Boot hoist vs Rooftop hoist, what suits you best?

The text “Boot hoist vs. Rooftop hoist” superimposed over the photo of a woman on a driveway collecting her scooter from the car boot using a hoist on the left and a man sitting in the driver’s seat collecting his wheelchair using a rooftop hoist on the right.When it comes to accessibility for vehicles, there are a lot of different products. Some of these products have a different approach to the same issue. In some cases, your abilities dictate why you choose one solution over another, but it's not always that easy. 

When transporting an unoccupied wheelchair or mini scooter, it needs to be loaded into the car. There's a wide range of different stowage systems available for this purpose.

In this article, we look at wheelchair hoists. Hoists can be located in the luggage compartment or in a dedicated rooftop box. 

Continue reading to find out which one suits your needs best. 

A woman standing next to the boot of a car using a remote control to load her scooter into the car using a boot hoist.

Car boot hoist

Most commonly installed in the car's luggage compartment, hence the name Boot hoist. These hoists are used to assist in lifting almost any sort of mobility device into a vehicle.

In larger vehicles, powerful hoists facilitate loading big mobility scooters into your car. Whereas small hoists provide ample lifting power for a manual wheelchair without taking up too much space in smaller vehicles. All in all, it's a solution that works for all sorts of mobility devices.

There is really only one caveat to the Boot hoist. You need to be able to get from the back of the vehicle to your seat in the car. For some, this might be totally out of the question, for others, a short walk, perhaps supported by the car's body, is very much a possibility.

For carers, this is a non-issue. They can assist their user and help them get seated before loading their mobility device.

As we've already mentioned, there is a wide range of boot hoists. They also have different features that help you. All hoists provide powered lift, but not all have powered rotation.

Some have folding arms that enable you to perfectly guide your load into position. Others have telescopic arms that can reach far beyond the boot and pick up a mobility device on the pavement.

 

Pros 

  • +  Works for both wheelchairs and scooters.
  • +  Suits both large and small vehicles.

Cons

  • Requires the user or carer to be able to get themselves from the back of the car to into a seat.
  • -  Occupies space in the luggage compartment.

A man sitting in the front seat of a parked car facing out of the car retreiving his wheelchair from a rooftop box hoist

Rooftop box hoist 

This solution will lift and stow a manual wheelchair in a rooftop box. At the touch of a button, it will pick up and drop off the wheelchair at either the passenger’s side or the driver's side. This means the user does not have to leave their seat to stow or retrieve their wheelchair. 

Transporting the wheelchair in a rooftop box has the added benefit that any dirt or debris on your wheelchair will not soil the interior of your car.

A rooftop hoist can be used on most vehicles regardless of their size. If the car can support a rooftop box this solution shouldn’t be a problem.

 

Pros 

  • +  Will pick up and deliver the wheelchair close to the user.
  • +  Does not take up space inside the car.
  • +  Suits both large and small vehicles.
    +  Keep the dirt on your wheelchair out of your car. 

Cons

  • -  Only for folding frame wheelchairs.
  • Adds to the height of your car.

Conclusion

For someone unable to walk with or without support from the boot of their car, the rooftop hoist is by far the best solution.

For a scooter user, able to walk short distances, a boot hoist is the only option powerful enough.

For anyone else, the choice is more dependent on what type of space is most valuable to them and what type of mobility device they prefer to use. 

Having full access to the boot might be of more value to a large family or dog owners. While a rooftop box is out of the question for some, perhaps because of height limitations where they park.

As with all choices, we encourage you to talk to a professional and try out different solutions to see what suits you best.