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Buying a new (or used) golf cart is a major purchasing decision! Many people start their process by asking family or friends how (and where) they bought their golf cart, what the best brand is, what the best model year and model type are, etc. etc. Well, we here at the Golf Cart Tire Supply have SEEN IT ALL - and we're here to help you make an easy golf cart buying decision. Don't get stuck in "paralysis by analysis"; just read on and get the cart you want today!
The best golf cart to buy, is the best one you can afford! But we can teach you some tips to MAXIMIZE your purchase, whether you're buying new or used. The first thing you will need to decide when starting your search for a golf cart is: what is your budget, and whether or not you want to buy a new or used golf cart. So let's start by reviewing how much a golf cart costs below.
So how much does a golf cart cost anyways? Golf carts range in price from anywhere around $1,600 (average used carts, not perfect shape) up to $10,000 (brand new, fully loaded carts), and vary based on whether the cart is Gas or Electric, how many seats the cart has, and how capable (performance-wise) the cart is. But by far the most important driver of golf cart cost is whether the cart is new or used:
Using local classifieds, we went out and found these three used golf carts for sale. They show a good range of the types of carts you can expect to see for sale locally around you, when shopping for a used golf cart:
$500 Used 36V EZGO Marathon Golf Cart
$1,200 Used 36V Club Car DS Golf Cart
|$7,400 used EZGO TXT Golf Cart
(Mint Condition, Lift Kit, Light Kit, 14" Wheels) - "C"
As you can see, for $500, the cart you are buying is likely your neighbors old broken down project (doesn't run), or an old rust bucket that needs tons of cosmetic work. But we won't talk bad about a $500 cart! While a cart this cheap is typically a BIG PROJECT, it can easily be brought back to 100% like the day it left the factory with the right replacement golf cart parts. And once some fresh accessories (seat covers, wheels and tires, golf cart roof, and a new rear seat) are added, the cart will start to look a lot more like the $4,800 example above. But anytime you spend under $1,000 for a used golf cart, it is likely going to be more than 20 years old.
This golf cart has a pretty clean body, and no major cosmetic issues but the owner told us that the 36V batteries were dead and the cart would not start or move. Sometimes, these turn out to be some of the best deals out there! When buying a cart that is in great cosmetic condition, getting it running can be as simple as buying a just a new golf cart battery charger and giving the batteries a fresh shot of battery acid, then charging them overnight. The cart can spring right back to life after a good charge-up, meaning it doesn't really need new batteries (saving you $1,000+). If this cart was running, it would be worth closer to $1,900.
Which brings us to the next point of discussion, the beautiful $7,400 used cart. For this price point, you are getting a very nice, newer (less than 10 years old) golf cart with some awesome modifications on it. Modifications do add value to a cart, but not the full value of their cost. For example: this 48-Volt EZGO TXT likely cost around $8,000 new. In addition to that $7,000 price tag, it has a:
So for $7,400 you are getting an excellent running cart, with newer batteries, that all in brand new would cost $10,837 (with current modifications). That is quite a value! And a major reason we recommend buying a used golf cart.
Brass tax: a $500 used golf cart will be a DOG (a project cart), and a $5,500 used golf cart will typically be a strong running, nice example with some nice mods and accessories on it (that saves you money on having to buy modifications). The price of a good quality used golf cart with healthy batteries (or a good running gas engine) is somewhere between $1,800 and $2,600 on average.
For $8,000 (or more), you will get that "new golf cart" smell! There are a few perks to purchasing a brand new golf cart (just like there are to purchasing a brand new car):
1. You can have your accessories professionally installed for you
When you purchase a golf cart directly from the manufacturer, they will offer a solid selection of golf cart accessories that you can have them add to your new build. While the selection of accessories won't be as wide as what a major website (like us) offers, buying these accessories directly from the manufacturer saves you time (not having to install them yourself) and you will have piece of mind knowing your accessories are put on correctly.
2. Your cart will come with a warranty
A major benefit of buying a brand new cart is having your new cart come with warranty protection. This coverage comes either directly from the manufacturer, or from your dealer, and will cover you for a certain period of time on item like motor, batteries, brakes, bearings, and more!
If you're not handy, and you're worried about any possible issues your new golf cart might have after purchase - then a new cart with a warranty may be the best option for you!
3. Spend time Driving, not Fixing
Your new cart won't have any maintenance needed. The batteries won't die. It will come with a brand new golf cart battery charger, and fresh tires. So you can enjoy your cart right away - and have pride of ownership knowing that no one else's butt has been in your seats!
4. Accessories May Not Yet Be Available for Your Cart
Having a brand new cart is amazing, but one drawback many people fail to think about is the fact that since their cart is so new they will have limited golf cart accessories options available to them. For example, the Club Car Onward model came out in the year 2017. By late 2018, many accessories manufacturers were still working on designing lift kits, brush guards, windshields, light kits, and other accessories that would fit the new cart, leaving owners without many options to customize their cart (other than what is available from the manufacturer). Now that it is 2023 though, many Club Car Onward Accessories are available on the market. So if you buy a new golf cart, you may have less customization available to you up front!
