How To Choose A Garage Lift? Types of Garage Lifts Explained in Detail

Collage of Different Garage Car Lifts

A garage lift, also known as a car lift or vehicle lift is one of the most valuable equipments of a garage. Irrespective of the fact if it is a home garage or a commercial one, garage lifts are absolutely essential. These not only save up space but also offer numerous ways to improve and aid in the maintenance and repair of cars. However, choosing the right lift for home garage is not an easy task.

The availability of several kinds of garage lifts makes it all the more confusing. However, before choosing one keep in mind your budget and how much space you have in your garage. Also, note how frequently it is going to be used and which type of cars are you going to deal with.

There are several car lifts that you can choose from depending on your purpose. Some of them are listed below to assist you in making a suitable decision.

1) Four Post Lifts

Two Cars on the Four Post Car Lift

Four post lifts use four columns to lift the cars. They can support higher capacities than the two post lifts due to the additional two columns that are present. These are quite user-friendly and are very popular among the home garages. They require a power supply of 115 volts and can be found in various types depending upon the weight capacities. Rest assured, no matter the weight of your vehicle, you will find one that will suit your needs.

Four post lifts can be broadly categorized into two types.

  • The foremost is the closed front lift. In this type, the anterior part of the lift has a front crossbar.
  • The second is the open front car lift. In this type, there is no front crossbar in the interior portion of the lift. This allows repairmen to go under the vehicle with relative ease and makes adjustments at the front end hassle-free. However, these are quite pricey and tend to take up a lot of space. Keep this in mind while thinking of purchasing a four-post lift.
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2) Two Post Lifts

A Car on a 2 Post Car Lift

This is the most simple and common lifts that are used by most garages. These are especially perfect for homes or garages that are just starting their services. It consists of two posts that act as stabilized arms and holds the vehicle in place for maintenance. They require a power supply of 220 volts but are rather cheap when compared to four-post lifts. These are perfect for handling cars with small capacities and also help to save up space in the garage due to its small footprint.

There are several types of two post lifts that are available. They are often distinguished into the floorplate and overhead lifts. This distinction is done based on the placement of the equalization cables. In floorplate, these are at the bottom whereas, in overhead, they are on the top. Two post lifts are also divided into symmetrical, asymmetrical, and versymmetrical categories.

However, two post lifts take considerable time to set them up and are not suitable for the handling of larger vehicles.

3) Portable Car Lifts

A Car parked on a Portable Car Lift

When space is a primary concern, the best option available is the portable car lifts. The majority of the companies produce a portable version of two posts, scissors, and four-post lifts. These save up space like no other. But, the major disadvantage that comes with this is the shortage of detailed functionalities. What the lift saves up in space, it lacks in function. Using this will help you do the basic repairs with ease. For complicated repairs and heavyweights, you might have to look at other options.

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4) Parking Lifts

4 cars parked on parking lifts

Parking lifts are strictly designed to facilitate parking. It is constructed in a way that it has a full drive-on cover instead of two runways. This is supported by single or dual posts. Undoubtedly, these take up a small amount of space and help to park two cars in the same allotted space.

They are quite durable and stable. But, the major issue that surrounds these lifts is that they cannot be used for repair and maintenance services. This makes their use in garages slightly less important. These are also available in various types like – one post parking lift and two post parking lift.

5) Scissor Car Lifts

Scissor Car Lift

The sheer variety of the scissor car lifts make them equally popular among the professionals as well as the amateurs. These car lifts use an accordion kind mechanism under the runways to lift the cars. They are found in various ranges and footprints. Different scissor car lifts have different weight capacities that they can handle. These are mostly used for servicing the wheel of the vehicle.

These can be distinguished into several types. They are most commonly divided into parallelograms, X type, and the pantograph lifts. Four arm or drive-in style lifts are also available. Another categorization is the low rise, mid-rise, and high rise based on how much height it can rise to.

6) In-ground Car Lifts

In-ground Car Lift

Despite the popularity that in-ground car lifts have garnered for the years, it still induces specks of doubt while purchasing. High price compared to other types of lifts and leak safeguard due to susceptibility to oil leaks are some of the major concerns associated with the lift.

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These lifts are fantastic options to store cars underground when it is not in use or if it is to be repaired at a later time. This clears up space and makes use of the underground below the floor of your garage.


These are some of the types of garage lifts that you can find in the market. It is better to do some proficient research before making a choice. After selecting the type that is suitable for you, you can check them out of the various brands keeping other specifications in consideration like the ease of operation and price.

Also, make sure that you enquire about the delivery as well as the installation procedure beforehand. Garage lifts are absolutely crucial and will assist you in better handling of cars.