable and sturdy construction components

Shorter length is good for limited garage space

Requires 30-amp circuit to operate

If you want a 4-post lift, it’s tough to beat the Triumph NSS-8SQ Classic Lift. This heavy-duty lift is super stable and offers a decent 8,000-pound lifting capacity. With a 7-foot max lift height, this is also one of the highest car lifts on the list, making it a great choice for the vertically enhanced buyer. It uses sizable 5/16-inch lock rods, unlike many lifts, which rely on flimsier 1/4-inch lock rods. Steel oil tanks are extra durable and long-lasting.

This unit also features a UL-listed power unit plug for added safety. It comes equipped with lightweight aluminum approach ramps that are easy to add or remove, while still being strong enough to hold the majority of vehicles. At 141 inches in length, this lift is also a good option for those with more compact garage spaces.

Two drawbacks include the fact that this lift doesn’t come with any assembly instructions and it really requires a 30-amp circuit to function properly, which many home garages lack. It's also rather expensive as far as home lifts go.

Can be operated using a regular 110V outlet

Uses OEM recommended lifting points for your vehicle

Doesn’t offer a lot of extra lifted height

Not as heavy-duty as more permanent options

The QuickJack 5000TL Portable Car Lift is an ideal option for those who don’t want, need, or can’t have a larger, more permanent car lifting solution. It’s also a great budget-friendly option. This model features sturdy alloy steel, powder-coated construction that’s capable of lifting up to 5,000 pounds, so as you might expect based on its size and cost, it’s not the most heavy-duty unit. What you give up in capacity, though, you gain in space-saving portability. This is also a great option for traveling to work on other vehicles outside your own garage. It also runs on 110-volt power, and lifts the vehicle by OEM recommended points, making it a safe and convenient choice for any garage.

Again, this isn't the best choice for heavy-duty applications, and many will want to move on because it simply won't lift their vehicles. It's also not the highest lift out there, and is limited to fairly small jobs because of it.

Accommodates many vehicle makes and models

10 locking positions gives good height variance

If you want a car lift so that you can store two vehicles in the space of one, check out the APlusLift HW-8S Portable Storage Service. This lift is constructed from heavy-duty, powder-coated steel that’s capable of confidently holding up to 8,000 pounds. It comes equipped with free casters and approach ramps for easy loading and moving around. It also features a CE-certified hydraulic lift structure and an efficient 1.5HP power unit.

With a drive-through width of 93 inches, an overall lift height of 72 inches, and 10 different locking positions, this portable car lift is a versatile option that can accommodate a lot of different vehicle makes and models. It also comes equipped with handy drip trays and a jack tray to catch any errant fluids that may try to escape. One of the biggest drawbacks to this unit is its hefty price tag. Another is the measly 1-year warranty.

If you want a great combination between functionality, durability, lifting capacity, and price point, my top pick to click has to be the APlusLift HW-10KOH Two Post Overhead Auto Hoist. This two-post lift features a clever symmetrical and asymmetrical combo arm assembly, giving you plenty of options for working on a variety of vehicles.

For a better value option, check out the XK 10,000lbs Car Lift. It offers many of the same features and lifting capacity, but at a somewhat lower price point.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

A: If you’re looking to store a car or only do occasional work or detailing, a 4-post lift is probably your best bet. It’s super stable and often comes on rolling casters so you can move it and reposition it easily. If you like to do frequent repair work or on a tighter budget, a 2-post lift is your best bet. It allows you to easily access different areas of the vehicle, including the wheel assemblies, which you can’t access with a 4-post lift.

A: 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.

A: 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.

A: 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.

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Best Car Lifts of 2023 | The Drive

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