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How to Use a Car Hoist

How to Use a Car Hoist


It’s truly amazing the number of motility solutions available today compared to just twenty years ago. Mobility scooters are pretty common today, where they used to be a novelty. It’s the same thing with a powered wheelchair or power chairs. And if you or a loved one uses a mobility scooter or power chair at home, you know how great it is to be able to get around like you want. And you want that freedom everywhere. That’s where a car hoist comes in. But how do you use a car hoist? Let’s look into that. But first, we have to explain what a car hoist is, and the types.

Car Hoist, Vehicle Lift, Wheelchair Lift – They’re the Same Thing

The mechanism goes by several names: car hoist, vehicle lift, wheelchair lift. They all serve pretty much the same purpose. They lift your mobility scooter or wheelchair into your vehicle automatically. There’s no need for you to get two or three people to help lift it in. Car hoists and inside lifts are good for vans, SUVs, pickups, extended cab trucks and crew cab trucks. There are some car hoists for cars that can fit a micro/travel power chair or scooter in the trunk.

The car hoist or inside lift actually installs inside your vehicle’s cargo area. .A hoist mechanism swings outside the vehicle to lift your mobility device into the back of your vehicle.

Outside lifts mount on the outside of a vehicle by means of a hitch. Outside lifts or vehicle lifts consist of an actuator and roll on platform. You then secure the mobility scooter, power chair or manual chair. Outside lifts are suitable for cars, vans, SUVs, pickups and cargo vans.

Once It’s Installed, How Do You Use a Car Hoist?

So once you’ve chosen a car hoist and a technician installs it, the technician will go over the operation of your car hoist with you. This is to ensure you know how to use it properly and can stow the mobility scooter or wheelchair safely and securely.

Your technician will also give you a manual to refer to if you need to see the operating directions step by step, or troubleshoot. If you bought your car hoist or vehicle lift from Next Day Mobility, you can always call us for assistance.

Car Hoist Operating Directions

Most car hoists are similar, so these car hoist / inside lift operating directions are general. For specific questions about your car hoist or inside lift, refer to your owner’s manual.


  1. Park the mobility scooter or chair close to your vehicle according to your manual’s directions (on the side of or in back of the vehicle). Make sure your vehicle’s parking brake is on.
  2. Open the vehicle hatch or trunk. Fold the seat back of the scooter or chair.
  3. Press the “Out” button on the controller to rotate the arm outside the vehicle. On smaller vehicles, you may have to do some assembly each time. You may also need to manually rotate the lifting arm outside of the vehicle.
  4. Ensure the lifting strap is secure and pointing straight down. Lifting when the strap is not pointing straight down could cause the scooter or chair to swing. This could damage your vehicle, or injure you.
  5. When the lift has cleared the vehicle, press the “Down” button to lower the strap. Attach the docking device to your scooter or chair. Then, attach the strap hook to the docking device.
  6. Press the “Up” button to begin lifting the power chair or mobility scooter.
  7. When your mobility device is high enough to clear the bumper/vehicle threshold, press the “In” button to rotate the chair or scooter into the vehicle. On some models, you will have to manually move the lift arm inside your vehicle.
  8. Wait until the hoist has lifted the chair or mobility scooter completely inside your vehicle. Then press the “Down” button until the chair or scooter is firmly settled.
  9. To unload the mobility scooter or chair, reverse these steps

In Conclusion

The process of how to use a car hoist sounds more complicated than it really is. Once you’ve done it a few times, it will go smoothly and quickly. And again, if you have any questions, consult your owner’s manual, or call the company that installed your car hoist.