Helpful Tips to Consider When Purchasing a Golf Cart
Although purchasing a golf cart may not be as big of a purchase as an automobile (Although not always. Some luxury golf carts can cost over $20,000.), purchasing a golf cart is still a large commitment and can cost quite a pretty penny. Because of this, we’ve decided to compile a list of helpful tips to consider when purchasing a golf cart.
1) How will You be Using the Golf Cart?
The location of your home in relation to your use of the golf cart is important. For example, if you will be traveling from your house to the golf course, then you will want to pay attention to the amount of miles you will be driving. In addition, you will be driving the Golf Cart on the street, therefore safety is of the utmost importance. Whether you are driving 1 mile or 5 miles, safety will be key. Also, if golfing, then accessories, storage, and comfort in the vehicle are of great importance.
For transportation of 3 or more, a golf cart will need to be designed for the street and safe to use. A typical fleet golf cart was not designed to stop additional weight beyond two people and can have trouble carrying the extra weight in terms of distance and safety. Well, most four and six seater units are still built off of a golf cart suspension and frame leading to safety issues. Therefore, if you are going to buy a golf cart to sit six or more, make sure it has proper suspension, seat belts, power system, and braking system.
2) Will you be Purchasing New or Used?
Purchasing a new or used Golf Cart is not entirely different from purchasing an automobile except for one distinctive difference. Most used Golf Carts have been used on Golf Courses. With this in mind, be aware of the dangers of purchasing a vehicle that was used on a Golf Course for 3-5 years. Many golf cart dealers will purchase these vehicles and refurbish them. Therefore, you may hear the term refurbished Golf Cart or reconditioned Golf Cart. The concern here is whether or not the vehicle is safe to drive on the streets. It may look new, however, it most definitely is not.
The advantage of purchasing a new vehicle is that you know the state of the vehicle’s condition. The concern here is to compare and contrast warranties provided by each vehicle manufacturer. If they state a 3-year warranty, then be sure to read the fine print as they are typically a tiered warranty versus an all-inclusive warranty as seen in the automobile world. A tiered warranty means that only certain components are covered for ‘x’ amount of years.
Next, it is valuable to decipher if the warranty is provided by the manufacturer or the dealer. If provided by a dealer, make sure they have a solid business foundation since they may not be around long enough to cover the proposed warranty. Lastly, remember a warranty is to cover manufacturer defects and is not an insurance policy. Normal wear and tear items will not be covered under a typical warranty.
It is also good to not that most vehicle warranties do not cover batteries in electric Golf Carts. Therefore, make sure you read the fine print for the battery warranty provided by the battery manufacturer or dealer. A Two-year battery warranty is one of the best and supported by select manufacturers, however, be weary of a 3-5 year battery warranty as it is probably too good to be true.
3) Will you be Purchasing a Gas or Electric Golf Cart
When purchasing a golf cart, determining whether you want a gas or electric golf cart is going to be a question at hand. We will try to break this down into simple terms. In terms of the best for the environment, an Electric Golf Cart will win every time. In terms of cost, some assume a gas Golf Cart costs less to operate due to batteries being expensive for Electric Golf Carts.
A typical electric Golf Cart comes with new batteries that will last three to nine years depending on type of battery pack, maintenance of the battery pack, range driven per day, location vehicle is being used, and the speed and acceleration of the vehicle. Therefore, the batteries in an electric Golf Cart is a fixed fuel cost determined by the life of the batteries where as a gas Golf Cart has to be fueled on a weekly to monthly basis much like a car.
Electric Golf Cart Pros:
- Plugs into a regular household outlet
- Better Acceleration
- Less moving parts for easier maintenance
- Emission Free
- Economically Costs Less the Longer it is owned
- Higher Market Demand making it cost less than Gas to Purchase
- Easier to Diagnose due to On Board Computer present
Electric Golf Cart Cons:
- Driving Range per Charge dictated by Battery Pack Size
- Unfamiliar Vehicle Platform
- Expensive battery cost every three to nine years (fuel cost)
Gas Golf Cart Pros:
- No Range issues
- Familiar Vehicle Platform (similar to a gas car)
- Easier to modify the Speed
Gas Golf Cart Cons:
- More moving parts and more expensive to maintain
- Louder than an electric vehicle
- Emits stinky emission smells
- Lower Market Demand leading to higher costs
- Difficult to diagnose due to no On Board Computer
While this may promote electric Golf Carts over gas Golf Carts, there are legitimate reasons for purchasing a Gas Golf Cart such as:
- Golf Cart will only be used one to months a year
- Distance driven will be beyond 45 miles
- You have technical expertise with small engines and prefer to fix yourself
- You do not have a place where you can charge the Golf Cart.
Was this article helpful? We’ve created an entire FREE e-book that goes more in-depth into buying a golf cart. Download our Ten Things to Know When Buying a Golf Cart eBook HERE.
Our goal is to help you, the consumer, make an educated choice when purchasing your golf cart. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.