Buying a golf cart, especially a used golf cart can be a difficult and time-consuming process. However, it provides the most efficient way to get around both your community and the golf course. The first question that comes to mind once you decide to buy a golf cart is: should you buy a used golf cart? After all, new is always better, right? The simple answer is no. Another common question is: should I buy a gas or electric golf cart? Unless you have very specific needs, electric golf carts are the smart choice.
In this post, we will outline why you should consider a used electric golf cart and what to look for when buying so you can stop stressing and start enjoying the ride.
The Benefits of Buying A Used Electric Golf Cart
- Significant savings: Much like cars, electric golf carts decline significantly in value the second they are purchased. This means you can find lightly used electric golf carts for a fraction of the price. As long as you do your due diligence, you will be able to find a highly reliable electric golf cart that you will love to ride for years to come. Chances are you may never buy new again after seeing how much you can save buying used.
- Highly reliable: Electric golf carts have significantly less moving parts than gas golf carts. Fewer parts mean less maintenance. It also means you can find used electric golf carts that will ride like new. While you need to be careful and pay close attention to the condition of the used cart, opting to go electric will greatly increase the chances of finding a highly reliable used golf cart.
- Great way to get into the market: New to the market? A used golf cart is a great way to get into the market without having to spend more than you are comfortable with. Many newer electric golf carts are more expensive due partially to their improved feature set. If you are new to the market, chances are you will not need many of these luxury features.
- New isn’t always better: It is common to believe that new is always better than used. We are here to dispel this myth once and for all. While we aren’t ignorant of the advantages of new electric golf carts, what is better is determined by each buyer’s individual needs. At the end of the day, you will need to decide whether a new or used golf cart is better for your needs. Just make sure you consider both options before deciding newer is better.
What To Look For When Buying A Used Electric Golf Cart
1. Refurbished vs Used
Refurbished golf carts were used by golf courses and are now being resold to the general public. Typically the process of refurbishment focuses mostly on external beautification. Refurbished golf carts are usually re-painted, get new tires, seats, etc. However, refurbished doesn’t necessarily mean a new motor, battery, controller, bearings, etc. Try to find a reputable, certified reseller to reduce potential issues. Make sure to ask a lot of question to ensure you understand the true condition of the golf cart you are buying.
Other sellers will sell their golf carts as-is. The name says it all. These golf carts haven’t had any work done on them prior to selling. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Buying as-is electric golf carts just requires additional due diligence and patience.
2. Age of Golf Cart
How old is the used golf cart you are considering buying? How long does this specific model typically last? Is maintenance expensive? Does anything need to be replaced immediately?
The age of any used product is an important indicator. You may even have age as a criterion to help narrow down your search. Some electric golf cart manufacturers, such as Icon EV, make golf carts with much longer lifespans than traditional electric golf carts. This means doing research into the exact manufacturer is important in order to fully understand how the age of the used golf cart will affect you in the coming years.
We won’t dive into all of the available features now found in electric golf carts but take our word, there are a lot. You won’t need all of them, but you should create a list of required features. This is often a great way to narrow your search and remove the overwhelming feeling of so many options.
4. Battery Condition
Electric golf carts are reliant on the batteries that power them. Much like the battery in your cell phone, over time electric golf cart batteries deteriorate. Some batteries are better than others, so there isn’t an exact battery life. Ask the seller how many amp hours have been used. Also, research the cost to replace the battery if you think you will need to in the near future.
5. Where Does The Golf Cart Get Serviced?
You will need to service your electric golf cart, regardless if you buy new or used. Having a reputable, certified dealer that can keep your electric golf cart in top shape is important. What happens if there are no such dealers in your area? It is very common for buyers to overlook servicing options until their golf cart is in dire need of servicing. Don’t make this mistake.
6. Is It Still Under Warranty?
Depending on the age of the used electric golf cart, it may still be under warranty. This is the best case scenario and protects you in the near future. Without asking you may never know!
Test Drive Before You Buy
Once you have done your due diligence using the checklist above, it is time for the fun part. Test driving the used golf carts that met your criteria is crucial but often overlooked. When test driving used golf carts, keep the following things in mind:
- The smoothness of the ride: Are the tires aligned? Do you feel comfortable, even when driving on uneven surfaces? You will spend a lot of time in your golf cart in the coming years, so make sure you are comfortable
- The comfort level of the seats: Speaking of comfort, the seats in a golf cart play a huge role. Pay close attention to not only the comfort of the seats but also their condition. If you noticed a lot of cracks or damage you need to consider the cost of these repairs in the near future.
- Responsiveness of the golf cart: Does the cart lag behind when you first start the engine or turn on the lights? These could be a sign of problems, so pay close attention.
- Reliability of the brakes: When you step on the brakes, does your electric golf cart react quickly? Reliable brakes will ensure a safe ride for you and the people you may be sharing the road with in the near future.
Pro Tip: Don’t feel rushed during your test drive. Spending ten extra minutes might unveil a problem that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. And hey, worst case scenario you get ten more minutes of driving!
The goal is to find a golf cart that will be both enjoyable and functional for years to come. Used electric golf carts can check both of these boxes will costing you significantly less than their new and/or gas counterparts. While new golf carts of both the electric and gas variety can be the right choice in many cases, we urge you to do your research before dismissing the used electric golf cart market. If you do decide to buy a used electric golf cart we hope this post acts as a guide, making the process easy and enjoyable.