Top 8 Best Car Lifts for a Home Garage
By | Last updated: May 11, 2022
best car lifts for home garage

If the garage floor coverings we profiled the other day are aspirational, then these in-house car lifts represent the culmination of most gearheads’ dreams. Whether you’re in the market for one of these things in order to increase the amount of storage in your garage or you’re actually going to use it for repair duties, a lift is the gold standard to which most of us with gasoline in our veins aspire. Lifting that chrome-bedecked collector car skyward to perform a repair or carry out an inspection is something that fills the dreams of most car nuts.

There are several different varieties, of course, ranging from simple scissor lifts to elaborate four-posters better than the one found at your greasy corner wrench. Plus, this time, we’ve thrown in a left-field choice at the end just for fun. As with all posts of this nature, we must exhort that you take care when working under a car lest you become flatter than a Midwest field.

1. APlusLift Two Post Car Lift - 10,000 lbs

Priced well under $2,000, this two-poster is one of the best-selling and highest-reviewed products of this type on Amazon. Rated at 10,000 lbs (or approximately half a widebody Challenger) and powered by a 220V electrical outlet, this lift comes with combo (symmetrical and asymmetrical) arm assemblies for good flexibility depending on the rig you’re lifting skyward.

Overall height is about 9.5 feet, so make sure to measure your garage carefully before hitting the Buy button. Most – but not all – garages do have a ceiling height taller than a standard 8 ft room. Maximum lift height without the truck adaptor is 75 inches, more than enough for most shadetree repairs. Don’t forget that your vehicle’s roof will exceed the height of this lift when extended to the max; again, measure carefully to avoid damage.

Pros/Good value for the money, great lift height, positive reviews
Cons/Won’t fit in all residential garages
Bottom Line/Measure twice, lift once

2. Dannmar 2-Post Low Ceiling Car Lift - 6000 lbs

With the warnings of height issues ringing in our ears, we found this two-post unit marketed specifically as a lift for places with low ceilings. The columns stand just over five feet tall with an overall height of under 7.5 feet. That means this will technically fit in your living room – but don’t tell your spouse we said so.

A single-phase motor can draw power from a 110V outlet, though it can – and probably should – suck juice from a 220V source. A maximum rise of four feet will put tires and wheels at chest height, perfect for making winter wheel swaps. Note its weight capacity of 6,000 lbs, meaning your brodozer will still need to head to the shop for a new U-joint. As with most of these lifts, make sure this is installed on a solid surface since it weighs a thousand pounds and will be lifting several thousand more.

Pros/Fits places others cannot
Cons/More costly than the taller lift, lower weight rating
Bottom Line/Suburban nirvana (but don’t lift a Suburban with this)

3. BendPak 4-Post Wide/High Lift - 9000 lbs

Do you, like our Rare Rides author, have more cars than doors to your house? Do you too find it difficult to decide which Lexus to take to work today? Then the crew at Bendpak might have a solution for you. By, the way, your author has seen more Bendpak-branded lifts in commercial garages than just about any other kind. Take that for what it’s worth.

About the size of a typical parking space, this lift is marketed as a way to maximize valuable floor area and making good use of the “wasted vertical space” above the car. The seller claims that if the buyer has at least a standard 8-foot ceiling, then the lift will work just fine. As with most of the post-style units on this list, it is quite heavy and will require the use of a forklift to get the thing off a delivery truck. Plan ahead for the big day, in other words.

Pros/Frees up garage space, looks very cool
Cons/Not the best for tire changes
Bottom Line/Store your spare Lexus here

4. APlusLift Mid Rise Auto Scissor Lift - 6600 lbs

If a post lift is simply not in the cards for your work space, a scissors-style unit might be just the ticket. With a 51-inch lift height maximum once the truck adapters are fitted, this compact unit should get your vehicle more than far enough up off the floor for most repair work.

As a mid-rise hoist, it can bear 6,600 lbs of automobile weight, has rubber-coated lifting arms, and can be locked into one of six lift heights ranging from about two to four feet. It is powered by a simple 110V outlet and spans roughly 7.5 ft in length, meaning it should fit neatly in just about any American household attached garage.

Pros/Takes up less space than a post lift
Cons/Costs as much as post lift
Bottom Line/A great option for those with small spaces

5. SuxiDi Heavy Duty Service Ramps - 10000 lbs

The pedants in our audience (you know exactly who you are) will cry into their stale popcorn that this is, technically, a set of car ramps and not a lift. Fine, you can have this correction. Now please return to your basements.

Everyone else will be gratified to know this item will be very useful when trying to lift one end of a vehicle off the ground for minor repair or inspection purposes. It also avoids having to struggle with a hydraulic floor jack, most of which can’t match this thing’s 10,000 lb capacity. Made of steel, it’s a great option for those who can’t – or simply don’t want to – place a lift in their garage.

