Purchasing a wheelchair lift for a vehicle is a big decision and should be carefully assessed. The first questions will consider are my situation and mobility needs. For example; what type of vehicle do I have? Is my vehicle compatible with wheelchair lifts or will I need to make alterations to my vehicle? If I have a car and the lift is placed on the back of the car, can I exit my wheelchair and move to sit inside the vehicle?
Next I will research the different types of lifts and even the possibility of using vehicle ramps. There are two types of wheelchair lifts: Platform and Rotary.
Platform lifts can be solid or folding as well as fully automatic or semi automatic. With a platform lift it is possible for me to remain in the chair while the lift is in operation.
The rotary lift aka swing lift swings the chair in to the vehicle. Typically used with vans or SUVs.
Once I decide on the type of wheelchair lift best suitable to my needs. I will begin checking different manufacturers and asking them a lot of questions. Is the lift compatible with my wheelchair? Can I operate the lift while my vehicle is off? What happens if my vehicle battery dies is there any back up power? What is the safety rating and risks for the lift? What is the warranty? Who will install my lift? How much maintenance is involved? Where do I go to have my lift serviced? I am not hesitant to ask every question I think of, as this is a big purchase.
Some reputable wheelchair lift manufacturers to check out are The Braun Corporation, and Bruno.