Many people buy golf carts to use as modes of transportation or utility vehicles on and off the course. We know that buyers in the market for a new or used cart should study the different types of golf carts, such as comparing gas versus electric carts, 36 volt vs 48 volt, along with other options such as safety features. Consumers also needs to know what to search for when buying a brand new or used golf cart along with with any local laws regarding their use.
One of your first big decisions to make when buying a golf cart is the choice between gas or battery powered motors. For many first time buyers, this can seem daunting and confusing, especially when it comes to the battery powered vehicles. Our goal is to help you evaluate the pros and cons to make the best decision.
One of the first major decisions when selecting a golf cart is the decision between gas or electric power. Both gas and electric have advantages and disadvantages. Generally, electric carts tend to be slightly less expensive than gas. The operating costs of electric carts are lower as well, (unless you have issues with batteries. We’ll cover this later). Prices for both carts will vary based on many factors, such as makes, models, and features (lift kit, custom paint or seats, stereo, custom wheels, etc). The details below describe the types of golf carts along with their advantages and disadvantages associated with each.
Gas powered golf carts use regular unleaded gasoline. The average gas powered carts have 10 to 12 horsepower. These engines operate similar to that of a car which means that their maintenance will be similar to that of a car.
Gas carts will run longer on one tank of gas than an electric cart on a single charge. These carts generally have more horsepower than electric carts. In some cases, higher horsepower can translate to increased acceleration, top speeds, and performance on hills. It all depends on the cart.
Gas powered carts are noisier than their electric counterparts. These carts require gasoline to refuel. Gas golf carts do release emissions into the environment, similar to any other gas powered vehicle – such as your car. Gas carts can have higher maintenance fees, as gas engines require similar maintenance and repairs as car engines.
Electric golf carts are powered by a rechargeable battery pack and require no gasoline to operate. Average electric golf carts can offer around 5 horsepower, but “torque” is much more noticeable with an electric engine. Different models and batteries can provide better performance. Electric carts need to be recharged every couple of days depending on frequency of use and battery size.
If you dislike noise, than you’ll love the electric golf carts. Electric carts are almost silent when running. They have minimal maintenance costs and do not require fuel. Electric cart owners save money on gasoline over time. In golf terms, a brand new set of batteries in an electric golf cart can go upwards of 54 holes of golf on a single charge. Electric golf carts also do not release emissions that pollute the environment.
Batteries that are properly cared for have been proven to last upwards of 8 years or more. But this all comes down to the attention that the batteries receive during time of use, the environment in which they’re stored over the cold winter months, and more. Replacement batteries can cost $700 or more, depending on the type of battery that your golf car requires. Batteries that do not receive the proper care need to be replaced every two to three years. Accessories such as lights, fans, radio or heaters will deplete the battery quicker and reduce battery life. The correct charger for your golf cart is instrumental in keeping batteries running at peak performance, so all new & used electric golf carts at Balls Out Motors will include the necessary charger. Keep in mind that if you’re looking at a cart that does not include a charger, one must be purchased separately, and they cost up to $500.
Comparing engine voltage is somewhat like comparing premium to regular gas. Generally speaking, 36 volt carts will have less power. Most newer golf carts now use a 48 volt system. The 48 volt engines have more power, improved torque delivery, and more pulling power up hills.
It really depends on how you’re going to use the cart. For example if there are lots of long steep hills and trails you’ll be driving, then the 48 volt would be the better choice. For relatively flat surfaces, the 36 volt may be sufficient.
The 48 volt golf cars ( Club Car & Yamaha) uses 1/3 less amperage than the 36 volt system and are more efficient. Unlike your automobile, electric carts do not have a transmission or clutch. A 2-3 horsepower electric motor can produce 10 to 12 horsepower for short durations of time, and surprisingly can easily move a 5000 pound trailer. For safety, golf cars are limited to a speed of 12-18 mph regardless of horsepower or voltage.
Like purchasing a car, buyers have the option to buy new or used golf carts. A new cart often comes with a warranty and ensures buyers that all parts are unused and in good working condition. Used carts have much cheaper purchase prices but always run the risk of containing faulty or worn parts.
PRICE: Naturally, new golf carts cost more than used ones. Most cart prices can start at $5,000 and go up from there depending on the features.
ACCESSORIES: Buyers can select all features, options, and accessories they prefer and customize a new cart. Buyers know that all parts are new, will perform well, and should last.
HISTORY: New cart buyers can be assured there are no hidden mechanical problems or accidents in the cart’s history.
WARRANTY: New golf carts commonly come with warranties to protect the buyer. The length of the warranty is typically determined by the manufacturer, and sometimes the cart dealer.
PRICE: One major advantage of purchasing a used cart is the price. Buyers can save serious money by looking at used carts vs new. Generally, used golf carts can start as low as $2,000, and of course the price goes up from there depending on the accessories.
ACCESSORIES: For the most part, golf carts have not changed over the past 10. Many times, a used cart will have similar quality parts and longevity as a new cart but cost less.
HISTORY: As a used cart buyer, make sure you investigate the golf cart’s previous ownership and maintenance history to know whether or not it has been well cared for. Was it stored outside? How old are the batteries? Where was it maintained?
WARRANTY: Some golf cart dealers may offer extended warranties on used carts.
Purchasing a used golf cart will significantly reduce the initial purchase price. Buyers should learn how to inspect a used golf cart to ensure it is in good physical and operating condition. Carts that are purchased at a reduced price but that are in poor condition will end up costing buyers more over time in repairs than a new cart would have initially.
Try to look for used golf carts built by reputable cart manufacturers such as E-Z-GO, Club Car, and Yamaha, etc. Well known manufacturers can assure buyers that the carts were initially well built. Also, by knowing the brand and model, shoppers can look up the cost of the particular cart when it was new. Buyers can have a sense of how much they are saving by buying this particular cart used instead of new. If the price difference is minimal, it may be worth purchasing the same cart new.
Buyers should be very thorough in their investigation of a cart’s history. Ask for ANY documentation of all repairs and part replacements. For electric carts, check the battery and find out what year the battery was built. The more recent the better, as electric car batteries must be replaced around every 5 to 8 years on average. Check the cart’s serial number to ensure the make, model, and year.
Many used carts are also called “refurbished golf carts.” These carts are inspected, cleaned, and sometimes reupholstered by the dealers. Buyers should feel more secure buying these carts, especially when buying from a reputable golf cart dealer.
Make sure you physically inspect all aspects of the cart. Check that the tires are not worn and still possess deep treads. Shake the canopy and make sure it feels supported and stable. Do a visual inspection of the body. Check to make sure there are no major dents, rust, or other visible flaws or damages. It is normal for a used cart to have some scratches and dings but nothing that should compromise the integrity of the structure.
Golf carts are versatile vehicles that function well beyond the golf course. At Balls Out Motors, we are committed to personalized service that includes quick and clear communications. We are committed to listening and understanding how we can best serve you. Please never hesitate to contact us with questions or comments.