Buying Tips 101

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of purchasing a golf car! Make sure you take a few minutes to learn the basics so you don’t end up regretting your decision. The first rule of shopping for a golf car is to take your time and ask plenty of questions. We are here to help!

Electric or Gas? If Electric, Flooded Lead-Acid (FLA) or Lithium?

There are two primary considerations when making this choice – the application the car is being used in and the initial cost of the car. There are many instances where the location of the car’s use will mandate that it be electric. Be sure to check with any local laws or ordinances that will govern the car’s use.

  • Electric Lithium Pros – Zero maintenance, significantly longer warranty and faster charge times than FLA. Less discharge while car is not in use. Near silent operation, no exhaust fumes and smooth acceleration.
  • Electric Lithium Cons – Cost is often several thousand dollars more than FLA.
  • Electric FLA Car Pros – Near silent operation, no exhaust fumes and smooth acceleration.
  • Electric FLA Car Cons – Require regular charging and maintenance of water levels in the batteries. Lack of proper maintenance will lead to premature battery failure.
  • Gas Car Pros – All day use without the time needed to recharge, no access to an electrical outlet is necessary. Very little routine maintenance is required for normal use.
  • Gas Car Cons – Gas cars are nosier than electric and do emit a slight odor from their exhaust.

New or Used (Refurbished)

With a new car you get the peace of mind of knowing that you are the first owner of the car with a manufacturer standing behind the warranty. Likewise, a new car provides the latest in technology, performance, safety and comfort. There are also excellent finance incentives for new cars regularly offered by the manufacturers that are not available for used cars.

A refurbished car is primarily cosmetically refurbished, but typically still has most or all of the original working components (motor or engine, controller, solenoids, transaxle, batteries, etc.). If the batteries have not been replaced, be aware that FLA batteries’ lifespan is typically 4 to 6 years, but this is entirely dependent on how well the batteries are maintained over their complete lifespan. A new set of quality batteries will cost exceed $1,000.

If you elect to purchase a used or refurbished car, make sure that you receive a written warranty from the dealer. Take the time to review what the warranty covers and what it does not cover, as well as what potential costs you may incur during ownership. It is also necessary to learn how your dealer will service your car should you have any problems. Does the dealership have a service department, or will they outsource the repair work?


The golf car industry has seen a flood of new manufacturers in recent years. We strongly encourage you to research the manufacturers’ history and dealer network. Nearly all of the new manufacturers produce their units in Asia and finish assembly once the cars are imported. Final assembly typically includes installation of the top, windshield, and wheels. Note that several of these manufacturers advertise their products as ‘Made in the USA’. The only true domestic manufacturers are Club Car, EZ-GO, Yamaha, and Par-Car. The domestic manufacturers have mature dealer networks that have been supporting their products for decades and will continue to ensure that your vehicle is maintained for the duration of your ownership.

New Car Warranty

It is very easy to get caught up in a quick tag line of a ‘4-year warranty’ that seems impressive on the surface. Do not confuse this to be a ‘bumper to bumper’ warranty. For any manufacturer, dig deeper to determine what specific parts are covered and for how long. Is labor included? Is the warranty pro-rated in any manner? Is the warranty transferable if you choose to sell the car (in some cases it is limited to only the original buyer)?

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of choices when it comes to buying a golf car. On the surface, the differences may not be very noticeable. Do yourself a favor and do your research! We are here to help you make the best decision for your use and budget. Ask questions. We want you to be an educated buyer!