Buying Electric Used Golf Carts
If you are thinking of buying one of the many used electric golf carts that are frequently for sale in our classified ads there are several main things that you should look at. Electric powered carts are continually placed on the used market due to golf courses replacing their fleet, private owners wishing to upgrade to a new electric golf cart or a business that operates a cart may need to replace an older model (in an airport or a resort complex for example).
With a large number of used electric carts on the market there are lots to choose from and as such you can afford to shop around looking for the exact model that has the most features for your application or one that fits into your price bracket. It certainly is a buyers market at the moment!
As with buying any used vehicle it is advised to make a thorough inspection of any cart that you intend to buy. If you are not comfortable checking out the various electrical and mechanical systems, then take someone along with you to look at it.
Have a look at its overall condition and ask yourself a few simple questions:
- Does it look well looked after?
- Are any parts missing (such as the windshield or bag racks)?
- Does the canopy look secure?
- Are the seats ripped or falling apart?
A straightforward visual inspection will give you an initial impression of if the electric cart has been abused or if it has been taken care of. This will also give you a place to start bargaining on the price if you decide to buy it.
Frame and Body Condition
Inspect the bodywork panels for cracks or repairs as carts often suffer light damage when in use around the golf course. This is especially true for carts that were part of a golf course’s fleet and may have been used by the public who might not drive it as carefully as a private owner. Replacement golf cart bodies can be expensive so if any repairs have been made they should be of a high standard so that they won’t become an issue in the future.
The frame of the electric cart is usually made of steel or aluminum and should not be damaged, dented, bent or corroded. Frames can be repaired, so if any welding has been done you must ensure that it has been repaired to a high standard. Remember, all of the important parts, such as suspension and body, are attached to the frame so must be securely bolted.
Drive it and Check the Condition of the Wheels and Tires
Drive it, making sure it goes forward without making any unexpected noises, and make sure it stops. Check the suspension moves freely up and down on all four corners and that it steers smoothly and the wheels fully turn left and right.
Replacement wheels and tires can be expensive so check the wheels for any damage or dents and there should be adequate tread on the tires. Many owners encounter unexpected bills for new tires after purchase because they didn’t check the tire tread before buying.
If a used cart has been modified with upgrades, such as lift kits or flip seats, make sure that they have been installed correctly or by a reputable mechanic. Custom modifications can add to the value of an electric cart, but only if they have been correctly installed and work as intended. Pay particular attention to any electrical upgrades, such as high torque motors or controllers, as poor wiring can be a fire hazard.
Electric powered carts may have electrical systems that have been upgraded to cope with being powered by several batteries.These systems can be expensive to repair or replace so its vital on a battery powered cart to check that they are in good working order to give you years of fault (and expense) free service.
Electric golf carts are powered by several batteries, just like regular car batteries, that are repeatedly charged over its lifetime. Cart batteries only have a limited lifespan and an owner that has properly looked after them will ensure that you get years of problem free use.
Check for battery leaks and that the wiring is in good order, and connect the batteries to a charger to make sure they charge correctly.
Used electric powered carts offer cheap and economic use with virtually no running costs, so when buying an one don’t be afraid to spend some time checking it out to make sure that you don’t spend money on repairs in the long run.