Buying New vs. Used Scissor Lifts


So, you’re thinking about buying a scissor lift, but you’re unsure if it’s better to buy new or used? Well, there are a few questions that you may want to ask yourself before deciding. Factors such as equipment price, availability, and warranties should be considered when making a decision that affects your business. Once you’ve answered these questions, you may also want to set a weight or rank to each one to help you make the best choice.


Do you need the lift immediately, or can you wait for it? You may be able to find a supplier that has the machine you need in stock, but if not, lead times for new scissor lifts can be months long. On the other hand, you may or may not be able to find a used machine that fits your requirements.


Is it important to stay within a set budget? A used scissor lift will always cost less than a new one, from upfront price and tax to monthly payments and insurance costs.

Maintenance Costs

A used machine will cost more to maintain than a new lift. If buying used, you should consider purchasing a machine from a source that has a good service reputation.


Will the machine be used to generate income regularly? On a straight-line continuum, new scissor lifts generally provide the highest reliability, while used machines sold as-is provide the least.


Is it important that the machine have the latest and best safety features? All scissor lifts produced after June 2020 are required to meet the new ANSI/SAIA A92.20 design, calculations, safety requirements, and test methods for mobile elevating work platforms. Scissor lifts manufactured prior to this standard are available but may meet lower safety requirements.

Usage Frequency

Will the lift be used regularly, or just occasionally? If the machine will only be used occasionally, it may be difficult to justify the cost differential between new and used equipment. Frequent usage may justify the higher price tag of a new scissor lift due to fewer machine hours and included manufacturer warranties.

Brand Preference

Do you have a brand preference that’s driven by market acceptance, company experience, or specification requirements? Those preferences may influence your decision on buying new versus used slab scissors.


Everyone knows what new means, but do you know what condition the used machine is actually in? Condition terminology can vary widely. Is it being sold as-is, without any representation to its functionality? Has its condition been certified by a reputable dealer, meaning that it functions as it should? Has the lift been fully reconditioned, meaning critical components and programming have been repaired, replaced, or upgraded, even repainted?

Parts & Service Availability

Is it important to have parts and service support nearby? Can the dealer you’re purchasing from provide timely parts and service support for the machine, if needed?

Residual Value

Is what the machine will be worth at the end of the time you’ll own it important to you? Generally speaking, the brand, condition, and machine specifications can greatly impact residual value. Geography, new and used machine supply, and the economy overall can also influence value.

Specifications & Compliance

Are there specific jobsite requirements (terrain, emissions, environmental, government/corporate/industry compliance standards, etc.) for the machine that must be met? Are there dimensional requirements (length, width, working height, capacity, weight, turning radius, etc.) that must be met? Are those requirements mandatory, or flexible? Purchasing or ordering a new machine will guarantee the machine fits your requirements. Finding a used machine to fit specific requirements may prove difficult or impossible.


Is getting a warranty with the machine important? The length of new machine warranties vary, as does the coverage of parts, labor, mileage, and repair site. Warranty coverage for used lifts is also available from a variety of sources with similar variables. All new Hy-Brid Lifts include a 2-year parts and labor warranty and a 5-year structural warranty, while pre-owned Work Ready scissor lifts offer a 180-day parts warranty.




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