10 Things you Should Know Before Buying a Golf Cart 

Golf carts are fun commodities that are exploding in popularity. Where golf carts were once reserved for use on golf courses, people now use them for everyday activities. Retirement communities, campgrounds, resorts, and urban neighborhoods are falling in love with golf carts because of how convenient they are. 

Age, condition, drive type, accessories, tires, and function are all things you should know before you are planning on purchasing a new or used golf cart. These items will help you make an educated decision whether or not to purchase a specific cart.

In this article, we’ll look at all the things you should know before buying a new or used golf cart. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and becoming a golf carter, you’ve come to the right place. 

Things to Know Before Buying a New or Used Golf Cart 

Here are the main things to consider before buying a new or used golf cart. 

1. Figure Out What Its Main Purpose Will be. 

The first thing you should figure out is your goals for the golf cart. If you live in a community or neighborhood and want easier access to the things and people you love, you may want a different golf cart than one strictly for golfing. Important features to look for would be it being street legal, having a rear seat, or a longer range.

Carts for golfing purposes are usually very plain and practical. Other types of golf carts are more heavy-duty and have extra features and abilities. 

2. Decide Between Gas and Electric 

You’ll also want to figure out if you want a gas or electric golf cart. Gas golf carts usually offer more power and a longer range, but they also cost more to operate with gas and maintenance considerations. 

Electric golf carts are always topped off without needing to go to the gas station, and typically have more torque if you are going up a lot of hills.

3. You Won’t be Traveling Far or Fast. 

Whether you choose a gas or electric golf cart, you won’t be going very far or fast. Most golf carts top out at around 15 to 20 miles per hour at their max. You can drive gas golf carts farther than electric ones because of charging considerations, but you’ll still be crawling along. 

Aftermarket motors for electric carts and engines for gas carts can be installed to provide speeds in the 30’s, but can be quite dangerous in an electric or gas golf cart that was not designed to handle or break at those high of speeds.

4. Find Out if You Can Even Have One in Your Area 

A vital thing to consider if you’re buying a golf cart for a community or neighborhood is whether or not you can even have a golf cart and legally use it on the roads. Many retirement communities and areas with HOAs have rules restricting golf carts and ATVs. You’ll want to figure this out before making a big purchase that you can’t even use. 

5. Don’t Forget Maintenance Costs. 

Golf carts have less and cheaper maintenance than cars do, but they still cost money to operate. Batteries, fuel lines, tires, brakes, electronics, and other components that make golf carts work tend to break down with time. 

6. Which Brands Are Best? 

There are many different brands to choose from when it comes to golf carts. New makers are constantly popping up and trying to make a name for themselves. However, when it comes to reliability and having the best brand in the business, E-Z-GO, Yamaha, and Club Car are the top three. 

7. Do I Have a Repair Shop Near Me? 

Because golf carts are only starting to rise in popularity in places outside of golf courses, there are a limited number of golf cart repair shops. You’ll be up a creek without a paddle if something happens to go wrong with your cart and the nearest repair shop is hours away. 

8. Will I Need to Tow It Anywhere? 

Along with knowing about the nearest repair shop, you should also have a towing vehicle and trailer handy. The odds are that you’ll want to take your golf cart somewhere out of driving distance from your home. When that happens, you’ll need a trailer and a vehicle capable of pulling it. 

9. Does It Have the Features You’re Looking For? 

There are many different types of golf carts with numerous features. The most basic carts won’t have much more than cupholders and the ability to go forward and backward. However, if you’re willing to pay a little extra, there are golf carts with some pretty sweet features. 

  • Four-wheel drive is an excellent option if you live in the country. 
  • Bonus seats on the back of the cart are handy if you have kids or plan on hauling people around. 
  • A bigger motor is necessary if you live in a hilly area. 
  • Entertainment features such as a radio with speakers is a fun option if you want to be the life of the party. 
  • Newer golf carts offer the potential for customizations and personalization that some older models don’t allow for. 

10. What Can I Afford? 

The last thing you want to do is overspend on a golf cart and put yourself in a financial hole. It’s essential to know your budget before buying a golf cart. While they’re a lot of fun and very convenient, golf carts are a commodity that you can live without if you have to. 

Gas golf carts tend to go for a premium over electric carts on the used market, but it depends on if you want a longer range and want to just put some gas in to extend your range, or if you want the virtually quiet electric cart that you have to charge for several hours to add range.

Things to Know Before Buying a Used Golf Cart

The final consideration on the list above will likely determine whether or not you buy a new or used golf cart. New golf carts cost around $10,000 to $15,000, while a used cart can be found for $2,000 to $5,000+. If you’re planning to go the route of the used golf cart, here are some things you should know. 

1. How Old is the Golf Cart? 

When buying a used golf cart, the first thing you should look at is how old it is and how many miles it has on it. Old golf carts can run just as well as newer ones, no matter their age. However, it’s much harder to find parts for older carts than for new ones. It’s also more likely that they’re closer to needing a few repairs here and there than newer carts. 

2. Are the Batteries in Good Shape? 

Checking the batteries is extremely important with used electric golf carts. Batteries can be just as expensive as the cart itself in some cases. If the cart you’re looking at has bad batteries, you’re walking into one of the worst investments of your life. Here are a few things to look at when inspecting the batteries. 

  • Check for corrosion on the terminals and around the seams of the battery. 
  • Make sure that they aren’t bulging around the sides. 
  • Ask the seller if they have any information about warranties. 
  • Make sure the batteries are only a few years old as they only usually last 5-7 years.

If the batteries don’t check off each of these boxes, you’ll likely be investing in a few new ones before long. Batteries for most carts can range from $700-$1,400+

3. Has It Been Refurbished in Any Way? 

Just because a golf cart is used doesn’t mean that it’s refurbished. A used golf cart is any cart that isn’t new and that’s been owned or operated by someone before you. A refurbished golf cart has only been used on a golf course but is now being sold to the general public. Refurbished carts often appeal to people more than used ones do. 

The reason is that golf courses often take good care of their carts and do all the required maintenance to keep them running their best. Used golf cart owners might do the same, but you never know for sure.

4. Is the Rest of the Cart in Good Shape? 

Finally, you should ensure that everything’s in good shape besides the batteries. The tires, brakes, electrical components, forward and reverse mechanisms, and the rest of the cart should all be in decent or good shape. You should ALWAYS take the golf cart in question for a test drive before buying it. 

Once you know and consider all these factors, you can make a wise and informed decision when buying a golf cart.