Victor's Industrial Supply Advice

How to Choose the Right Car Lift for Your Residential Garage

A car lift or car elevator can open up space in a residential garage, allowing you to actually park one vehicle on top of another, rather than having vehicles side by side. These types of lifts are not meant for accessing the under body of a car to perform mechanical work, but are meant to simply lift one car above another, giving you two parking spaces in the room usually used for one. You have many choices for a car lift or elevator for your home's garage, so note a few tips on how to choose the best type for your own personal use.

Single versus four posts

A single post lift will be very sturdy, but it may not disperse the weight of a heavier vehicle as easily as a four-post lift. Vehicles that are very top-heavy may tend to sway and shift when they're moved by a lift, so their weight may become unsteady when on a single-post lift. If you drive a jeep, SUV, or any type of vehicle with raised or elevated shocks or springs, invest in a four-post lift for added stability of the vehicle, and less risk of it rolling or even tipping while being lifted.


Not all residential garages will have elevated ceilings that easily accommodate a lift, so consider the height of your vehicles and then note if you might need to invest in a lift with an automatic stopper. This type of lift will raise to only a certain height, so that you don't need to actually stop the lift mechanism yourself. This can reduce the risk of damage to either car, as the vehicle on top won't hit the garage roof and the lift will raise enough to safely park your second vehicle under it.


Note the flooring of a lift and consider choosing one with a raised pattern, for added traction. This can be especially important for heavier vehicles that may tend to shift or move out of position, or for areas with lots of humidity in the air that may settle onto the lift. This can create a slick flooring for a vehicle so that it might move out of position, even if the parking brake is engaged. If your garage floor is slightly sloped, this can also create an angle with the lift, so the vehicle may tend to slide out of place. A textured floor may be more expensive than a smooth sheet of metal, but it can mean additional security for your vehicle.