Owning a golf cart can be very exciting. Not only does it add convenience to your golf experience, but it also doubles as a way to get around the neighborhood.
Most importantly, you don’t have to strain to carry your golf clubs and other golf equipment across the course as you continue your game.
However, the buying process for one can be time-consuming and confusing if you lack the proper knowledge and information on the wide range of features and styles to choose from.
As you approach your purchase, it is imperative to be informed and mindful so that you can make a smart decision.
Playing golf is no longer the only reason you need to buy a golf cart.
Not that you can’t if you want to, but if you’re looking for a safe vehicle option that can travel short distances without the need for fuel, a golf cart is a common solution.
However, there are many things to consider before investing in a golf cart. Here are 14 things to know before buying a golf cart.
Table of Contents
Consider Whether to Buy a Brand New or Used Golf Cart
When buying a golf cart, you should definitely decide whether to buy a new one or a used one. Of course, both options have their own pros and cons.
All you need to do is weigh your options before making the final decision. In fact, you can get a second-hand golf cart in excellent condition for a cheaper price.
This will save you a significant amount of money that you can put elsewhere. Also, they are easily accessible today, especially through online providers.
Here are some tips you can use to get a good price when buying a used golf cart.
- Consider age
- Get it from a reputable provider
- Assess the general condition
- Think about the items listed below
5 Things to Know Before Buying a Golf Cart
What do you need from it
This is the first and simplest consideration. Obviously, this is completely up to you. Do you just want to get around your community, off-road, use it on your terrain, or a combination of those three? Maybe you have something completely different in mind.
It is important to know exactly what you expect from the golf cart you plan to buy.
My advice is to get something that can go a bit beyond those expectations. This way, you have the option of taking your golf cart further than originally planned.
Gas vs electric
Now that you know what you want, it’s time to move on to the harder questions.
The first, and the hardest to answer, is the age-old gas-electricity debate. They both have their pros and cons, but ultimately it really is up to you which one is better. Check out these articles about Gas vs. Electric.
Golf Cart vs Car
This is an important consideration with regard to purchasing a golf cart. There are many places a golf cart can go that a car cannot, and if you live in a community, it is often easier and cheaper to use a golf cart than a car. This again is up to you.
Maybe you’re already happy with your car for long trips, but you’re tired of buying all that gas for your short trip to the grocery store.
Of course, you could get a fully electric car, but what about when you want to drive around your golf course?
It is important to decide if a golf cart is practical for your needs before purchasing it, as a golf cart costs almost as much as a cheaper car.
If your golf cart could be your grocery shopper and daily driver for city trips, then it may be good for your car and wallet to go ahead and get that golf cart.
Maybe you just want to use it in your field as a tool. A golf cart has a smaller wheelbase and slimmer profile than most cars, which means it could go into tighter spots than most other vehicles.
Generally, a golf cart can carry and tow much more than a four-wheeler. There’s a reason you always see golf carts on construction sites, they can do a lot of things that a four-wheeler or 4X4 truck can’t.
Where can you drive it?
This is a very good question as every city, town, county, and the state has different regulations regarding golf carts.
Most of the time you can drive it on roads with slow speed limits, in parks, on golf courses, around communities, and along trails that allow the use of motorized vehicles.
Always check your community/city regulations before driving your golf cart on streets or parks, but if you plan to use your golf cart only on the field or on the trails to hunt and fish, then there is not much to worry about.
However, use your golf cart responsibly on the trails. Failure to do so can lead to a motor vehicle ban on that trail, and anything you do in the wild will have a lasting impact. Make your impact good. Or at least a small one.
Whether you buy a gasoline or electric golf cart, E-Z-GO, Yamaha, or Club Car, there will be maintenance costs.
Tires, brakes, electrical components, battery maintenance, oil and other engine maintenance, lights, along with many other items that require replacement or repair relatively frequently.
These costs will be less on an electric golf cart, but they will still exist. You may need to replace controllers or batteries periodically, and that cost can add up pretty quickly.
