Buying a Used Golf Cart: 6 Things to Consider Before Handing Over Your Cash

February 22 2022 – Brandon Burkey

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Even though you’ve looked at buying a used golf cart for a while, when it finally comes time to pull the trigger, you can find yourself feeling a bit frozen, wondering if this really is the right used golf cart for you. After all, how can you tell if it’s a good deal or not? How can you be sure that it won’t mysteriously stop working tomorrow? How do you know if this type or model of a golf cart is better than the other you just looked at?

While there’s no “sure guarantee” with used golf carts (they’re unfortunately not regulated like used cars are), there are some things you can consider before officially saying yes. Below are six questions you should be able to answer before making your final purchase. And, above all, make sure that the person you are buying the used golf cart from is someone you can trust.  Don't forget you can always spruce up an old golf cart and bring it back to showroom new.


Questions to Ask:

  1. Am I sure I know that I want a used gas or used electric golf cart? There is a difference between gas or electric golf cart models, just like there is when it comes to cars. One of the biggest differences between gas golf carts and electric ones is that used gas golf carts have a lot more moving pieces, which means there are more opportunities for them to break. A used electric golf cart will usually be less money to own, but there are some definite downsides, like charging and the distance they can travel (about 2 full rounds of golf). Deciding which type of golf cart is right for you really depends on how you’re going to use it. If it truly will be for golf, then choosing a used electric golf cart model might be your best bet. But, if you’re planning on doing a lot more than just golfing, then considering a gas model could be a smart decision.

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  2. If you’re buying from a dealer, are they factory authorized? A factory-authorized dealer is more reputable than others mainly because they have already been vetted by the manufacturers. In order to qualify as “factory authorized”, the dealer has to pass a variety of tests, which helps to assure you that they’re someone you want to do business with. In almost all cases, factory authorized used golf cart dealers have liability insurance and excellent customer service. And, when it comes time to service your cart, the dealer will have technicians capable of dealing with your specific cart whether it be a used gas golf cart or an electric model. If you have your eye on a used golf cart that’s not being sold by a factory authorized dealer, just know that you’ll have more to look out for.

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  3. Where is the used golf cart actually from? Knowing the country that your golf cart originated from is an important part of making a smart purchase. If the brand you’re looking at is Club Car, Yamaha, or E-Z-Go, then it is made in America. One of the reasons why these brands have become so popular in the golf cart world is that they’re easy to work on — and easy to find knowledgeable technicians that know their way around them. Most of the other golf cart brands out there originate from China. And, while there’s nothing inherently wrong with these carts, they can be very difficult to work on and source parts when something needs to be replaced. 

  • How “used” is “used”? You definitely want to know how old a used golf cart is— and how much wear and tear it has endured over the years. If a seller or dealer can’t provide you with pertinent information about the care and use of a used golf cart, then there’s a good chance that you want to steer clear of that particular cart. If a used gas golf cart has been well-maintained, you should be able to get 1,000 to 2,5000 hours of use before it needs major work. In the case of used electric golf carts, you’re looking at 40,000 to 50,000 amp-hours before it’s in need of a serious overhaul. 

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  • Is there a return policy offered by the dealer or seller? Used golf carts are not covered by the same type of “lemon law” as used cars are. That doesn’t mean, however, that a good dealer won’t have a return policy in place. Before making a purchase, make sure you have a copy of the return policy written for you to refer to if something does happen in the future. 

  • What kind of maintenance will my used golf cart need? Used gas golf carts require different maintenance than used electric golf carts. That being said, you’ll want to refer to the owner’s manual of your cart to stay informed about requisite upkeep and maintenance for your cart. Again, if no manual can be provided by the seller, be forewarned. 
  • Shopping for a used golf cart can be a lot of fun, especially when you know what you should look out for. We hope our guide helps you get the most for your money and find the right used golf cart for you.

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    READ MORE: Your Guide to Off-Road Golf Cart Modification