Transporting a mobility scooter is almost as difficult as trying to get around with limited mobility. They’re heavy, bulky, and often cannot fit inside your vehicle. Scooter lifts - electronic lifts that pick up and hold your mobility scooter as you drive - are very useful to many seniors who want to be able to go anywhere. Check out our list of the best scooter lifts to see which lift is perfect for you!
What is a Mobility Scooter Lift?
Mobility scooter lifts use electric motors to lift and hold mobility scooters on the back of vehicles. They securely attach to the vehicle’s hitch receiver, and have a large platform that the scooter sits on and can be strapped to.
These products exist to make it easier for people to transport their mobility scooters wherever they go - to the store, on vacation, to relatives’ houses, and more. Using a mobility scooter lift prevents you from having to lift or disassemble your scooter by yourself. Because scooters routinely weigh more than 130 pounds, these electric lifts are a true back-saver!
Mobility scooter lifts work in a three-step process:
- 1Drive or roll your scooter onto the lowered platform
- 2Press a button to raise the platform with your scooter on it
- 3Strap or tie your scooter down so that it does not shift or move while you drive
They are incredibly simple devices that make owning a mobility scooter much easier. Most of these devices also tilt out of the way of your car’s trunk so that you’ll have unrestricted access to them.
This promotional video from Bruno, a popular maker of scooter lifts, demonstrates how mobility scooter lifts work:
If you want to take your mobility scooter with you wherever you go - and your car has a trailer hitch receiver - all you need to do is buy one of these lifts!
Best Brands of Mobility Scooter Lifts
This Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company was founded more than 35 years ago. Today, they are one of the most popular, trusted names in the industry, not just for scooter lifts but also for stairlifts and mobility aids.
Bruno’s products are valued for their quality, innovative designs, and ease of use. If you’re looking for the best of the best, you’ll find it with Bruno!
Since 1998, Harmar has been making excellent chair lifts, stairlifts, and ramps for seniors with limited mobility. One of their signature products is a “hoist lift” that looks and works exactly like a small crane, lifting the scooter into the back of a truck or van with ease.
If you’re looking for a reliable, compact scooter lift that simply gets the job done, Harmar is the way to go. These lifts are competitively priced, easy to lift, and will last just as long as your scooter will, if not longer!
This company only offers one product, but it’s a whopper. The triLift uses what the company calls a “docking mechanism” that holds tightly to your scooter, prevents shifting while driving, and doesn’t compromise your vehicle’s performance or operation. If you want to save space with your scooter lift, get a triLift and don’t look back!
Price Range of Mobility Scooter Lifts
Here’s the bad news: mobility scooter lifts aren’t cheap. There are virtually no good options that cost less than $1,000. Often, you’ll find that you have to pay as much - or more - for the scooter lift as you did for the scooter itself.
The average cost of a mobility scooter lift is roughly $1,200-$1,800. Some lifts cost more, and almost none cost less.
The good news is that, because most scooter lifts have a very similar price, you can choose them not based on what’s cheapest, but rather what is best. There is little sense in buying a $1,400 that isn’t a great match when you could have a great match for $1,450. At this high a price point, saving $50 isn’t as valuable as getting a scooter lift that is perfect for you!
The Best Mobility Scooter Lifts for Seniors
1. Best Mobility Scooter Lift (Overall): Harmar AL100 Universal Scooter Lift
The AL100 is Harmar’s premier model, able to lift and haul any scooter on the market. It has a 350-pound weight limit, comes with a 2-inch hitch (helpful if you don’t have one), and a Swing-Away joint that gives you instant access to your trunk. It even has a license plate mount, so you won’t have to deal with any state troopers giving you grief about having your plate covered!
The best thing about the AL100 is that it is very easy to use. Just insert the key, make sure your scooter is properly positioned, and you’re one button away from being on the move! It may be expensive, but if you want the simplicity of the best mobility scooter lift on your side, the Harmar Al100 is for you!
2. Best Cheap Scooter Lift: Harmar AL055 Micro Scooter Lift
This is an “inside lift”, meaning it picks up your scooter with a hoist mechanism and places it inside your trunk. The Harmar Al055 is not only small enough to be used with an average sedan, it’s also one of the cheapest scooter lifts on the market!
If you want to keep your scooter in the trunk of your car, van, or SUV, this is the lift for you. You’ll save a ton of money and keep your scooter safe from rain, snow, and grime from the streets as you drive. It’s an affordable and effective way for nearly anyone to transport their scooter!
3. Best Scooter Lift for Truck: Harmar AL-065 Electric Scooter Hoist Lift
This lift doesn’t have a platform. Instead, it hooks onto your scooter and lifts it like a crane into the back of your truck. If you’ve been thinking about getting a ramp or lifting your scooter by yourself, consider what the AL-605 can do for you!
This lift is also one of the cheapest on the market (in fact, if it weren’t so perfect for trucks, it would have been our choice for “Best Cheap Scooter Lift” above). It’s an effortless way to get your scooter into your truck, and it’ll save you lots of money compared to lifts with platforms.