Fortunately, you can usually find remanufactured parts that are less expensive and better for the environment.
With a gas-powered golf cart, you are looking for the same maintenance and repair items as a car. The oil, filters, spark plugs and gaskets will need to be replaced from time to time to keep your golf cart in good working order.
However, it should be noted that maintenance costs will be drastically lower than for a car.
Tires typically cost less than $50 each, and oil is basically the same price but uses much less in such a small engine.
Brands to consider
There are many brands of golf carts, but the big three are the E-Z-GO, Club Car, and Yamaha golf carts. Club cars have been in the game for as long as there have been golf carts, so they are no joke.
Not only are you paying for a brand, no one stays in business that long without earning their reputation. Added to this, they are the only brand that has all-aluminum frames.
However, E-Z-GO is its biggest competitor. E-Z-GO owns the market for affordable quality, rugged suspension, and ease of repair and maintenance.
They may not have as much power as some Club Car golf carts, but this can be easily fixed with aftermarket upgrades that cost a dime a dozen for this brand.
If you’re into modding and don’t like the classy, classy feel of Club Car golf carts, E-Z-GO’s sweet looking and easily adjustable golf carts might be the way to go for you.
Lastly, there are the Yamaha golf carts. They are a bit new to the game, especially being part of the big three brands, but they are a force to be reckoned with.
Every part of the design, from the chassis to the engine to the interior, is done by Yamaha and if you don’t already know, they are a respected brand in all outdoor RV markets.
Their expansion to golf carts was well received and they continued their legacy of high quality and ease of repair along with unmatched affordability.
8 Things to Look For When Buying Used Golf Cart
When it comes to buying a second-hand golf cart or buying something second-hand, we all go through a lot of confusion as there are so many options to choose from.
There is always the fear of accidentally becoming the prey of unethical sellers and ending up buying something that broke and doesn’t work at all.
Regardless, you need to be very careful and be sure to consider all the pros and cons of buying a used golf cart.
Since you cannot trust sellers and buying a used golf cart comes with many risks, here are the top ten tips that you can use to your advantage while buying one.
Where is the golf cart from?
The past can sometimes be a topic that many people don’t want to talk about. The same goes for the past of a golf cart. Depending on whether the golf cart is new or used, the past of the golf cart matters.
When you buy a used golf cart, you should never overlook the past. It may appear to be in perfect condition, but little do you know, it was driven through a pond and its lifespan is limited.
When obtaining specific information about the origin of the golf cart, make sure it is certified by a dealer or someone you know and trust.
As long as you know who you are buying from if something is missed or not working, you can go back and make sure it is corrected.
You don’t want to risk buying a cart that requires additional repairs and end up racking up expenses you didn’t want in the first place.
Is the Golf Cart Refurbished or Used?
A refurbished golf cart is a used golf cart that has had some recent improvements. A used golf cart is one that a person drove for a while and is now being sold as-is.
If you are looking for a reconditioned golf cart, make sure it has been reconditioned by a certified dealer.
In some cases, people give their golf cart a fresh coat of paint and new tires and call it a reconditioned golf cart. But the motor, batteries, controller, and bearings are all the same as before.
To avoid spending extra money on a “reconditioned” car that has no real upgrade, try to buy these cars from the official dealer for that make and model.
Otherwise, you could end up with a golf cart that needs a lot more repairs after you buy it.
How Old Is the Golf Cart?
It is important that you take into account the age of the electric golf cart you are looking to purchase. You have to pay attention to the model of the cart because that will help you get the features you need.
Also, if the model is older, it may become increasingly difficult to find parts for the unit. A good rule of thumb for them is to stay away from any unit that is over 15 years old.
Also, always ask how many hours or cycles are in the unit. Most golf carts that are 2005 and newer will track the hours and cycles \ on the drive internally in the controller.
If the dealer is reluctant to show you this information, then this should be a red flag in terms of their experience or try to hide the fact that the unit may have more than 2000 hours on it.
