Buying used is an amazing option if you’re on a budget but still want the fun experience of owning a golf car. It’s important to know, though, that the golf car industry isn’t regulated quite like the automotive industry. Some companies will try to scam you by purposefully failing to disclose all of the information about a used golf car.
Buying a golf car, new or used, should be fun and exciting, not stressful! Here’s everything you need to consider when buying a used golf car—it should give you some peace of mind, and help you get the golf car you want and deserve.
Gas or Electric Golf Car
You can read our full blog post about which option is better, but for now, here’s what you need to know when shopping around.
Generally speaking, used gas golf cars sell for a higher price than electric because you will have to replace the battery in an electric golf car every 3-4 years to the tune of $1,000. Because of that large future expense, your immediate expense will be lower. There are some situations, however, where a gas car would work much better for you. Some examples include:
- You aren’t able to charge your vehicle regularly
- How you plan to use your golf car doesn’t allow a full 10-12 hours of uninterrupted use to allow for charging
- The distance you plan to travel daily exceeds 14 miles (or two full rounds of golf)
It boils down to this—your decision should be based on how you plan to use your golf car! If you need more detailed advice, check out our full blog on the topic.
The Refurbishment Process
You should ask freely about the dealer’s refurbishment process. This question is important to ask early on, so you can avoid wasting your time with a dealer who’s trying to cut corners. Some dealers—the good ones—will replace everything that needs replacing, including cosmetic and safety parts. They’ll have a consistent build process that the dealer can define for you. These kinds of dealers will spend more time talking about what they didn’t replace, since that should be a much shorter list. They’ll like talking about it, too! They should be willing to put it in writing, and be proud of their process.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have dealers who may replace the exterior cosmetic panels, throw some paint on it, and that’s it. This is what we in the industry call “putting lipstick on the pig.” Their vehicles are often very tricked out and have too-good-to-be-true price tags. These dealers might be vague answering your questions and will try to avoid putting anything in writing—so be sure to ask plenty of questions!
Factory-authorized dealers for major brands like Club Car, E-Z-Go, and Yamaha are typically vetted by the manufacturer before they’re granted any branding rights. They have to meet a lot of requirements to be authorized, like carrying liability insurance, proving they’re financially stable and representing the brand through high standards. Typically, their technicians may go through factory training as well, although this is not required so ask your dealer if they’ve had the training. While there are plenty of reputable independent dealers out there, choosing a factory-authorized dealer will be one step further in ensuring that you’re working with professionals.
How “Used” Is a Used Golf Car?
Most late model gas and electric golf cars have an hour meter, or amp-hour meter. You should ask your dealer how many hours or amp-hours are on the car that you’re interested in, so you know exactly how used your used golf car is.
A gas vehicle with good maintenance will provide 5,000-6,000 hours of use, and an electric car will provide 40,000-50,000 amp-hours before major overhaul. You should be very wary of any dealer who can’t—or won’t—provide this information for you.
You should ask your dealer if your used golf car comes with new batteries. If they say yes, that’s not the end of the discussion. There are some dealers who will say yes, even if it isn’t true. Some situations to look out for include:
- The golf car has been in storage with new batteries for a while—meaning the batteries are unused, but still aged
- The dealer purchased a fleet of used golf cars with 6-month-old batteries, but is advertising them as brand new
- The date code on the batteries have been removed so you can’t tell their age
- Look at the brand name of the battery. All golf car batteries are not equal. There are only a couple of leading brand names that you should see under hood – Trojan and U.S. Battery are two of the top brands for longevity and performance.
The good news? You can verify their age yourself. All batteries are stamped with a code date which consists of a letter and number. You’ll find this stamp on the lead post, or on a decal adhered to the battery. The letter you see is the month it was made, and the number is the year. The letter “A” represents January, the letter “B” represents February, and so on. The number 1 represents 2011, the number 2 represents 2012, and so on. If you check the batteries in a golf car and they say “C4,” you know they were made in March of 2014.
Need more information to feel comfortable buying a used golf car? Call Diamond Golf Cars today! We’ll answer any questions you have.