Designed for drivers and vehicle passengers who want to easily lift a wheelchair or scooter into and out of their vehicle, a professionally-fitted boot hoist means that people with a disability can quickly and safely load their wheelchair or scooter into the back of their vehicle in under than a minute. Choosing the right one to fit your vehicle can be a little confusing, and will often depend on your individual needs and requirements both today and in the future. Here, Claire Taylor-Wilson from vehicle adaptation specialist Autochair tells us more about the great range of boot hoists currently available for people who need help lifting a wheelchair, powerchair or scooter into the boot of their car.
If you are a wheelchair or mobility scooter user or you regularly transport someone who is, you will know all too well the difficulty of lifting and storing the mobility device into your vehicle.
A boot hoist is the most popular solution as it allows for easy loading, unloading, storage and transport of your mobility scooter, powerchair or wheelchair without needing to change your vehicle.
However, it can be difficult to figure out what type of hoist is right for you, especially if you are looking to upgrade your mobility device and/or vehicle, as there are hundreds of different vehicle and scooter/wheelchair combinations available!
Within our Smart Lifter range, we have three different boot hoists to lift all types of scooters and chairs, including the most powerful hoist on the market (capable of lifting a 200kg powerchair) so there really is no need to compromise on your requirements. The hoist you will need depends on the size and weight of your mobility device and the vehicle that you want to lift it into.
With a maximum lifting weight of either 40kg or 80kg, the Smart Lifter LM range is perfect for smaller, lighter mobility products such as manual wheelchairs and folding scooters, including the latest electric folding scooters.
The LM Hoist can be fitted in the widest range of vehicle types and can be fitted with a folding arm meaning it is compatible with smaller vehicles including small and family-sized hatchbacks. It can also be fitted into SUV’s, MPV’s, 4x4’s, vans and estate cars.
The Smart Lifter LC is a compact hoist for scooters and powerchairs that weigh up to 100kg. It can be installed into a wide range of vehicles including SUV’s, MPV’s, 4x4’s, vans and estate cars.
The most powerful hoist in the world, the LP hoist range is suitable for all scooters and powerchairs weighing up to 200kg. This robust hoist is best suited to larger vehicles, fitting perfectly into the vast majority of MPV’s, 4x4’s, vans and larger estate cars.
At Autochair we offer all our customers a free home demonstration with one of our nationwide assessment specialists. It allows you to view the hoist in action and try it out for yourself. This gives you the opportunity to get a real feel for the product and ensures it is comfortable, easy for you to use and meets your individual mobility needs.
It’s also important for us to carry out an assessment to ensure we are recommending the correct hoist for you. Because our Smart Lifter range of car boot hoists fit in over 480 different vehicles and can lift hundreds of different wheelchairs, powerchairs and scooters, it means the combinations of car, vehicle, scooter, and chair are almost endless!
Vehicle models and year of manufacture can all be slightly different too, so we need to check the boot area of your own car to ensure that we have the correct measurements so that nothing would obstruct a hoist being fitted. We also need to measure your mobility device and check there is enough room for it to be lifted into the vehicle.
Alternatively, we may be able to offer you a remote assessment instead, where you can view videos online and speak to an assessor over the phone.
If you feel you could benefit from a boot hoist, then you’ll probably have a few questions that you’ll want to ask before making a decision. Get in touch with the team at Autochair for more information or assistance to make sure you choose the right boot hoist.
Autochair customer Mandy Altoft says her boot hoist is "a lifeline to maintaining independence for as long as possible”.
Mandy, from Hove in East Sussex added: "Without my hoist, I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere alone as I would need assistance to get my chair in and out of the car. It truly is a lifeline and I’d certainly recommend either of the hoists I’ve used to my family and friends!”
This is a question we get a lot, but the answer depends on what device is being lifted into the vehicle and on the users abilities. A hoist can be fitted to pretty much any vehicle (we’ve fitted a boot hoist into a Mini before!) but it all depends on what is being lifted in. Sometimes the seat needs to be removed or arms need to be folded/removed and not everyone is able to do this. Even the year the car was built can make a difference, due to changes the vehicle manufacturers sometimes make to either the shape of the boot opening, or they might decide to change the way they build the underneath of the car between model years (and move something important exactly where we need to put the hoist fixings!). This is why we don’t publish a list of suitable vehicles for our hoists. The last thing we want is for a customer to order a car and then they find out down the line their wheelchair or scooter isn’t compatible.
Our technical team really are happy to help and can advise customers on the different vehicles and devices available. After a quick chat they’ll be able to recommend a number of suitable combinations to consider.
If you're ordering a new Motability car it's best to choose the boot hoist at the start of your lease to make sure that it can be fitted and that it will work correctly with the car of your choice.
It’s also the most cost-effective way to get a boot hoist fitted, because asking Motability to fit a boot hoist part way through the lease is likely to be more expensive.
What’s more, if you order a boot hoist through the Motability Scheme it will come with an extended three-year warranty.
When you visit the Motability-accredited car dealership to test drive and order your new car ask the Motability specialist for advice about boot hoists, and if you have any further questions they should be able to recommend a local adaptation installer, or alternatively get in touch with the team at Autochair and book a free home demonstration.