The only downside to the AL-605 is that the motor isn’t rated for outdoor use. That means, unless you find a way to keep all water and moisture away from the motor, you’ll have to take the lift off of your truck every time you use it. If you don’t mind a couple of extra minutes of work, though, this simple and affordable electric lift is perfect for you.
4. Best Scooter Lift for SUV: Harmar AL300 With Swing-Away Joint
If you have an SUV, the worst part about scooter lifts is that, unless they’re designed to move out of the way, you’ll never be able to use your trunk when you have the lift installed. The AL300 comes with a Swing-Away joint - a mechanism that pivots the lift away from your car for easy trunk access. That alone makes it a great choice for any SUV driver!
The AL300 has one more innovative feature that makes it a great purchase: Q’Straint retractors. They may have a silly name, but they’re actually a very important component. These parts automatically grip onto each wheel of your scooter, locking it into place as you drive without the need for straps or cables!
5. Best Scooter Lift for Car: Silver Spring Universal Power Chair Lifter
Cars, unlike trucks, vans and SUVs, don’t always have hitch receivers. When they do, they’re often smaller than the standard 2-inch hitch; they also have lower total load limits. This scooter lift has a hitch that adapts to any size of hitch receiver, meaning it’s perfect for cars.
It is large enough to hold any scooter, and has a weight capacity of 350 pounds. No matter what scooter you own, you’ll be able to transport it with the Silver Spring Universal Power Chair Lifter. This lift also comes with 4 retractable straps that hook onto your scooter and are very easy to tighten, preventing it from slipping or sliding as you drive.
Finally, at just under $1,300, it’s on the more affordable side of things. If you cannot afford a $2,000+ scooter lift and need something that will fit your car, the Silver Spring Universal Power Chair Lifter is ideal for you!
6. Best Scooter Lift for Vans: Freedom Mobility Fully Automatic Scooter Lift Carrier
This scooter lift has an excellent swing-away mechanism that moves the entire platform out of your way when you want to get into your trunk. That makes it a perfect choice for anyone who has a van. It’s competitively priced, very durable, and easy to install - what’s not to love about that?
The best thing about this scooter lift is the “positive lock down” arm that grabs your scooter and locks it into place - absolutely no slipping, guaranteed. If you’re worried about your scooter moving around as you drive, the Freedom Fully Automatic Lift is perfect for you!
7. Best Hitch-Mounted Scooter Lift: The TriLift Scooter Lift
It’s not available in some online store (you have to order through a dealer on their site), but that doesn’t stop the TriLIft scooter lift from being a phenomenal choice for anyone who wants a high-performance hitch-mounted lift.
The best thing about the TriLift is that it doesn’t have a platform - instead, a small docking mechanism grabs tight to any mobility scooter. This means that it weighs less than other lifts, and the lack of a platform means it’ll never block your rearview mirror!
If you don’t want a mobility scooter lift that gets in the way of your driving, the TriLift is the way to go! IT’s compact, powerful, and guaranteed to please!
8. Best Inside Scooter Lift for SUV: Bruno VSL 6000 Scooter Lift
If you’re driving a full-sized or midsize SUV, there is no better inside scooter lift for you than the VSL 6000. It’s got a very high weight capacity of 450 pounds and fits nicely inside the rear cargo area of your SUV.
It’s placed on the driver’s side and stays out of the way, so it won’t prevent you from storing groceries, luggage, or other items in your trunk or using your second/third row of seats. It’s purpose-built for SUVs, and, if you can afford it, there really isn’t a better option!
9. Best Scooter Lift for RV: Harmar Upgraded AL100
The “premium” version of Harmar’s most popular scooter lift is perfect for RVs. It’s tough, strong, and can lift scooters a bit higher than the original AL100, which is a big plus for seniors using large RVs.
The Upgraded AL100 doesn’t come with a swing-away arm, which is a bummer for car/truck owners but doesn’t really make a difference on an RV since the storage isn’t in the back. It also has a lock-down arm that holds your scooter in place, no matter where you decide to take your RV. It’s quite simply a perfect fit for your vacation cruiser!
10. Best Scooter Lift Ramp: GoPlus Hitch Mount Ramp Carrier
This simple device might require a little bit more sweat in order to get the scooter loaded, but it will save you more than $1,000 compared to electric and hydraulic scooter lifts. If you need to transport your scooter efficiently and don’t have a lot of money to spend, get yourself the GoPlus Carrier and don’t look back!
All you need to do is roll your scooter onto the platform using the ramp, tie it down with some bungee cords or ratchet straps, and put the pedal to the metal! If you’re unable to pay for an expensive automatic lift, there is no shame in grabbing this excellent ramp lift!
Best Bruno Scooter Lifts
The Bruno Out-Sider is a simple, ultra-durable, and affordable scooter lift that represents the best quality in a standard hitch scooter lift. The platform is large enough to hold any scooter and it has a weight capacity of 350 pounds, more than enough for even the heaviest mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs!
