Top 8 Tips for Buying Your First Golf Cart

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Buying your first golf cart can be an exciting experience. With so many options and customizations available, it’s important to know what to look for to find the perfect golf cart for your needs and budget. Follow these top 8 tips to make the golf cart buying process smooth from start to finish.

Research Different Types of Golf Carts

The first step is deciding what type of golf cart you need. The main options are electric golf carts, gas-powered golf carts, and street-legal golf carts. Electric carts are the most common, using batteries to power an electric motor. They offer quiet operation and low maintenance. Gas carts use a gas-powered engine so they have more power but require more upkeep. Street-legal carts are modified to be driven on roads and have features like seat belts and turn signals. Consider your planned uses to choose the best type. 

Consider Renting Before Committing to a Purchase

If you are unsure about buying a golf cart, consider first renting one. Many golf courses and dealers offer golf cart rentals by the hour or day. Renting first can help you get a feel for driving and using a golf cart before you take the plunge to buy one. You may also determine that renting occasionally is a better option than owning if you only need a cart sometimes. Test out rentals to make an informed decision.

Determine Your Budget

Golf cart prices can range from around $2,000 for a basic used cart to $20,000 or more for a high-end new cart with all the options. Determine how much you can reasonably spend before you start shopping. Getting pre-approved for financing can help you know what monthly payments you can afford. Setting a clear budget makes it easier to narrow down the choices.

Compare Power and Speed Specs

Key factors to compare between different golf cart models are the power system, horsepower, and top speed. Electric carts typically have a 36V or 48V battery system with anywhere from 2 to 13 horsepower. Gas carts often have 10 to 20 horsepower engines. Speeds top out around 19 mph for electric and 25 mph for gas. Consider your needs like the number of passengers, the terrain, and required speed at your golf course. Higher power means better acceleration and ability to handle hills.

Test Drive the Golf Cart

If possible, do a test drive of any golf carts you are seriously considering. This gives you a firsthand feel for the steering, acceleration, braking, turning radius, and overall comfort as you drive. Test the seats to ensure you find them comfortable. Check that the cart can easily fit all the passengers and golf bags you need. Testing a golf cart out before buying can prevent surprises later.

Inspect the Batteries and Charging System

For electric golf carts, pay close attention to the batteries and charging system. The batteries account for about half the total cost of the cart. Inspect existing batteries for any cracks, leaks, or corrosion. Ask about the amp-hour rating to determine range. Test the onboard charger or look into buying a faster high-speed charger. Proper battery maintenance is key to the long-term performance of your electric golf cart.

Shop Online for Parts

Once you own a golf cart, you can save money by shopping online for replacement parts like mufflers and motors, as well as tires, controllers, seats, and lift kits. Many websites offer discount prices for golf cart parts and accessories, often priced lower than buying from a dealer. Search for promo codes to save even more. Buying parts online is an easy way to upgrade or repair your golf cart while on a budget.

Following these handy tips will simplify your golf cart buying experience. Identifying your needs, testing different carts, inspecting key components, and calculating costs will all help guide you to the perfect first golf cart with no regrets. Take it for a spin out on the course once it’s yours to enjoy the fun ride.

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