How tall should a garage be for a Car Lift

How tall should a garage be for a Car Lift? Let’s Find the Answer!

Let me lay the scenario out for you — I have a car, and I am thinking of getting a car lift for my garage, to work on my car in my spare time. It sounds like a fun idea, and here’s the deal. 

I realized that not every lift is fit for my garage and not for every lift. But only one of them can be manipulated. In this article, I’m only going to manipulate the size of the garage. That is, we are going to find the perfect height of a garage for a specific lift. 

In a nutshell – as the sizes of cars are increasing, so is the popularity of car lifts. But how do I know if my garage is fit and high enough for the lift that I’m in love with?

Different Types of Lifts to Work with!

Lifts can be of different types. The first step to organizing your garage is choosing your favorite lift you want to work with. I’ll describe the most used ones in the preferred height of the garages below. You can explore your options like –

Four post lifts. If you ask me, four post lifts are the move secured in the highest form of lifts. They take your car off the floor securely from four sides, which is why they need at least 12 to 13 feet of height to operate safely. 

You need to drive your car into the post lift to get started. These are the heights on average under usual circumstances. Please consult an expert for accurate measurements.

Two post lifts. This is the most secure one after the four post lifts. This works by taking your vehicle off the floor from two sides, and like the four post lifts, you need to drive your vehicle into the post to get started.

In-ground lifts. In-ground lifts do not resemble the above two at all. They are the lifts where the lifting assemblies are installed under garage floors. These lifts would also need underground work, so you will need to consider that. 

Parking lifts. These are a set of unique arrangements with cars or vehicles positioned on top of one another in lifts. It’s expensive and risky in a way if you compare it with other lifts. But again, it saves space and time, so there’s that. 

I could lift a few more and tell you a lot about them, but you will get most of these from random internet searches. 

These are not-so-needed info right now. You need to choose the type of lift you are eyeing for a while right away. Keep the height of your vehicle in mind too. 

Once you are confident in your decision, you can ultimately find your way to research garage arrangements in this article, whether on the internet or right here. 

How tall should a garage be for a Car Lift

What are the Height Requirements of a Garage?

While searching for the reason why and how everyone’s been telling the 11-12 feet cookie-cutter answer, I stumbled upon the logical calculation for the basic height.

See, the vehicle height can be anywhere from four to more than five feet. The space underneath is nearly six feet, and there should be a clearance of one foot on average. All these sums up to 11 to 12 feet as the ideal garage height for a decent car lift.

I’ll start my discussion with the most beloved car lift of the people, the two-post lift and the four-post lift. If you are installing a two-post or a four-post lift, the safest option is to have a garage that is at least 11 feet tall. The more, the better.

This is because the lift can carry the vehicle at a higher height than usual car lifts. The vehicle being four to five feet generally, will need enough space to get off the floor. 

To be on the safer side, try working inside the garage that’s more than 11 feet tall. Remember, they are not ANSI certified if you consider working with them with a lower ceiling. 

If you do not have that tall garage, it’s okay. We can still work it out with low-rise lifts that lift the car only 18-20 inches off the ground. That way, you won’t need much space over the car. Low-rise car lifts are great for garages less or equal to 10 feet. 

Before jumping to these types of lifts, you need to check if it offers a good amount of lift that is just enough for you to work underneath the car. To know that, you need to know the average lift you need to be able to work underneath the car. You can follow these tips –

A typical 25-30’’ distance between your vehicle and the floor will give you just enough space to do your job. You can roll down, check and control everything smoothly with that height. 

Here’s the catch – the advertised heights might not be the same when in action, depending on the lift type.

While 12 feet is considered the standard choice, parking lifts might change this case. As you know, a parking lift requires one vehicle on top of another. 

On average, if a car is around 5 feet, two cars will require ten feet only for themselves. Considering the space between the vehicles, over and under, you need to look for garages that are at least 13-14 feet. To be on the safer side, 13+ feet should do the job. 

Also, it is recommended to have a decent distance between the bay door and the vehicle. 

Clearance height is the only thing you should work on or need expert advice on. Before renovating the whole garage, consider taking recommendations from someone who is already in the field. 

My Last Words!

If you are building the garage from scratch, follow the golden chain of rules for choosing the lift and the average height of the vehicle. Take an experienced person’s recommendation on how to step further. 

It isn’t much work if you work smart. You usually need the first-hand experience to judge car lifts. 

In this article, I’ve tried to portray the description of the lift and the requirements to be visually relevant. That way, you can play around with your options and enjoy the process of learning for what it’s worth!

Eddie Burton - Senior Author
Senior Author: Eddie Burton

Eddie Burton is a passionate car enthusiast and a seasoned mechanic with over 15 years of experience in the automotive industry. He has worked with a variety of vehicles, from classic muscle cars to modern luxury cars, and has extensive knowledge of all types of auto parts and accessories.

Eddie’s love for cars began at a young age when he would spend hours tinkering with his first car, a 1967 Mustang. Since then, he has pursued his passion for cars by working in various garages and workshops, honing his skills and expertise in everything related to automobiles.

As a contributor to our website, Eddie shares his in-depth knowledge and experience with our readers, providing valuable tips and advice on auto parts, repairs, and maintenance. He’s committed to helping car owners get the most out of their vehicles by providing honest and practical reviews of auto parts, accessories, and tools.

With Eddie’s vast experience and expertise, you can trust his recommendations and insights on everything related to cars. Whether you’re a seasoned car owner or a newbie in the world of automobiles, Eddie’s articles and reviews will help you make informed decisions and keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.

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