When it comes to choosing to buy either a gas or electric cart, you need to narrow down your choice by deciding a few things up front:
|Deciding Factor||Gas Golf Cart Best||Electric Golf Cart Best|
|What Will you Use the Cart For?||
Hunting (needs to be quiet)
|Vehicle Range Needed / Desired?||
+Average range = 110-175 Miles per Tank
+Average Range = 15-25 Miles Per Charge
|Power Needed / Desired?||10-15 Horsepower engines on average (higher power)||4.5-6 Horsepower Motors on Average (lower power)|
When it comes to high quality golf cart brands, there is the proverbial "Big 3" (pictured above), which is: EZ-GO, Club Car and Yamaha Golf Carts. While your Uncle Bill might prefer Club Car, and your cousin Teddy swears by Yamaha... the truth is: all three brands make excellent machines (and have been doing so since the 1950s, except Yamaha, which got going in the 1980s). And the immense aftermarket offerings of EZ-GO Golf Cart Accessories, Club Car Accessories and Yamaha Golf Cart Accessories make it incredibly easy to upgrade your cart in any way you can possibly imagine.
Some other major "secondary brands" which are around include ICON EV, STAR EV, Columbia Par Car, GEM Car, Evolution EV, Ford Think!, Harley Davidson, Tomberlin & more:
These secondary brands make fine vehicles as well, but parts and accessories (outside of simple golf cart tires and bolt-on golf cart wheels and tires) can be much harder to find for these brands. Which brings us to our next point: one BIG thing to consider when picking your brand of cart is: What type of Golf Cart Accessories and Replacement Parts are available for the cart I want? (because while most carts have many items available for them... some have limited to no aftermarket parts or accessories).
In general, EZ-GO TXT & RXV models, Club Car DS, Precedent & Onward, and Yamaha DRIVE (G29) & Drive-2 models have the most readily available accessories and parts made for them. To get an idea of what type of accessories might be available for the golf cart you are considering purchasing, please take a quick browse through our EZ-GO Golf Cart Accessories, Club Car Accessories and Yamaha Golf Cart accessories sections. In those sections of our site, you will get a great overview of what is available for the cart you want to buy; before you buy it!
Please note: if you select a much older cart from one of the major brands, such as an old EZGO Marathon model or older than 1990s model Club Car DS - then you may have less to choose from as well when it comes to golf cart accessories, and the availability of replacement golf cart parts may be lower for your particular model. We always recommend buying the best (and newest) cart you can afford, and a real sweet spot for used cart age is about 10 years (just old enough to get a good deal on price and have many parts and aftermarket accessories readily available, and just new enough to run well and look nice and not be obsolete when it comes to replacement parts).
Okay, so you have your budget, and you know what brand and type (gas or electric) golf cart you want. Perfect! Now you just need to decide where to buy your golf cart.
Since most golf carts start life out being used on the golf course at some of the nation's premiere country clubs, used golf course carts are by far and away the most popular type of cart that people purchase. These carts typically spend their days being used gently on simple cart paths and turf, and are well maintained by the major leasing companies (who lease them to golf courses).
After about 3 years of use at the country club, these carts will come to the end of their lease and the leasing company will then sell them to wholesalers. These wholesalers will typically purchase 50-150 carts in bulk at one time from the leasing company. The leasing company, in turn, sells these carts at a large discount (typically around $1,500 per cart) to the wholesalers. Which is a good price on newer, gently used carts.
Once the carts are purchase by the wholesaler, they will then list their carts for both locally and online, for $2,000-$2,500 per cart (for a quick flip). These are great carts to buy, as long as you check the battery life/condition, and give them a thorough test drive. New golf cart batteries can cost as much as $1,300... so do not overlook the importance of testing the battery strength when purchasing a used cart from anyone (wholesaler or individuals).
Used carts can be found locally or online in places such as:
Once you find the used cart of your dreams, make sure you take care of all lingering and deferred maintenance issues by replacing broken items with our high quality EZGO Golf Cart Parts, Club Car Parts and Yamaha Golf Cart Parts here at the Golf Cart Tire Supply.
Buying a new golf cart is as simple as looking up your nearest golf cart dealers (and then picking the best one, based on ratings). We recommend starting your search for a new golf cart dealer on a trustworthy golf cart forum, such as the Buggies Gone Wild forum or Cartaholics. These forums provide a wealth of information on golf carts and have forum sponsors, who are trustworthy dealers to start your search with. There are also many users on these forums from different regions of the USA whom you can ask for advice on where to buy.
Once you decide on a few dealers you would like to visit, keep in mind; like car dealers, golf cart dealers may only carry one specific brand. If you haven't decided on a brand yet, we suggest going and visiting a few different golf cart dealerships and choosing based on not only which golf cart style you like best, but also which dealer you get the best service and best overall vibes from.
Post-purchase dealer support is a very important component to purchasing your new golf cart, so don't neglect the fact that you want to buy a new cart from people you can trust!
So you've gone through our guide, and you probably now know the answers to these 4 ever-important questions:
At the end of the day, both Gas and Electric carts from all the major brands are amazing machines. As long as you understand what kind of cart you will be able to afford based on your budget, you can plan for the time and money you will need to spend to get out there and enjoy your cart for many years! At the end of the day, golf carts hold their value pretty well (relatively speaking). So just buy the best cart you can afford that speaks to your heart (and your personal taste). Enjoy the ride!
Have more questions about buying a golf cart? Want to price out golf cart accessories and golf cart parts you'd like to add to a golf cart you are considering purchasing? Give us a call at 1-844-422-7884 and let us help today!
Written by: Alex Sturwold of the Golf Cart Expert Team