Would you like to carry out more work on your car? You need the right tools for that kind of work. Forget about steel floor and other car jacks, because they are not the most effective way to lift heavy vehicles. Additionally, they are not as stable as they could be and as such it may not be anchored properly in place using one of the alternatives.
In the following article, therefore, we are going to spend some time looking at a selection of car ramps that we believe are the best of the bunch. We will discuss them briefly, noting key features and their pros and cons. Simply put, our list and buying guide for car ramps is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know and want to know about these important pieces of equipment for your home car and vehicle maintenance setup.
Best Rated Car Ramps in 2018:
1. RhinoGear 11909ABMI RhinoRamps Vehicle Ramp
The RhinoGear RhinoRamps are durable and sturdy, giving you convenient access to your vehicle’s underside. The internal support system features a patented polymer and provides you with a wide stance for unparalleled strength and balanced distribution of your vehicle’s weight.
With the unique and clever non-skid CoreTRAC base reduces the chance of slippages and features an incline of 17 degrees gives you easier access particularly if you have a low-profile vehicle.
Compact and incredibly robust, they can be used with a variety of vans, SUVs, pickups, trucks and cars.
12,000lbs Gross vehicle weight (or GVW)
Only resin ramps certified by PALD
Wider tire width
17-degree incline for lower profile vehicles
Nestable – safe-saving design
- Weight19.2 lbs
Many have commented they are not as wide as they could be
2. Race Ramps RR-40 40 Inch Race Ramp
When race ramps conducted research, they discovered that sports car lovers desired a sleep and simple car ramp design. This is where their 40-inch Sport Ramp comes from. A no-fuss and robust ramp that will handle tires as wide as 8 inches and lifts your car up a full 7 inches.
For a relatively small and portable device, these ramps give you a hell of a lot of access. Suitable for most smaller sized sports cars including Jaguars, MGs, BMWs, Evos, Saburus, Mistas and Corvettes (C1 to C3).
1,500lbs per ramp maximum capacity, 6,000lbs total
8-inch maximum tire width
- BrandRace Ramps
- Weight8.49 lbs
Solid and durable
Some have complained about the foam design
3. Trailer-Aid Tandem Tire Changing Ramp
This is an interesting product on our list. Rather than it being designed for normal vehicles and trucks, the Trailer-Aid Tandem Tire Changing Ramp is, as the name suggests, for trailers.
With a total weight capacity of 15,000lbs, rust resistance and waterproofing, this trailer ramp is made from incredibly strong polymer and is portable and easy to store away when traveling so you can change a tire easily, even if you are on your own.
With rear slow and front holes, it provides you with easy access and handling. With 4 1/2 inches clearance, you have more than enough room to work on your trailer.
4 1/2 inch clearance
Lightweight but robust polymer construction
Handles 15,000lbs weight
Waterproof and rustproof
- BrandTrailer Aid
- Weight5.89 lbs
Easy, almost intuitive to use
Robust and high-quality construction
Ideal for tandem trailers
Not suitable for all trailers, always check
4. Nicky Nice Solid Steel Auto Ramp Set
Next on our list is another reasonably priced set, this time from Nicky Nice. The solid steel auto ramp set is capable of handling vehicles with a maximum weight 6,500lbs, with each single ramp capable of taking 2,000lbs. They have a powder coated finish to prolong use and are 55 inches long.
Each ramp can handle 2,000lbs, while both together can handle a combined 6,500lbs
Powder coating finish
35 inches long
- BrandNicky Nice
- Weight32 lbs
Durable, robust construction
Made in USA
Great for oil changes and other general maintenance tasks
Not many, but a few customers have commented on the build quality being low
Some have also claimed they are too high for normal cars
5. Scepter 08226 Plastic Automotive Ramp Set
The next set of ramps we want to talk about is the very affordable and sturdy Scepter 08226s. These are very lightweight, which is a great thing when you consider that both ramps together can handle 12,000lbs. This makes them ideal for using with medium-sized sedans.
Not only that, the ramp is relatively easy to roll onto without it pushing away and wide enough that you feel safe while your car is on the ramps. Weight distribution is aided by the parabolic arch that runs through the center of each ramp and thanks to the grid design, dirt, snow and water just fall through making them suitable whatever the weather.
12,000lbs weight limit
Parabolic arch that runs through the ramp’s center for additional support and assistance with distribution of weight
Grid design to prevent buildup of dirt, snow and water
Suitable for use in all weather
- Weight20.2 lbs
Strong and sturdy
Well-built Canadian design
Perfect angle and height combination
Some customers have had problems making these ramps work with their low clearance vehicles, such as MK7 GtIs.
6. Discount Ramps 6009-V2 Plastic Car Service Ramp
If you are looking for a reasonably priced, plastic pair of car ramps, the Discount Ramps 6009-V2 Plastic Car Service Ramp pack may be just what you need. They have a very low profile and are designed, therefore, with lower profiled sports cars in mind.
The total maximum weight capacity for a pack is 4,400lbs. They are capable of lifting your car to 2.5 inches off the ground. The unique honeycomb-style design allows moisture to escape and avoids building up.
