Golf carts have come a long way since their inception in the early 1950s. Once used only to shuttle golfers and their bags to the next hole, they have become commonplace for other uses. Take a look around any residential community or campground, and you’re sure to see plenty of golf carts roaming the streets. They have become a widely accepted form of local transportation, and you don’t even need to play golf.
So if you’re thinking of ditching the car keys and getting a golf cart, keep these things in mind before making a purchase.
Things to consider before buying a used golf cart
Today, golf carts come in all shapes and sizes. You can buy a brand-new model right off the sales floor or get one that’s used or refurbished. When buying a pre-owned model, check out a few things before taking the plunge, Golf Cart Resource reports.
First, check the batteries. Electric models run on a 36 or 48-volt operating system. You will need four to six batteries to run efficiently. If the batteries aren’t holding a charge, the cart might not make it through the entire course without needing to be recharged. The batteries also affect the rate of acceleration. Most models can go up to 20 mph on a full charge. Batteries in poor condition will need to be replaced, costing approximately $150 for each. This could add a considerable amount of money to upfront costs if all the batteries need replacement.
Second, check the charger‘s condition before purchasing a used cart. A properly working unit will send a charge to batteries as their energy depletes. If the charger is malfunctioning, you will experience constant power issues that can become frustrating in a hurry. Also, look at the controller, which operates the golf cart’s level of speed.
It’s also not a bad idea to have a reputable dealer check out the model you want before making a purchase. An expert can quickly identify any potential problems that could cost you in the long run.
Determine if you need a street legal golf cart
You might be looking for a golf cart to ride in your gated community. Maybe you want to skip walking and cruise to the local shopping center or clubhouse. Whatever the intended purpose, the golf cart must be street legal if you’ll be driving on public roadways.
The model must have headlights, taillights, and turn signals. It also needs a windshield, seat belts for all passengers, and a valid state-issued license plate.
If you ignore those regulations, you could get a traffic citation. So if you plan to use your golf cart for routine transportation, make sure it’s street-legal to avoid trouble.
How much does a used model cost?
Used golf carts range between $2,000 and $5,000. Major manufacturers include E-Z-go, Club Car, Yamaha, Columbia ParCar, Tomberlin, and even Harley-Davidson.
Even though these carts are popular off the green, that doesn’t mean golfers aren’t still using them. Courses nationwide purchase large fleets every year to keep their inventory running efficiently.
For a good deal, look at former fleet carts used by courses. Even though these models will have heavy use, courses generally keep them in good working condition. Golf courses want to extend the life of their carts. They hire staff to perform routine maintenance, charge the batteries, and do regular repairs to keep their units running efficiently.
Classified ads and golf course bulletin boards are good resources when looking for used models. There are also plenty of dealers and online marketplaces offering carts for sale.