Freedom of movement is something we tend to take for granted until we no longer have it. But sooner or later, we will all experience trouble getting up and down the stairs, and we’re not always prepared for the financial implications of needing extra assistance.

If you’ve decided to have a stairlift installed in your home, you may be worried about the costs involved.But is a whole range of options out there for affordable assistance, and utilising the internet is often the best way to explore your options.

Many people choose to buy reconditioned models for a fraction of the price of new ones, reaping all the benefits without the premium price tag. Plus, by purchasing an old model, you’ll be minimising waste – meaning fewer parts will go to landfill, and more money will remain in your pocket.

Most leading suppliers will offer reconditioned and refurbished models; it is in their interest both financially and ecologically – especially with increasing pressure on UK companies to be more environmentally aware. That being said, it pays to do your research and make sure you’re purchasing from an accredited supplier who’ll comply with British safety standards.

Another thing to be aware of is product coverage, even if your stairlift is second hand, so make sure these options are presented to you before you make a purchase. You need to know that if your stairlift breaks down or encounters problems, there’ll be someone available to fix it quickly and efficiently.

Whether you opt for something brand new or second-hand, make sure that the installation price is clearly stipulated on the website or over the phone. You don’t want to end up forking out for a model that you thought was great value, only to find that there are additional costs involved in having it fitted.

You’ll also want the installation process to be as quick and seamless as possible, with minimal disruption to your day to day activity. The best suppliers will use highly trained, professional engineers to fit their products, so make sure you find an established company whom you can trust with the job – preferably one that’s been in the industry for a few years at least.

If a reconditioned model is still out of your price range, it might be worth considering renting instead. This service can be ideal if you’re only expecting to have reduced movement for a short period of time. Alternatively, the service can be utilised if you’re going away somewhere without a stairlift installed.

Rentals can generally be installed for either short or long term use, and will only require an installation charge followed by a small monthly payment. If this option best suits your budget, make sure you find a company who isn’t going to tie you into a lengthy contract in case you find you need to cancel the service or don’t get the assistance you need.

Rental services should provide fully inclusive coverage in the event of a breakdown or mechanical fault. As the company essentially still own the stairlift, it is their responsibility – and is in their interest – to get it fixed as quickly as possible. This is just one of the reasons why renting this equipment can sometimes prove the better option.

Look out for a company that offers a 24/7 callout service, just in case you encounter any problems. This will mean that day or night, if you find yourself stuck without the lift, a team of qualified engineers will be sent to your house to fix it for you. This option is particularly helpful if you live alone as it will enable you to feel better protected.