Buying used disability equipment

Buying second-hand disability equipment can be a good way to save money and get the products you need for daily living.

You might be able to get funding for the equipment you need.

Paying for disability equipment and assistive technology

Before you buy

If your aim is to save money, check whether second-hand is the cheapest option. There could be hidden charges, such as delivery costs. The equipment may also no longer be under the manufacturer’s guarantee so you might need to pay for repairs or maintenance. Find out where you can get this.

Find out if you can get the equipment you need for free or by paying a small deposit to borrow it. Certain items like walking aids, wheelchairs and mobility scooters may be available to use for short periods from the NHS or the Red Cross.

It’s also worth finding out if products are being given away or recycled. If someone is no longer using equipment, they might be happy to give it or lend it to you for free.

Useful websites for free recycled items include:

Research what you need

If you have an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, ask them for advice on what you need and what products are available.

Talking to healthcare professionals about equipment and assistive technology

Look for online discussions about what other people with similar conditions use, such as:

Think about how much you can afford and what you can get for your money. You may need to consider costs like maintenance and repairs.

When you’ve decided your budget and the equipment you want, focus on researching the product:

Warning Reviews are not professional advice

Reviews and advice are often based on people’s personal experiences. What works for someone else may not work for you.

Reviews are not professional advice unless from the company or qualified expert. Only follow advice you feel comfortable with.

Always check if the company paid for or sponsored the product review as it may be more positive.

Research the seller

When you’ve decided on a product, start looking at where you can buy it. It’s important to find out as much as possible about the seller. You could:

  • check the seller’s rating and read feedback from customers
  • read the seller’s refund and returns policy
  • find out about delivery costs. Some large items might be costly to send or require collection. This can add to the price.
  • ask the seller questions, such as the condition of the item and payment options. Try to get this in writing.
  • ask other people if they’ve had dealings with the seller or retailer
  • find out if they’re a retailer or a private seller. You have greater buyer protection with a retailer.

Be aware of your consumer rights, especially when buying used equipment.

Your consumer rights (Which?)

Always be vigilant for scammers. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you have read several negative reviews or cannot find information about the retailer or seller, consider avoiding them.

How to buy second hand online (Which?)

Where to buy used disability equipment

There are many ways to find used disability equipment.

Local disability charities sometimes have used equipment.

Equipment manufacturers may sell their used products so it’s worth asking them.

Local newspapers have sales sections and classified ads. It’s worth checking local community boards as people often use them to advertise items for sale.

Some places to check online include:

Warning Be safe online

Do your research to stay safe and secure online.

If you have doubts about a seller, avoid them.

Follow these tips on staying safe online:

Safety centre (eBay)

How do I buy and sell responsibly on Facebook?


There are various ways you can pay.

Cash payments

Cash on collection is a common method of payment for private sales.

Agree the price before you go to collect the equipment. Test the equipment to make sure it works before you pay.


PayPal allows you to send and receive money using an email address or phone number associated with your PayPal account. There is no fee to send individual payments.

Credit and debit cards

If you’re using a credit or debit card, items costing over £100 and under £30,000 are covered under the Consumer Credit Act. This means the credit card company has equal responsibility with the seller if there are any problems with the items you’ve bought.

Shopping and paying safely online (MoneyHelper)

Consumer Credit Act (MoneyHelper)

Bank transfer

Bank transfer can be an easy way to send money to another person. But only send money to a person or organisation you trust, to avoid risking your bank or personal details being stolen.

Keep your bank details safe.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 01/08/2023

Was this page helpful?

We're sorry to hear that.

Tell us how we can improve it

More on buying equipment