How to Buy a Used Golf Cart￼Maddy Scheinost2022-09-02T13:19:52-05:00
What You Need to Know When Buying a Used Golf Cart
Buying a used golf cart can be complicated—mainly because if you do it wrong, it will wind up costing as much or more than a new golf cart—in repair costs, plus there’s the cost of your time and effort. Better to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make your best decision right out of the gate. That’s why the tire experts at Treadworld are here to share some of the important considerations for buying used golf carts.
Why Buy a Used Golf Cart?
You’ve probably been doing some research trying to decide whether you should opt for a new golf cart, or a used golf cart. Of course, the biggest factor between the two is cost, with new carts priced at roughly double the price of used golf carts. But there are other considerations too. For one thing, buying a used cart, especially a model that’s been around awhile and has been tested by other golfers, gives you the opportunity to check reviews in order to avoid issues other golf cart owners have faced. Used golf carts often are easier to repair than new golf carts because mechanics have likely gained some experience with that particular model, and parts are often easier to find. You can find the manufacturer’s specs for towing capacity in the vehicle owner’s manual, and your trailer will have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate that includes the serial number and loaded and unloaded weights. Find ‘em and do the math.
Where Do Used Golf Carts Come From?
Many golf courses in the U.S do sell used golf carts—sometimes directly to consumers, sometimes to wholesalers who will spruce them up or refurbish them for resale. Naturally, you may also be able to find private citizens wishing to sell their personal golf carts, but the lack of a warranty and use history can be worrisome.
Is there a Golf Cart Shortage?
Though the market seems to be adjusting, the covid pandemic impacted the selling of used golf carts in a number of ways. Some factories were closed for extended periods, and others changed their focus to manufacturing personal protective equipment. Plus, there were the same supply chain issues for needed parts, which impacted so many industries. At the same time, demand increased as money families would normally spend on vacations they weren’t taking went to “toys,” like golf carts, RVs and boats. Additionally, even though usage at golf courses diminished during the pandemic, which didn’t fully impact the schedules for golf cart replacement because the courses that lease golf carts tend to stick to their replacement schedule since it’s not just mileage that determines when a golf cart needs to be replaced. Age is a large factor in the life of a golf cart.
How Long Will a Golf Cart Last?
Of course, as you would expect, the answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, including how often the cart is used and how it’s used. Some experts estimate that golf carts will last for 5-7 years, but many well-maintained golf carts can last for ten years before requiring replacement. You’ll see estimates that golf carts can last up to 20 years or more—which is true—but that estimate is usually based on the durability of the frame, not the longevity of the engine. There is a general belief in the industry that golf carts get better with age—within reason.
Used vs. Refurbished Golf Carts: What’s the Difference?
Used golf carts will often cost less than refurbished golf carts, and can perform just as well—but usually don’t come with the repairs and maintenance records that can provide refurbished cart buyers peace of mind. The refurbished label generally means that trained factory technicians have inspected every component, refreshing and repairing as needed, top to bottom, then given each cart a test-drive to insure they meet the quality and durability standards of the manufacturer.
What You Should Know Before Buying a Used Golf Cart
The better the used golf cart looks, the more important the maintenance and use details. The last thing you want to do is get a golf cart that looks shiny and new, but is really on its last legs. Try to get some insight on how the golf cart was used and maintained. At the very least, you’ll want the serial number/manufacturer’s number in order to determine the make, model, and year of the golf cart, so you can pinpoint the golf cart’s age. Note that refurbished carts often get new serial numbers. When considering older model golf carts, research the availability of parts. You don’t’ want to get into a situation where you can’t make the repairs you need. Keep an eye on the treadwear—not just to be certain that your tires aren’t getting worn down to the nubs, but because irregular, uneven and patchy wear can be an indication of a bigger problem on the horizon.
With a Used Electric Golf Cart, Consider the Batteries
Batteries are expensive, so before you decide to buy a used electric golf cart, you’ll want to test and inspect them if possible. It’s not just the cost of the new batteries—you also don’t want faulty batteries damaging other key cart components like the motor, or onboard charger.
Test-Drive the Used Golf Cart Before You Buy
Whether you want a used gas golf cart or an electric golf cart, be sure to take a test drive. Pay attention to how the cart runs—is it smooth or wobbly—and listen for clicking, grinding or whining noises that could indicate a problem, or a problem down the line. Steering that is not crisp, that feels sloppy, is often a bad sign, as is steering that seems to pull to the right or left. Try to test drive it in situations similar to the way you will be using it. If your golf course is nicknamed “Billy Goat Hills,” then make sure you check to see how it responds when climbing hills. Be certain the brakes are firm and operate quickly without grinding or squealing.
Inspect the Used Golf Cart Tires
Are the golf cart tires in good condition? Check the treadwear of each tire. A rule of thumb for evaluating the tread on your tires requires a penny. If, when you insert the penny into the tread—head side down—and the head disappears, you’re good. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires have less than 2/32” of tread, which means you need golf tire replacement. It’s very important to take a good look at each tire before each round. Check for sidewall cracking which can be caused by overexposure to the elements or chemicals, sidewall bulging, generally caused by an unnatural impact, uneven treadwear which can be caused by alignment or suspension issues, camber wear which is when the inside or the outside of the tread has considerably more wear indicated the wheel is tilting during operation, and full tread separation, which can occur when a tire overheats. All these issues can lead to a sudden loss of pressure that could leave you and your fellow golfers stranded.
When You Need Tires for Golf Carts, Count on Treadworld
When it comes to golf cart tire replacement, or getting a spare golf tire, or new golf cart wheels and tires, count on us here at Treadworld to provide you with the high-performing, long-lasting wheels and tires for golf carts you want, in a wide range of golf cart tire sizes, styles and treads. All our RubberMaster Golf Cart Tires are manufactured to strict tolerances from top rubber compounds, then triple-tested for quality, balance and uniformity before being X-rayed to be sure they’re perfect. Easy ordering, fast shipping plus your satisfaction is guaranteed with our no-hassle Ultimate Advantage Warranty. We make changing golf cart tires easy. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have, and to get the ideal golf tires—or the perfect ATV tires, UTV tires, trailer tires, and many others—from our extensive selection.