World’s Most Expensive Golf Cart – Hold Onto Your Seat

Tesla, Porsche, move over. You’re about to get your pants kicked by a golf cart.
But let’s set the stage: This all starts in a tony neighborhood of Hong Kong, where the bankers, lawyers and executives live.

According to a Bloomberg report – naming the source, so you don’t think this is a typo – the going price for a standard-issue golf cart in a Hong Kong bedroom community called Discovery Bay, can be as high as $HK2 million – or a lean, mean $333,650 in U.S. dollars.

Yes, that’s for the same cart that sells for under $10,000 in U.S. markets. And, yes, it appears that the perfect storm has hit Discovery Bay when it comes to golf carts, which are the only privately owned vehicles allowed in the town of 20,000.

So, what happens when you put 20,000 very wealthy individuals into one neighborhood and tell them they cannot drive a car to their $HK8 million to $HK80 million property?
Then, just to force the point, town officials decided to issue only 500 golf cart permits at a time, – meaning demand has ramped up considerably among the neighborhood’s wealthiest bankers, lawyers and business hot shots.

It turns out, $HK2 million isn’t enough to buy more property in Hong Kong, where a so-called “nano” flat (a very tiny apartment of under 200 square feet) typically rents for $HK8,000 to $HK12,000 per month. In downtown Hong Kong, buying a house can cost up to $HK1 billion in a neighborhood called the Peak (named because it’s the top portion of a local hill).

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So, if you lived in Discovery Bay, where officials are trying to brand the town as a resort community, you could buy artwork or simply invest in the stock market, but you’ve probably already done that. And you still need a way to get to the grocery store. What’s the solution? A golf cart – or, technically, a highly coveted golf cart permit, which are few and far between.

In Hong Kong, Porsche Boxsters, by the way, are listed at $HK972,000 and a Tesla Model S is listed at $HK1.03 million, according to Bloomberg. They will still beat the pants off a golf cart in a sprint to the next traffic light, but a Discovery Bay golf cart owner would scoff at the idea of buying one of those jalopies as an investment. A fair trade might be a golf cart for both cars.

Golf cart owners don’t get to call a Porsche Boxster or a Tesla Model S a jalopy very often. Savor the moment.

Timothy Baler has been a journalist for three decades and has had his work published in some of the nation's top publications, including The New York Times, The Miami Herald, National Wildlife and many more. He covered the economy for United Press International for eight years, but his true passion is the game of golf. The addiction took hold 20 years ago and since there's no known cure he's been at it ever since. Plays daily seven months of the year, says he goes into mourning for the other five.