The VSL 6000 is an excellent choice for anyone who drives a van, SUV, or pickup truck and wants an easy way to put their scooter in the trunk or truck bed. This hoist-style lift can pick up and safely move any scooter that weighs less than 450 pounds with ease!
The Joey is a wonderful lift that is perfect for seniors who drive SUVs and want to put their scooter not on the back of the vehicle, but inside the trunk/cargo area. The lift has a platform that, once you’ve secured the scooter, will lift it and gently tuck it inside.
This lift is great for people who live in rainy climates that might damage a scooter that is left on the outside of a vehicle, and for people who take long trips. If you want your scooter inside your SUV, this scooter lift is perfect for you!
Best Harmar Scooter Lifts
Bruno has the ASL250; Harmar has the AL100. If you’re looking for a simple and effective platform scooter lift, this is the way to go! It has a 350-pound capacity and a universal hitch - meaning that it can be attached to any vehicle that has a hitch receiver, no matter what!
The Backpacker lifts your scooter off the ground and places it right inside your SUV or van with ease. It’s a simple, hassle-free way to transport your mobility scooter without risking your knees or back!
Two unfortunate things about scooter lifts are that they can block your rearview mirror when they’re folded against your car, and they can make it harder to park in tight spaces. Those two issues are solved by the AL160 Profile. It has a hollowed-out platform that allows you to see through the rearview mirror, and it stays very close to your car, not adding 2 feet to its length like other mobility scooter lifts do.
If you’ve tried another scooter lift in the past and found it to be too bulky, the AL160 is for you. It’ll do its job when you need it to and stay out of the way otherwise. That’s something that few - if any - other mobility scooter lifts can say!
Do you have both a small car and a small mobility scooter? The supremely tiny and affordable AL010 is exactly what you need. It’s too small to hold a large scooter like the EWheels EW-46, but for someone who’s got a small 3-wheel scooter, it’s absolutely perfect.
Outside of its compact size, this scooter lift is also one of the most affordable on the market. It’ll cost just under $1,600, which is more than fair for such a space-saving, durable design!
FAQs: Mobility Scooter Lifts
Used Scooter Lifts for Cars - Where to Buy One
There are, generally speaking, two reliable places to find a pre-owned mobility scooter lift. While you may not find the model you want, you can still save hundreds by buying used. Furthermore, you might have to check these sites once or twice a day - sometimes for a few weeks - before a good deal on a mobility scooter lift presents itself.
These are the two best places to find a used mobility scooter lift:
Scooter Lift Installation - Best Video Tutorials
Installing a scooter lift can be pretty easy to accomplish by yourself, provided you’ve got the right help. These videos may be able to help you get your lift installed without any assistance:
Harmar AL100 Installation Guide
Bruno ASL250 Installation
Harmar AL1010 Installation
Harmar AL600 Installation Guide
Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Mobility Scooter Trailer for Your Needs
Types of Hitches and Hitch Receivers
The standard hitch receiver size is 2 inches. Smaller SUVs and most sedans, though, will use a smaller 1.25-inch hitch receiver. The smaller hitch receivers also have a slightly lower weight limit, which means your 400-pound mega-scooter may not fit on the back of your Corolla. Remember, scooters and the lifts that carry them are very heavy items!
Before you buy a scooter lift, make sure that you check off these two boxes:
How to Secure a Scooter to a Scooter Lift
Your scooter lift should come with its own method for making sure the scooter doesn’t shift or - even worse - fall off of your vehicle as you drive. This could be a mechanism that locks onto the wheels, a series of straps, or a simple elastic band that grabs tight to the scooter.
No matter what, though, you should always make sure your scooter is properly secured before you drive. This means testing the hold by shaking the scooter once it’s strapped down and adding a bungee cord or ratchet strap if necessary.
The key to securing your scooter is making sure the wheels cannot roll or bounce around while you drive. If your steering column moves a tiny bit, there is no risk, but rolling wheels are a disaster waiting to happen. It could even be an accident that you are held liable for!
Lift Height, Scooter Height and Your Rearview Mirror
If there is anyone who prefers being unable to see out of their rearview mirror because their scooter lift covers up their view, we have yet to meet them. Cranky police officers, too, may take issue with a scooter lift that makes it impossible to see out of your rearview mirror!
Before you buy a scooter lift, do a few rough measurements to make sure you’ll still be able to see what’s happening behind you as you drive. Of course, you can rely on your side mirrors, but you will be much safer in traffic when your rearview mirror gives you a clear picture!
And that’s all there is to it! Mobility scooters are great - they make it easier to stay physically active, socially connected, and feel independent, but they aren’t easy to transport. Having a mobility scooter lift that automatically carries your scooter for you makes it easy to take the benefits of a mobility scooter anywhere you go!
Which mobility scooter lift from our list do you think is right for you? Leave your favorite in the comments section below!