Pros/Compact, storable, easy to use
Cons/It’s technically not a lift
Bottom Line/An excellent go-between

6. Mayflower Blacksmith Four Post Lift - 8000 lbs

Here’s a four-post lift that is marketed for use as either a storage or service unit. Its maximum lifting height is six feet, putting it at eye-level with your author. A set of three drips trays is apparently included, alluding to the fact that people like us will probably use this thing to hoist their leaky jalopies.

Ten locking positions, stout-looking loading ramps, and an 8,000 lb lift capacity are some of the highlights, plus the fact that it runs off a standard 110V electrical outlet. Its warranty is half the length (one year) of some others on this list, it should be noted. Sending your car from the floor to max stretch will take about 40 seconds.

Pros/Competitively priced, big four-post looks, stout ramps
Cons/Shorter warranty than others
Bottom Line/Look like a pro

7. Thaweesuk Shop Car/Truck Scissor Lift - 6000 lb

This scissor lift leads its marketing materials with a picture of a bog-standard Ford Aerostar, a decision which both gratifies and amuses this author greatly. Rated for 6,000 lbs, this bright blue booster can raise cars or trucks up to 56 inches. The minimum height is seven inches, great if one is simply performing a quick tire swap or inspection.

It will require a stretch of the bank account, costing far more than the other scissor lift on this list and even outstripping some of the post lifts profiled here. There is an alarming lack of customer reviews but contact information for the company is listed, providing some assurances that this isn’t being hawked by a laptop in the third subbasement of a dingy concrete building.

Pros/Convenient, dandy blue paint
Cons/Very expensive
Bottom Line/Shop with care

8. RC4WD 1/10 Two-Post Auto Lift

Rounding out this list is a bite-sized scale model lift designed for R/C cars. Yes, this is actually a real thing, along with the toy Chevy Blazer which is a piece of kit I want more than my next breath. Licensed from the pros at Bendpak, it looks for all the world like the real thing.

Which is the point, of course. Displaying this in a prominent spot of the rec room will win your beaucoup cool points, of which bonus points will be awarded if you snag one of those Blazers. Some customers report they actually used it for service of their R/C toys, a fantastic Inception-style detail that makes your author chuckle to no end. Good for them for having a bit of fun.

Pros/Just look at it!
Cons/Won’t work at all for a real car
Bottom Line/Super cool fun

FAQs

How high does a garage roof need to be for a car lift?

To get an ANSI-certified 2-post or 4-post car lift, the ceiling of your garage must be at least 11 ft to 12 ft high. If you have a roof lower than the said height, say 8 ft or 10 ft, although you can install a lift, its capability or durability cannot be validated due to lack of certification.

Nevertheless, if your garage’s ceiling isn’t that high, you can always go for any entry-level low-rise hydraulic lift for your vehicle. Even though such a piece of equipment wouldn’t lift your car more than 15 inches to 20 inches above the ground, they are capable enough to serve the purpose pretty well.

Are home car lifts safe?

Yes, they are safe. In fact, much safer than the traditional carjacks that people usually use to lift their cars. However, there are a couple of factors involved in the safety and durability of a home car lift. These points are:

  • Weight

Check the weight of your current car and also of those you are planning to buy in the future. After measuring, you must consult an experienced professional about which type of car lift should you install.

  • Flooring and Accommodation

Get the floor of your garage checked up by a professional to see if it has the standard concrete of PSI 3,000 and enough room to accommodate the car lift that you’re planning to buy.

  • Installation

This is yet another most important factor. Make sure that you hire a professionally skilled and experienced technician to install the car lift to ensure that its operation is safe and flawless.

  • Operation

Before seeing your technician out post-installation, be sure that you have thoroughly understood how the car lift operates, and that you are comfortable enough to use it without any supervision or guidance.

How much room do you need for a car lift in a garage?

In addition to having an adequate height to accommodate the altitude of a car lift, it is also imperative to assess how much floor space is needed so you can work comfortably. A few steps are involved in the process, and they are mentioned below:

  • Check the total area of the garage where you’re planning to install a car lift
  • Decide upon a portion where the piece of equipment will be installed
  • Measure the area that the lift will occupy post installation
  • See how much underneath space will be there after the lift is installed
  • See how much surrounding space will be left for you to move around after the installation is complete and when the car is in the garage

Once you have measured everything, make sure that you have at least 1 foot of space left to walk and work freely once the car is inside and on the lift.

Which is better 2 post or 4 post lift?

The answer to this question depends on why you are planning to install a car lift in the first place.

For instance, if you have more than one car and are facing a parking problem, picking a 4-post lift would be a wise choice as it offers more security and gives you easy access to the doors. However, you must make sure that the height of your garage is not less than 11 ft to give you enough room underneath.

On the other hand, if your purpose is casual repairing and maintenance, you can go with a 2-post car lift as it takes less space and is a bit cheaper as compared to a 4-post lift.


From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: Studio 72 / ShutterStock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

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