Buying your golf cart used could allow you to get something that will run and look as good as new for a fraction of the normal price. There are a few lemons on the market, however, and if you’ve never bought a golf cart before, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But once you’ve got a few things out of the way, you’ll be able to get a good idea of whether the unit you have in front of you is a good deal or not. Let’s take a look at a few things you should look for when buying a used golf cart.
Gas or Electric?
This might seem like a straightforward question for many people, but that’s often because they haven’t fully considered the pros and cons of each option or have a heavy bias. Some people, for instance, will automatically assume that a gas-powered cart would be a better option if they want to do things like camping, fishing, or hunting, but they overlook the fact that electric carts today have massive ranges and can be charged much faster than old generation machines.
You also have people who are partial to electric carts but aren’t aware of their implications and limitations. They aren’t aware of how much more costly some of the parts are on electric vehicles, for instance. Some people may also not be aware that gas-powered carts can go faster than electric ones, or that some jurisdictions only allow gas-powered carts on their roads. So, these are all things you should know before choosing between an electric and a gas-powered cart.
What’s the State of the Battery?
Knowing the state of the battery is very important with any golf cart, but it’s even more important if you’re buying an electric one. The battery is the most expensive part of an electric golf cart, and there are batteries out there that will cost you as much as $2000. This could be a significant portion of what you pay for the cart, and some sellers will try to unload units with bad or dying batteries for a huge discount to entice people, so be very careful here.
You need to know what the battery brand is and how often the battery was charged. You should also know where the battery was manufactured and ask the owner to fully charge the battery so you can test it. Check the battery for signs of damage and run a voltage and hygrometer test before you buy the cart.
How Customizable Is It?
One of the things a lot of people overlook when they buy a golf cart is customization options. There are literally hundreds of accessories that you can add to a golf cart, and picking a golf cart for which there are a lot of available accessories will allow you to adapt it to any playing conditions and situation. If you’re a new golfer and you intend to add to your equipment later, then you want to know that you’ll be able to modify your cart for more cargo space, for instance. So, make customization one of your priorities and consider your needs now and in the future.
Yamaha, EZ-GO, or Club Car?
We know that there are some incredible-looking deals out there on off-brand carts, but you should think twice before you pick a cart from a brand outside of the big three. Yamaha, EZ-GO, and Club Car make the best golf carts by far and the parts for their carts are much easier to find. Finding mechanics who can service these carts will be easier as well, and you won’t have as much trouble finding people to take them off your hands if you decide to sell.
Club Car carts are viewed by many experts as the gold standard, and they are known for their luxurious interiors and materials. But brands like Yamaha and EZ-GO have great modern features and are usually much cheaper. You can’t go wrong with any of those three, though, so try sticking to those and learn about the specificities of each brand before you make your final choice.
How Was the Golf Cart Used?
If you’re buying the cart from a private seller, you need to get as much information as possible about how the vehicle was used. A golf cart that was used strictly on golf courses will not have the same level of wear as a cart that was used on public roads or in off-road situations. Ask the question and see if the wear on the vehicle is consistent with what the owner is saying.
How Does It Perform on a Test Drive?
Just like any vehicle, you need to run the cart for a proper test drive before you buy it. You may not be able to take it too far, but you should try to at least get it on the grass and asphalt and see how the suspension performs on uneven terrain. You should also try to accelerate and brake a few times to see how soft/hard the brake pedal is. Test the direction and signals, and check if you can notice any whining, whistling, grinding, or clicking sounds.
You should also get the vehicle to a professional for a thorough inspection if you can. You might not be able to do this if it’s a cheap, old unit, but if it’s a newer model and it costs a few thousand, then you are within your rights to ask for an inspection. Only make your final decisions once you know that everything is OK with the vehicle and consider asking for a discount if you notice any issues that can be fixed for a reasonable price.
There are tons of great deals to be had on the golf cart aftermarket, but you have to be very careful when picking a used unit, especially if it’s from a private seller. When buying a used golf cart, look out for the things mentioned in this article and consider contacting someone who knows a bit more about these units than you do when you go shopping.