There are significant differences to consider when comparing used golf carts being sold “as is” or “reconditioned.” Below are some aspects of each variety to help you make an educated decision about which type of used golf cart may be more suitable for your needs, budget, and abilities.

“As Is” Golf Carts for Sale:

When a used golf car is being sold “as-is,” this usually means that the dealer did not conduct a thorough inspection of the cart. At the minimum they may have checked that the golf car does run and that the major operational features work, but little else.

Most “as is” golf carts will come with the original body, but may have some dents or scratches. If you are planning on customizing your golf cart, then these cosmetic blemishes may not matter.

Buying a used golf cart “as is” will allow you to negotiate with the dealer. If there are tears in the upholstery, ask to have the price trimmed down a bit. Inspect the golf cart with the dealer and point out specific flaws when asking for a lower price. If the dealer does not budge on the price, then at the minimum ask for a discount on the golf cart parts that you will need to purchase to repair the cart.

Educate yourself on the type of golf cart that you are planning to buy before inspecting the cart. Learn about the approximate costs for each of the major parts and calculate whether the “as is” golf cart will be worth it for you. If not, walk away until a better deal can be found.

Most dealers of “as is” golf carts will not give you a warranty or guarantee on your purchase, so be patient and diligent about your inspection and make sure that you are confident in your ability to repair what may be needed or that you are able to bring the golf cart into a golf cart shop to have the proper repairs done.

If you are mechanically inclined, then buying “as is” may be the route to take. You may be able make the necessary repairs and save a lot of money in the meantime.

“Reconditioned” or “Refurbished” Golf Carts for Sale:

When a used golf cart is “reconditioned” or “refurbished” this means that the dealer has done a comprehensive inspection on the cart. A comprehensive inspection usually includes making repairs on malfunctioning operations, cleaning the golf cart, and maybe even reupholstering the seats.

Most dealers will offer a limited warranty or guarantee on their “reconditioned” golf carts – typically 30-60 days after the purchase date. If not, do not be afraid to ask for some type of guarantee — you hope that the dealer is confident in their work to provide you with a guarantee.

When purchasing a “reconditioned” golf cart, you may be able to customize it prior to bringing it home. These extras, such as a customized paint job or replacement seats, will cost more on top of the purchase price, but may save you some time and work. Check with the dealer to see what your options may be.

Other aspects to consider when buying “As Is” or “Reconditioned” Golf Carts:

    • Are you able to visit the dealer in person? Consider making the trip to see the dealer in person (although many used golf carts are being purchased on-line these days). Check out the facilities to see how they treat their inventory. This will also give you a chance to test drive the cart that you are planning on buying.
    • How old is the battery? Batteries are one of the most expensive parts of a golf cart. When inquiring about a used golf car, ask how old the batteries are. The newer, the better. Learn more about golf cart batteries here.
    • Is the used golf cart being delivered? If you are having the cart delivered, make sure to get all of the freight and shipping information and costs in writing – it’s no fun being surprised when the bill comes.
    • What golf car accessories are included? Make sure that you understand what accessories are included with your purchase. This will help you understand what you may need to purchase in the near future to have your golf cart in proper working order.
    • Are you able to inspect the golf cart prior to purchasing? If you are able, go to the dealer in person and thoroughly inspect the golf cart. Look for signs of wear in the tires and any indication of rust on the body or chassis. If you notice these flaws, ask for a lower price.
  • Where was the golf cart used prior? Most country clubs and golf courses purchase new golf carts to add to their fleet every few years. This means that there are often many of these used carts on the market. Consider, geographically, where the cart has come from. If arriving from southern states where golfing is played year round, the used golf cars may be used more often, hence, more wear and tear overall. If arriving from northern states where the golfing season is limited, then the golf carts were likely used less often, hence, less wear and tear overall. Most country clubs and golf courses have authorized technicians that keep their fleet in tip-top shape, so they are more likely to keep records on their golf carts — giving you a better idea of the background of the cart.

Take care when searching for and inspecting used golf carts. The market is vast for these utility vehicles, and with patience and diligence you are sure to find the perfect match for your needs.