Making any major purchase can be stressful unless you have some tricks up your sleeve to ensure you are as sure as you can be that you are making a good decision. In this post, we will run you through everything you need to look for (and look out for) when buying a golf cart and best golf cart batteries. We’ll give some tips on choosing the best golf cart for your specific needs too and make sure that you are aware of the golden rules for buying a second-hand golf cart.
Amazon’s 100 Batteries: The Complete List (2021)
Whether you want to know where to buy used golf carts, how to target who buys used golf carts or want to know what used golf carts are worth, read on for a handy guide to make golf cart purchases and sales easier. Check out our ‘golf cart sales near me’ tool below to find your nearest sellers and buyers. Used golf carts can be the smart choice so long as you ask the right questions.
Table of Contents
- Why choose a used golf cart over a new one?
- Used Golf Carts: A Buyer’s Guide
Why choose a used golf cart over a new one?
Obviously, if you have the money available and have your heart set on a specific model, then it might make sense to choose a new gold cart over a used one. However, just like cars, brand new golf carts are going to lose value the moment you buy them which is not the case for second-hand purchases when their price point reaches a more natural level that doesn’t change or deplete so rapidly.
Other good reasons why to choose a used golf cart over a new one are that: you will save on an initial outlay; you can find a bargain if you know what you are looking for and where to look; if you buy a new model that has recently been majorly adapted these can actually have more teething problems than used models; older models often have cheaper insurance (due to their lower value), and; you can still buy used cars under warranty from certain sellers.
Used Golf Carts: A Buyer’s Guide
Buying a gold cart can be scary if you don’t know the right questions to ask and the key things that you should look out for if you want to make a purchase that is going to last you for years and not see you heading to the mechanic within a month. Read on for a complete buyer’s guide for used golf-carts and the important questions you should ask when buying a golf-cart (and the answers you should be looking for).
#1 Who buys used golf carts?
Whilst golf carts used to be vehicles solely designed to cart people around their local golf course (hence the name) and were very limited in functionality beyond getting from A to B, these days golf carts are used by a wide range of people and come with endless applications installed which are useful to their users.
This is great news for buyers and sellers as, rather than a niche market-place, there are a whole range of people who are interested, or can be persuaded to be interested, in purchasing a golf-cart these days. If you’re wondering why it’s good news for both buyers and sellers, the reason is simple, at some stage the former will usually become the latter – especially if they make sure they invest their money carefully in the first place.
#2 Are gas or electric golf-carts better?
Whilst to a certain degree the answer to this question comes down to personal preference and use intentions there are also some more objective ways to answer this question. For example, whereas gas carts can have upwards of 2,000 moving parts an electric model can have as few as 500 moving parts. As such, electric cars will have far fewer parts that can fail, making them significantly cheaper to run over their lifespan.
That being said, gas vehicles do have some benefits of their own, with a major one being the availability of charging ports. Gas stations are ten a penny, but electric ports are still not available in every station so you do need to be more aware of the distances you plan to travel in an electric golf-cart if you don’t want to be caught off-guard. They also take a long time to charge and can’t be run constantly or for longer distances. So if you’re playing golf on a course that goes over 14 miles, you are going to want a gas cart.
Clearly, there are some practical considerations that mean the answer to this question will be different for people with different needs. If you envisage needing to travel mid-to-long-range distances in the golf-cart electric is not going to cut it. If you are using it for short journeys and can be sure of a charging port, then electric will be a winner for you.
#3 Is the golf cart used or refurbished?
This is an important distinction to distinguish as people selling used golf carts often try to pass of refurbished models as much newer and better quality than they actually are. A key thing to look out for on an advert is the age and model of the golf cart for sale as these details are frequently omitted from ads by people selling refurbished models that they have given a lick of paint to. But what’s the problem and the difference?
Well, if you buy a refurbished model it might look brand new, but all the major components will likely be as old as the cart itself – and you will have no way of knowing how old it actually is. However, refurbished models can also be better than ‘as-is’ units, just make sure to use a certified dealer, preferably someone recommended to you, and make sure that you get a decent warranty on your golf cart. Remember that the age of a refurbished unit is going to be a bit of an unknown entity beyond your trust level with the seller unless they can give you the serial number.
