Buying a used golf cart is a great option to get a new-to-you golf cart at a significant cost savings versus buying new. Just like with buying any used vehicle, however, there are some key factors to pay attention to and keep in mind while evaluating carts on the market.
Examine, examine, examine
Every detail is important when evaluating a golf cart, so it’s a good idea to take a close look at all key components and replaceable items. Many recommend checking over the body and canopy frame in close detail, looking for signs of excessive wear and tear, rust corrosion or major damage. Press each major panel or component of the cart, and give the canopy a light jostle to test how secure and stable the body of the vehicle feels.
In addition, don’t forget to look over the tires. Just as with cars, you want to see a good deal of tread and no problems with air pressure. If the cart you’re looking at has a cloth canopy, take a look for any signs of tearing or ripping. Both are replaceable components at a reasonable cost, depending on the other qualities of the cart you’re considering.
Test the mechanicals
To ensure that the cart is in good running order, ask to take the vehicle on a brief test drive. This affords you an opportunity to see how well it runs, how it handles and how the acceleration and braking feel. An otherwise pristine looking cart may have hidden issues that only become clear with a test drive.
Before or after the test drive, be sure to also check the vehicle’s battery. Batteries are one of the most expensive components to replace in a golf cart, and typically last for five to six years of use. Look for any identifying marks that may spell out the age of the batter, such as a two-character alphanumeric code. eBay suggests that many batteries will list the month of the year with letters A through I, followed by a single digit for the most recent year. For example, “G3” would be “July 2013.”
Consider the whole package
Buying a used cart from a dealer may leave you with two main options: as-is or reconditioned. Reconditioned carts go through a thorough exam, repair and maintenance regimen, and are often backed with a dealership warranty. On the other hand, as-is are carts are more or less just that: as is. They are generally reviewed for major issues or concerns, but do not receive a full inspection and repair. However, these vehicles are generally available at a slightly greater discount.
In relation to that, consider the manufacturer of the cart you’re looking at as well. Carts from leading brands, such as Yamaha or Club Car, have parts more readily available, and usually at a lower cost when compared to less well known suppliers. This can save you money down the road on repairs, replacements or routine maintenance.
With careful attention and evaluation, you can find a good deal on a great cart that will last you for many years to come.