Is It a Gas or Electric Golf Cart?
There are two main types of golf carts, gas powered and electric. Each of these carts has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you should do a little research and choose the one that best suits your needs.
For example, a gasoline car can drive faster than an electric cart. But if you get a gas car, you have to be willing to do the regular maintenance that comes with it.
Electric golf carts do not require a lot of maintenance, but you must have access to a battery charger.
Batteries also have a limited lifespan, so you need to make sure that those in a used golf cart are still in good condition.
If Electric, Are the Batteries in Good Condition?
The most important thing to check when purchasing an electric golf cart is the condition of the battery pack. You should also find out if you will get a manufacturer’s warranty with your purchase.
If a warranty is included, spend some time researching the manufacturer’s reliability.
The most common manufacturers of golf cart batteries are US Battery, Crown, Trojan, and Interstate. You should check the reputation of any other battery manufacturer.
You should also find out the age of the batteries. Batteries that are only a few years old, clean, and free from corrosion should last several more years.
If the batteries are five years old, covered in corrosion, or have bulging sides, they won’t last much longer.
Does it need any replacements?
When you are taking the cart or driving around or asking the previous owner about the past and current condition, ask about replacements. They may know about the replacements that need to be made or the possible repairs that will be needed in the future.
This is vital to know if you should buy a used golf cart. You can get the best value because you can decide if those repairs are expensive enough for the dealer to reassess the price.
You can buy the cart for less on the spot for much less and make minor repairs later.
However, replacements should not be overlooked. Just like you should know about the cart’s past if there have been recent replacements be sure to check them out.
Battery life is also very important. Is the current battery guaranteed for some time? Is it a top-of-mind brand that has a great reputation?
Repairing a battery can be expensive, and you don’t want that to add to a purchase made four months earlier.
Replacements and repairs should also meet your needs for the golf cart. We’ll talk about the special features you may or may need, but repairs and replacements can also be specific to the use of your cart.
If you are using your cart for transportation, around the neighborhood, picking up kids nearby, or so on, then you must have a battery, tires, windshield, etc., for heavy trips.
Golf carts for golfing or recreational use do not need the strongest battery available, but the battery must be able to withstand debris from the weather and travel on different roads and surfaces.
What Features Does it Have?
Depending on what you plan to use it for, your golf cart may need specific features. If you want to ride your cart around your gated community you will need different features than you would need to drive it through a golf course.
- Select the electric golf cart according to your needs
- Choose the stroller that suits your lifestyle
- You need to check if you can drive it only in the field or also in the gated community
- Check if you need a license
- Research the type of accessories you would like
- Make sure the electric golf cart you select is comfortable to drive
Is the Golf Cart Worth the Asking Price?
One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a used electric golf cart is price.
Do your local research on the market prices of golf carts. Golf cart prices vary based on your location.
More importantly, if it’s an electric golf cart that’s selling for $ 2,000 or less, expect to spend an additional $ 800 to $ 2,000 on future battery and other component repairs.
You need to make sure you get the market price for the golf cart in order to negotiate with the seller for the unit price.
Additionally, the variable grade of accessories and speed will also dictate the price of the unit.
I hope this guide has helped you narrow down your options and consider some questions that you may not have thought of yet.
I hope you decide to buy a sweet golf cart and hit the trails or putter around your community in a tiny eco-friendly vehicle.
Although we have also mentioned factors that you will need to consider before purchasing a used golf cart, we have done our best to guide you completely so that you do not overlook anything that could cause you additional stress and cost you time and money later on.
Choosing to buy a used golf cart is a great decision, as it is easy on the pocketbook and if you are lucky and have a chance to get a good one, rest assured that it will offer decades of a smooth ride.
We hope our article was helpful and provided you with enough information to help you get the golf cart of your dreams at a reasonable price.
Best of luck finding the right golf cart for you, and remember that the right golf cart for someone else is not necessarily the best for you.