Choosing Between Gas or Electric Golf Carts

You’ve been thinking about it for years. Driven past golf carts on the side of the road with big red and black For Sale signs slapped up against the front end.

You’ve weighted the pros & cons… checked your budget… talked it over with your family…

And it’s finally time! This weekend, you will be shopping for your new golf cart. How exciting!

You love your back, and the sport too much to haul your golf clubs around the course without a new set of wheels to get you around in style. A new golf cart will be so much fun to have around the campsite. And since your neighborhood allows golf carts on the road, you’ll be able to go from the driveway to the neighborhood pier with all your fishing gear and the kids – no sweat.

What type of cart to choose though is another matter, gas or electric? There are pros and cons to either type of golf cart. Making the right choice for you is important, and finding a dealer to help you make the right choice is an important first step.

Power Struggle

Golf carts are either electric or gas powered, and it is a matter of preference over which best meets your needs.

Charging an electric cart at the golf club may cost an additional fee, depending on your club’s rules. However, gasoline also costs money, making neither one a free ride. Some golf clubs, as they move toward environmentally sustainable practices will only allow electric vehicles.

On the other hand, manufacturers are reporting an upswing in conversions from electric carts to gas powered. So, there may be a renewed trend toward gas powered golf carts.

In order to tackle the occasional breakdown issue with electric golf carts, either a great service and maintenance provider or a decent knowledge of electrics is required. However, for those seeking to incorporate environmental sustainability into their golf swing, any additional maintenance costs associated with little to no knowledge of vehicle electrics, may be worth soaking up.

For older drivers who grew up tinkering with gas motors, a gas golf cart may be the more familiar option.
Again, personal circumstances, club rules, and good old personal preference will often win the day.
But let’s break it down even further.

Gas Carts

No backfiring along the fairway here. Gas powered golf carts offer a cleaner, more reliable ride than their historical cousins.

With 4-stroke engine oil in the crankcase; unleaded gas in the gas tank, it is no longer necessary to mix the two together. A weekend driver, depending on their geographical location and the cost of gas, can expect to spend on average around $15-25 in fuel per weekend.

Regular tune-ups and an oil change every 300 hours should keep you cruising along nicely. Irrespective of do it yourself skills, and engine familiarity, annual inspections should be considered part of ownership. Regular inspection will pick up problems before they become too expensive to repair.

When you purchase your golf cart, work with your dealer to set up a regular maintenance plan.

Going Electric

Computer driven electric golf carts have come a long way in the last decade. The average charge lasts around 25 miles.

With regular tune ups, they offer a very decent drive at around 20-25mph. More than enough for the average driver on the go. Most models are also perfect for community transportation. (Check your locality for golf cart laws.)

As with electric cars, electric golf carts will need to take a charge after the day’s activities. So, if you’ve been around the lake once or twice on a Saturday, you will need to charge your vehicle before returning out again on Sunday. Considering you would have to fill up a gas golf cart anyway, this should be a simple routine to establish.

Electric Maintenance

Maintaining your electric golf cart is important. Among other things, a professional will clean and tighten electric posts and cables, preventing breaks from corrosion. Scheduling checks according to manufacturer’s recommendations will maintain the value of the vehicle, and importantly, get you around your community safely.

It’s worth noting that you ensure you are using the right charger for your make and model golf cart. Always follow the advice of your authorized dealership, and the manufacturer.

General Maintenance

When it comes to general maintenance, both gas and electric golf carts require similar things.
Pressure washing the undercarriage, removing debris, grass and other foreign objects will ensure a continued smooth drive.

Additionally, expect to have your golf cart’s breaks inspected, cleaned and adjusted according to recommendations. As with regular vehicles, tire pressure will need to be adjusted also. The steering will be checked for wear, and oil levels should also be checked.

Where to Buy?

As tempting though it may be to purchase through a private transaction, often the purchase comes as is, without service history or other important details related to the care and condition of your new golf cart.

As indicated above, things wear out. Without a service history, a good deal may not feel like it for long if the steering must be replaced, and other parts quickly break down. So, if purchasing a golf cart that is 12 or more years old, be prepared to spend more, after purchase.

Authorized Dealer

Purchasing from an authorized dealer comes with the full support of the factory, to include service and tech support. Factories sponsor training for technicians, ensuring authorized dealers, and their technicians are continually updated with the latest technology.

Authorized dealers must adhere to strict guidelines set by the factory, selling only factory approved parts installed by qualified technicians.

It is worth remembering, a reputable dealer will consider your needs and will want you to have the best vehicle for your situation. Think about it, it is in their best interests. If you are not happy with the service they provide, they have lost a customer and further referrals. They are there to work with you, and make sure you have the best possible experience with your new golf cart.

Whichever option you choose, gas or electric powered vehicle, the many years enjoyment is up to you. With the right golf cart and the right maintenance, you’re good to go.