Maximum weight capacity of both ramps 4,400lbs
2.5 inches lift height and loading degree of 9.05 degrees
Honeycomb design to prevent moisture from building up
Tire stops with formed grooves for wheels
- BrandDiscount Ramps
- Weight9.2 lbs
Ideal for using with low profile sports cars
Easy to use
Great product for the price
Only suitable for cars with a low profile
7. Magnum 1002-01 Automotive Ramp System
Our final set of car ramps we are looking at in this post is the Magnum 1002-01 Automotive ramp system, which is capable of coping with a combined weight of 16,000lbs. As the name indicates, this is more than just ramps, it is a 4-piece ramp system and features a safety chock and manufactured with the environment firmly in mind.
Magnum are known for designing and producing easy to use and well-made gaskets and this product still meets the high standard of what you would expect from a reputable company. Not only that, they do not require any assembly and are very lightweight.
16,000lbs total gross weight capacity
Safety chock included
4-piece detachable parts for easy storage
- Weight17 lbs
Many customers have complained about the quality of the design and that it is not suitable for their car, so be cautious
Many customers have also suggested it might not be wide enough for many modern cars
Buying guide & FAQ
Things To Consider When Buying Car Ramps
When you have a decent set of car ramps, draining your car radiator or changing the oil can be a lot easier than without. However, it is not nearly as simple as just picking the first one you come to that fits your budget. There are some important considerations to make before you buy a car ramp. To help you have an idea of what to look for, we will highlight three of the most important aspects to think about.
When purchasing car ramps for use with your truck or car, you need to know your vehicle's curb weight (that is, its weight without cargo or passengers). Rather than buying a car ramp that is just compatible with this weight, you need to find one that handles weights HIGHER than your vehicle's curb weight. In fact, aim for one that can carry as much weight as possible, within your budget. For the majority of trucks and cars, 6,500 to 10,000lbs is sufficient enough and these will set you back between $25 to $100.
Always Purchase Car Ramps Manufactured In The USA
You should always buy car ramps that are made here in America. Despite there being a small number of reliable imported models available, American-made ramps are safe and reliable. It makes sense that this is so important because, you will be spending time underneath your car as it is help up by the ramp you choose. American-made means higher quality inspection and more thorough processes. If you really have to get imported, make sure it is from Europe and not Taiwan or China.
When To Choose A Low Profile Car Ramp
If you own a vehicle that has a low profile or doesn't have ground clearance, choose a car ramp designed for low profiles. These ramps are made with more gradual and longer inclines that enable low profile vehicles such as sports cars, to roll onto the ramps without touching the undercarriage or causing damage to it.
How To Use Car Ramps Properly
As we have discussed, car ramps are a much easier and more stable alternative to steel jacks. That is, if you use them correctly, and more importantly, safely. It takes a little practice to drive up onto them, but as long as you place them on a smooth surface, but when you do do your car will be secure.
Below we have put together a step by step guide to using car ramps properly to help you out if you are new to them.
- Parking In Starting Position
Park your car on a smooth and sturdy, non-slip surface and ensure that the wheels are facing forwards.
- Positioning Ramps
Take one ramp and position it with its lower slope facing so it is centered perfectly with the tire. Check along the side of your car or vehicle to make sure the ramp is as straightly aligned with the tire as possible. Repeat the same process with the second ramp on the other wheel.
- Carefully Drive Up On The Ramp's Center
Now, sit in your car and carefully drive forwards and up onto the ramp. Step out of your vehicle and make sure the front wheels are on the center of the ramps and on the flat area of the ramp. If, for whatever reason, they aren't - you will need to reverse and drive back up again.
- Use The Parking Brake
Once the car is sitting on the center of the ramp, use your parking brake to keep your vehicle from rolling back off the ramp. Get out of the car and gently rock it to check it is secure and stable.
- Place Two Wheel Chocks
Place two wheel chocks and place one in front of one of the back wheels. Place the other one behind it. this is an extra bit of safety to ensure that the car doesn't roll off in any direction.
Now you are ready to work on the underside of your car safely with your car ramps.
Car Ramp Safety Tips
Although these have been touched upon at other points in this post, it is worth re-iterating some of the more important safety tips for using car ramps.
- Work on a smooth and level surface that is not slippery or wet
- Only use a car ramp with a higher weight capacity than your car's curb weight
- Although many car ramps are designed to work on their own, it is good and safe working practice to use jack stands in addition to car ramps. This is regardless of whether you are changing oil or changing tires (which you definitely would need them for anyway)
- Use wheel chocks as an additional safety measure
- Ensure that your car is sitting on the center of the ramps before working on it
So, there you have it, you now know what we think are the best car ramps out there and have a better idea of what you are looking for, how they work and important safety tips when using them. We hope this information can help you find the best car ramp for you. Remember, not all car ramps are made equal and just as cars are all individual depending on their make, model and weight – so too are car ramps.
Don't cut corners or think that just because a less expensive car ramp looks or feels like it might be suitable, that it actually will be. The old adage 'you get what you pay for' has never been more apt when it comes to car ramps. So be aware and always make the most educated choice you can.