If you want to go for a golf cart being sold as a used or ‘as-is’ unit, then you should make sure to check the market price for the unit. However, don’t just take it as a given that the cart you are looking at is equal to the market rate. You should also: check that the battery age matches the cart’s age (or is newer); inspect the golf cart’s tires and check you won’t have to change them straight away; ask about the suspension and give it a test ride, and; make sure you know everything you need to about how it charges.
#4 How good are the batteries?
This is a vital question for electric golf carts in particular as you don’t want to buy a used or refurbished golf cart with dud batteries that are going to give out on you any second. Depending on the age of the cart there may even be a warranty still active on the battery so it is worth asking the seller directly about the age of the battery and whether the warranty is still active. Well known golf cart battery brands that you can trust include Trojan, Crown, US Battery, and Interstate.
If you don’t recognize the brand it is worth looking up some reviews online. You should also, without fail, be sure to physically look at the battery in the cart before purchase for peace of mind or to knock off a few quid. Check for signs of corrosion and make sure that the battery is not bulging at the sides as this is a clear sign that it is going to give up the goose very soon. Some visible corrosion may be expected if the battery is more than a year old but it is worth asking for some money off if you notice this if you are good at bartering!
#5 What is the voltage of the golf cart?
Older golf-carts tended to us 36-volt systems but these days a 48-volt electrical system is more common. This system is much more efficient and will serve you much better than golf carts using the older systems. The best systems use 72 volts, but you’ll notice the price of these tends to be much higher. However, you may find yourself a bargain from a seller unaware of this who is looking to get rid of a golf cart they didn’t buy or just want to get off their hands.
If you are someone who likes making modifications to your hobby horses, then you definitely want to give 36-volt systems a wide berth. These systems cannot deal with the addition of high-speed gears, motors, high torque controllers or other such gadgets you might be interested in adding to your second-hand golf cart if you like to have a play with these sorts of things.
#6 How much has the golf cart been used?
This is a very important question to ask. Just as with a second-hand car, you wouldn’t dream of buying it without checking how many miles it has already done, you should always check how much a golf cart has been sued before shelling out the cash. Newer models should be fitted with an amp-hour meter tracking this over the life of the vehicle, just as the mileage record system does with cars. If a seller doesn’t want to divulge this information don’t even bother going to look at the golf cart.
Just because someone is willing to tell you the amp-hours isn’t enough, however, you also need to know the typical amp-hours most golf-carts will run. For gas carts, you only get 1 to 2.5 thousand amp-hours before maintenance costs will tend to rear their ugly heads. When it comes to electric golf carts you get much more leeway, with amp-hours of 40 to 50 thousand expected to be run through without expectation of maintenance costs.
#7 What are used golf carts worth?
Whilst new golf-carts retail between 4 and 10 thousand dollars, used golf carts can usually be picked up for as little as $2,000 and sell for up to as much as $5,000. As you can see, buying a $10,000 dollar cart is going to give you the biggest hit twice over as the sell-on value is not going to be more than half the initial outlay. Whilst you may see some used golf carts selling for upwards of $5,000 dollars, these will typically have been heavily modified to incorporate luxury features.
So, how much are used golf carts taking into account their age and quality? If you are looking at buying a street legal golf cart, then this will probably set you back towards the top end of used golf cart sales (5-6,000 dollars). You should be able to pick up standard golf carts in the 3-5 year old bracket for 3 to 4 thousand dollars whilst golf carts that are 5-8 years old should fall between 2 to 3 thousand dollars. If you see a golf-cart for sale for less than $2,000 this should ring alarm bells in your head that this is probably going to be a fixer-upper so you’d better have the mechanical skills or the will to learn if you take this road.
So there you have it, buying a used golf cart doesn’t have to be stressful if you know the right questions to ask and the key things to look out for. Make sure to check out our ‘golf cart sales near me’ tool above to find trusted sellers near you and always remember the golden rules of buying a second-hand golf cart.
Choose gas for distance and electric for longevity, make sure you know the age and model, check the batteries, higher voltage is best where the budget allows, and always check the amp-hours used. With these simple checks, you’ll be sure to pick a golf cart that is going to last, whilst the price you pay is going to come down to your bartering prowess.