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Best Car Lifts For Home Garage: Elevate Your DIY Automotive Skills

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

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

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BYLisa Conant/ LAST UPDATED ON June 14, 2022

Do you consider yourself a DIY automotive guru who is always helping out friends and family with their car repairs? Are you building your dream garage and want to outfit it with the right gear for doing your automotive work? Or, are you just sick and tired of squeezing under your ride on the grimy floor whenever there’s an issue and need a better solution? Consider adding your own car lift to your home garage. 


Garage car lifts can become an integral staple in your life if you spend a lot of time out there 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.

Best Overall

APlusLift HW-10KOH Two Post Overhead Auto Hoist

Summary
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.
Pros
  • CE-certified construction
  • Features hydraulic lift with a maximum 6-foot, 9-inch lift height
  • Includes truck adapters
Cons
  • Installation and assembly instructions are confusing
  • No ANSI certification
Best Value

XK 10,000lbs Car Lift

Summary
This lift features a 10,000-pound lift capacity and a double-point safety lock release, along with automatic arm lock restraints for added protection.
Pros
  • User-friendly operation
  • Sizeable maximum lifting capacity
  • More affordable than some other options
Cons
  • Lacks and independent third party safety certification
  • Only has a 12-month warranty
Honorable Mention

Triumph 11,000 lb Two Post Auto Lift

Summary
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.
Pros
  • ISO 9001 compliant and CE certified for safety
  • Includes truck adapters and floor anchors in your purchase
  • Large lifting capacity
Cons
  • Only backed by a 1-year warranty
  • Heavy and hard to ship and install
Best Car Lifts For Home Garage: Elevate Your DIY Automotive Skills

Summary List 

Why Trust Us

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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Our Methodology

When it comes to choosing the best car lifts for your home garage, 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 products. I included a range of price points to suit any budget. I focused on garage car lifts that feature high-quality, sturdy construction and that have innovative features and designs suitable for a wide variety of vehicles. For more information on the selection criteria, click this link to The Drive’s Gear About page, which explains our methodology further.

Best Car Lifts for Home Garage Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Brand: APlusLift
  • Model: ‎HW-10KOH
  • Weight Capacity: 10,000 pounds

Pros

  • CE-certified construction
  • Features hydraulic lift with a maximum 6-foot, 9-inch lift height
  • Includes truck adapters

Cons

  • Installation and assembly instructions are confusing
  • No ANSI certification

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. This car lift loses some love for having very poor assembly and installation instructions and it lacks the American ANSI certification for safety standards.

Specs

  • Brand: XK USA
  • Model: ‎‎L1100
  • Weight Capacity: 10,000 pounds

Pros

  • User-friendly operation
  • Sizeable maximum lifting capacity
  • More affordable than some other options

Cons

  • 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.

Specs

  • Brand: Triumph
  • Model: ‎‎NT-11
  • Weight Capacity: 11,000 pounds

Pros

  • ISO 9001 compliant and CE certified for safety
  • Includes truck adapters and floor anchors in your purchase
  • Large lifting capacity

Cons

  • 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. This lift features a modern-looking and durable powder-coated steel that adds an extra layer of rust prevention.

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. This lift setup does come with truck adapters and floor anchors for added value.

Specs

  • Brand: Triumph
  • Model: ‎‎‎NSS8SQ
  • Weight Capacity: 8,000 pounds

Pros

  • Impressive maximum lift height of 7 feet
  • Extra stable and sturdy construction components
  • Shorter length is good for limited garage space

Cons

  • No assembly instructions included
  • 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. This lift also comes with a premium price tag.

Specs

  • Brand: QuickJack
  • Model: ‎‎‎5000TL
  • Weight Capacity: 5,000 pounds

Pros

  • Affordable and portable option
  • Can be operated using a regular 110V outlet
  • Uses OEM recommended lifting points for your vehicle

Cons

  • 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.

This car lift is able to lift the entire vehicle by safely engaging the OEM recommended lifting points, allowing you to work with confidence. Be sure to set it up on a flat surface, as it’s not recommended for use on any slope with a grade of over 3 degrees. This model also comes equipped with a 13-foot-long cord that easily plugs into any 110V household outlet for added ease of use.

Specs

  • Brand: APlusLift
  • Model: ‎‎‎HW-8S
  • Weight Capacity: 8,000 pounds

Pros

  • Accommodates many vehicle makes and models
  • 10 locking positions gives good height variance
  • Features CE safety certifications

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited warranty

Not everyone who wants a portable car lift wants it so that they can work on their vehicles. 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.

Our Verdict

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.

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.

Weight Capacity

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.

Safety Features

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.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Are residential car lifts safe?

A: 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.

Q: Which is better: 2-post or 4-post lifts?

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.

Q: How long do car lifts last?

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.

Q:  How thick does the garage concrete need to be for installing a car hoist?

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.

Q:  How tall does my garage need to be for a car lift?

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.

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