By Howard Moon
Buying a used or reconditioned golf cart can be a bit more confusing than buying a used car. Most people have been driving cars or been around cars all of their lives. They know the makes and models. They have been inundated with car ads for years. Most even have a basic understanding of how cars work and what to look for.
This is not always the case with golf carts. Unless you have owned a number of different carts you probably have little or no experience with them. So before you buy your first used golf cart, here’s a quick guide to what you need to know:
Gas or Electric?
There’s plenty of argument over gas versus electric, with advantages and disadvantages on each side. Gas carts tend to be noisier but often go further on a tank of gas than electric carts go on a full charge. Gas carts can be re-fueled quickly, while recharging can take some time.
“There is less to go wrong on an electric cart,” says David Stormer of David Stormer Golf Carts in Ocala. “If there’s a problem there are typically only one or two areas to look at.” This is not so with gas carts.
“One of the myths is that gas carts are cheaper to operate,” says Bill Andrews of Cart World Golf Cars in Lady Lake. “Figure two fill ups a month and you’re spending $1,500 to $2,000 dollars in four years.” In that same time frame you would probably replace the batteries in an electric cart one time at a cost of about $800.
Buying a Used Car — Here’s Your Checklist:
- Windshield – Make sure it is in good shape and not cracked or significantly discolored.
- Horns – Golf cart drivers are no different from auto drivers and need to be moved along with a good beep of the horn now and then.
- Mirrors – Both rear and side view. This is especially important if the cart is going to be used on road.
- Turn Signals – Useful when used on road. Very useful if they are actually used!
- Lights – Headlights, tail lights and brake lights. You want to be seen when driving. Of course you should check that they are all in working condition.
- Seats – The material should be in good condition and wear well.
- Rear Seat – If you are carrying more than two passengers an extra seat is important.
- Bag Holder – If the cart is going to be used for golfing then a bag holder is essential. Often the cart may have both a rear seat and a bag holder.
How Long Do Golf Carts Last?
When considering a used golf cart, Bill Andrews suggests looking at two main areas: The age of the cart and — if it’s electric — the age of the batteries. For everyday use a cart should probably be no more than 6 or 7 years old. If it is electric, batteries have a life of about 4 years.
Condition of the Cart
As when buying a used car, check the overall condition. Get some insight as to how the golf cart was used. Was it on the course only or does it have a lot of street mileage? This can affect the overall condition and life of the cart.
David Stormer believes condition is one of the most important aspects of the cart. He suggests condition is more important than brand or extra features.
Take A Test Drive
Go ahead kick the tires but then give the cart a good going over. Take it for a test drive. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
Then enjoy your golf cart either on the course or on the road.
About the Author: Howard Moon is a retired business man who has been writing in his spare time for over thirty years.
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This feature is brought to you by The McDonald Agency, your Villages Allstate insurance agent. The McDonald Agency offers golf cart insurance from $6 a month. For more information, visit the McDonald Agency or call (352) 259-3825.