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Do Golf Carts Hold Their Value?

Spoiler alert: YES! 
...but wait, there's more...

A lot can go into determining the value of a particular golf cart, and the perceived value of the same golf cart amongst several potential buyers can be vastly different, depending on their individual needs and intended use of the vehicle. In this article, we’re going to cover the significant factors that contribute to the overall monetary value of a golf cart and offer advice on how to maintain or improve that value.

golf cart headlights

 If you’ve looked at golf cart prices, you may be wondering what the difference really is between a $1,000 and a $12,000 golf cart and why carts that are several years old still demand significant prices. We’re glad you landed here because the information out there for valuing golf carts is challenging to find and usually biased when you do. So, instead of trying to sell you the latest and greatest golf cart, we’re here to help increase your buying (or selling) power with need-to-know information. Once you find your cart, we’ll be right here, ready to help you trick it out!

 

Several factors can contribute to a golf cart's overall value, whether you're in the market to buy, sell, trade, or upgrade. We're going to focus on two overlying points – if golf carts actually hold their value over time and what you can do to maintain that value – and, of course, we'll deep dive into both to give you all the critical information to get the most out of your investment.

 

1. Do Golf Carts Hold Their Value?

 

If you’ve invested in a car, boat, or RV, you are painfully aware that they depreciate faster than the ink can dry on the paperwork. Not to mention the buckets of hard-earned money you must pour out each time you use them.

 

Golf Carts are an interesting recreational vehicle. While the market is a bit niche in that there are only a few reputable manufacturers, and the models seem to only change every few years or so, it is still emerging rapidly as people discover the wide variety of golf carts' capabilities. From the links to your property to cruising around town, golf carts are an enjoyable and economical way to get you around. Communities everywhere are adapting to the rising number of golf carts by making their public spaces and roadways more cart friendly.

 

The limited supply of golf carts alongside the rising market means these vehicles retain their value incredibly well. As of publishing this blog, new golf carts have a price tag somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000+ depending on how many accessories you choose from the factory. Used carts of all ages (again, depending somewhat on included accessories) are selling for between $2,000 to $6,000. Unlike most common vehicles, age isn't a major determining factor when it comes to valuing a golf cart, as long as it has been maintained properly.

 red black custom golf cart seats

The following are the most essential points to consider when determining the value of a golf cart:
  1. Condition
  2. Age of batteries
  3. Number of seats
  4. Manufacturer – reputable golf cart manufacturers such as Club Car, Yamaha, and EZ GO will have a higher price tag than less familiar brands. There will also be more dealers and shops willing to perform work on these brands.
  5. Accessories -
    • What accessories are already installed on the cart? If you're looking at a stock golf cart, you can expect it to cost less than a cart that has already been modified with Off-Road or Street Legal Golf Cart accessories.
    • Most used golf cart dealers will take the liberty of installing the more difficult-to-DIY accessories such as wheels and tires, light kits, and rear seats. They know how crucial these accessories are for a golf cart owner, and it doesn’t hurt that they tend to elicit a more attractive selling price as well.
    • Keep in mind that a wide selection of aftermarket accessories will be common and available for major golf cart brands as opposed to the lesser-known manufacturers.

 blue black golf cart

 

2. How to maintain the value of your golf cart

Batteries

The batteries in your golf cart are one of the most expensive components to replace, costing anywhere from $200 to $3,000 each depending on the type of battery (lead-acid or Lithium… read our detailed battery guide here) and the configuration you have. While these batteries have a favorable lifespan, you can and should take steps to ensure you get the most out of your cart while you own it and if/when preparing to sell or trade. 

  • Always charge your batteries after using the cart each time. Ideally, golf cart batteries will be recharged prior to reaching 50% remaining charge to maintain optimal performance.
  • Inspect water levels in lead-acid batteries on a regular basis & refill properly (distilled water only, filled to a half inch above lead plates) when needed.
  • Regular checks should be conducted on the terminals of your batteries, looking out for any dirt or corrosion. Keeping them clean with a mixture of water and baking soda ensures they receive a robust and full charge every time and won't age prematurely.

The other half of the equation to keeping your batteries in tip-top condition is ensuring you have a properly functioning battery charger. Outdated or malfunctioning chargers will lead to a host of issues, including improper charging, shortened overall battery life, damage to the controller, and more. Due to the high cost of replacements, the condition of the batteries in a golf cart is absolutely crucial to having a favorably valued golf cart. 

Engine

Gas-powered golf carts have combustion engines, the same technology as the engine in your daily-driver car, meaning they will require similar maintenance. Some of the services that should be done at least yearly (more often if your cart gets a lot of use!) are:

  • Oil Change
  • Spark Plugs
  • Filters
  • Belts

This can be standard upkeep for the handyman or hobby mechanic, but if you have any doubts, you should contact a shop or dealer in your area to assist with the maintenance – at least once per year.

 

golf cart brush guard headlights

Body

The exterior of your golf cart is the first thing people see when you come rolling up. Dusty, dull, damaged carts will turn heads, but for all the wrong reasons. Regularly washing and maintaining the body of your golf cart and using the appropriate products will not only extend its life but also increase its value.

 

Check out this informative video from The Villages Golf Cars on how to properly wash your cart.

Wheels & Tires

You can’t roll anywhere with bad tires, and you’ll have trouble stopping anywhere with faulty brakes. If you want to go, you must maintain where the rubber meets the road. Make it standard practice to verify your tires’ air pressure. Underinflated tires cause uneven wear, leading to tread separation and, eventually, blowouts.

*While you’re down there checking the air pressure in the tires, make it a habit to inspect the brakes, pads, and drums. Take note and schedule maintenance if there is any sign of rust or if you hear squeaking, squealing, or grinding when applying the brakes.

Long Term Storage

If you must store your golf cart for long periods of time, especially if that time is winter, it is critical that you follow some best practices to ensure it’s ready for you when Spring rolls back around and calls you outdoors! We have a previous blog post about The Right Way to Winterize Your Golf Cart, if you’d like to learn even more about that process. Some of the quick takeaways from that are:

  • Store indoors if possible. If not, shield the cart from the elements as much as possible.
  • Place jack stands on the front and back of the golf cart to avoid flat spots on the tires from sitting in one place too long (or go out every few weeks to move it slightly - so the tires revolve).
  • Fully Charge Batteries before switching to Tow/Maintenance & disconnecting from the cart.
  • Empty fuel lines.

golf cart in the winter snow

Whether you’re a potential buyer or seller, we hope we’ve explained how golf carts are an excellent addition to your recreational toy box. The market for golf carts is on the rise, their uses are widely versatile, it takes very little effort or money to maintain them, and if you do maintain them well, they will hold their value for a long time to come. Once you find the perfect cart, come right back here. We’ve got all the hottest accessories and safety equipment to keep you rolling for years to come.

 

Don't forget to leave us a comment below with your thoughts or additional questions!

 

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