Golf cart security is important as long as there are thieves willing to jack your cart. And it’s really not that difficult for a thief to steal your golf cart and get away with it either, especially if you live in a golf cart community.
Think about it, there’s no breaking-in involved, a quick hot wire will get it started, and the next thing you know your cart is on eBay about to be sold to the highest bidder. Unless your cart really stands out in a crowd it’s unlikely that any witnesses will be able to pick it out of a line-up.
If it’s not registered as a motor vehicle and there’s no VIN to identify your cart with then your golf cart could be sold and no one would ever question the legitimacy of the sale.
Before You Do Anything: Get Insurance
The easiest thing you can do for peace of mind is to get full coverage golf cart insurance. It’s not that expensive and you’ll be happy you have it if your cart ever turns up missing.
As useful as golf cart insurance is, there are other ways to be proactive when it comes to your golf cart security. If you’ve spent years customizing your one-of-a-kind golf cart you won’t be able to recoup your blood, sweat, and tears with a check from the insurance company. So it’s best to consider your options when it comes to protecting your golf cart.
Here are some golf cart security tips you can use to harden your defenses:
1. Get a Unique Key Made
A lot of golf carts are made with keys that look and work the same. It’s like having a bunch of houses in a row with the same front door key. Because of this, it’s easy for thieves to use just one key to steal different golf carts.
To make things safer, it’s a good idea to change the key system on the golf cart to one that is special or unique to your cart alone. By doing that, it becomes much harder for someone to just take your golf cart because they won’t have the right key that fits. It’s like changing the lock on your front door to a key that no one else has.
2. Install a Battery Disconnect Switch
Imagine a golf cart as a big toy that needs batteries to work. Now, think of the battery disconnect switch as a special button that can stop the toy from using its batteries. When you push this button, the toy can’t run or move because it’s not getting any power from the batteries.
By adding a battery disconnect switch to a golf cart, you have a way to stop the cart from working when you’re not using it. If someone tries to take the cart without your permission, they won’t be able to because it won’t start or move without the battery connected. It’s like taking the batteries out of a toy so it can’t be played with by others.
3. Add a “Pedal to Wheel” Lock
A pedal-to-wheel lock is a big, noticeable lock that you put on a golf cart. Think of it as a big, bright bracelet that wraps around both the driving pedal and the steering wheel of the cart. When it’s on, you can’t press the pedal to go or turn the wheel to steer.
Because it’s easy to see and it stops the golf cart from moving or turning, it tells anyone with bad intentions, “This won’t be an easy cart to steal!” It’s a bit like putting a giant lock on a bike. Even if someone wanted to ride away with it, they’d have a tough time because of the lock.
4. Install a Kill Switch
A kill switch is like a secret off button for your golf cart. When you turn it on, the cart won’t start, even if someone tries to trick the cart’s wires to make it run without a key (that’s called “hot-wiring”). It’s like having a secret power button for your toys that only you know about.
To make it even sneakier, you can hide where this kill switch is. So, not only does the bad guy have to figure out you have a secret button, but they also have to find it! It’s like hiding the remote control for your TV and only you know where it is, so only you can turn it on.
5. Get a Keyless Remote Starter
Keyless remote starters are like magic buttons for your golf cart. Instead of turning a key to start the cart, you just press a button on a small remote, kind of like unlocking a modern car from a distance. The cool part is, with this system in place, the old way of starting the cart by twisting wires together (that’s “hot-wiring”) won’t work anymore.
By using a keyless remote starter, you’re giving your cart a special upgrade. Thieves might know how to mess with old-fashioned key systems, but with this new remote system, if they don’t have the magic button (the remote), they can’t start your cart. It’s like having a toy that only works when you say a special word!
6. Customize Your Golf Cart’s Exterior
By applying decals or opting for custom paintwork, you ensure that your golf cart stands out from the rest. This unique appearance serves as a strong visual identifier, signaling ownership.
A distinctive appearance offers more than just aesthetic appeal; it also acts as a deterrent for potential thieves. If a golf cart looks different and is easily recognizable, it becomes a less attractive target for theft. Thieves typically prefer objects that blend in and are harder to trace, so a unique-looking cart could dissuade them from attempting a theft.
7. Add Locks to Your Tires
Tire locks are devices you put on the wheels of your golf cart. When they’re in place, they stop the wheels from turning. It’s like putting a block in front of a rolling toy, stopping it from moving.
Using tire locks on a golf cart is a smart move if you want to keep it safe. If someone tries to take the cart, they’ll find it really hard because the wheels won’t move. So, even if they wanted to push or drive it away, the locks would make sure the cart stays right where you left it.
8. Chain Your Cart Up
A lock and chain are basic tools that everyone understands. By wrapping a strong chain around the wheels of your golf cart and securing it with a lock, you make it really hard for anyone to just roll the cart away. It’s like tying a knot around your belongings so no one can easily pick them up and run off.
Even smart thieves who know tricks to get past fancy security might stop when they see a chain. And if you use a long chain to loop through all the wheels, it’s not just the cart they’ll have trouble with. If your cart has special, fancy wheels, the chain will keep those safe too. No one can just sneak off with them when they’re all tied together!
9. Take Advantage of Etching
Etching means scratching or carving a unique number or symbol onto parts of your golf cart. It’s like writing your name on your stuff so everyone knows it belongs to you. By putting your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or another special number on your golf cart, you’re leaving a mark that says, “This is mine!”
If someone tries to steal a golf cart with these unique marks, they’ll have a hard time selling or using it without getting caught. And if, unfortunately, your cart does get stolen, these etched numbers can help the police or others identify it and return it to you. It’s like having a name tag on your belongings, making it easier to find if they ever get lost.
10. Add GPS Tracking
A GPS tracking system is like a map on your phone that always shows where your golf cart is. Just as you might use your phone to find a place you’re going to, a GPS tracker can tell you exactly where your golf cart is at any time.
If someone takes your golf cart without permission, having a GPS tracker can be really helpful. You can quickly find out where the cart is and guide the police to that location. It’s like playing a game of “hide and seek” and always knowing where the hidden person is, making it super easy to find them!
11. Install an Alarm
Think of a golf cart like a mini-car. Just as you can put an alarm in your car to beep loudly when someone tries to break in or move it without permission, you can do the same for a golf cart. This alarm is a warning signal that lets everyone nearby know that something’s not right.
By installing an alarm on your golf cart, you’re giving it an extra layer of protection. If someone tries to mess with it or drive it away without the right key, the alarm will make a loud noise. This noise can scare off the person trying to take the cart and can also alert people nearby to check what’s happening. It’s like having a watchdog that barks if a stranger comes too close!
12. Get Security Cameras
Security cameras are like eyes that watch over your golf cart when you’re not around. They record everything that happens, so if someone comes near your cart, the camera sees them and saves the video. Just like taking pictures of a fun day out, but instead, the camera takes videos of everything around your golf cart.
If you park your golf cart in one place often, like your driveway or garage, having these cameras can be great for safety. If someone tries to mess with or take your cart, the camera will catch them in action. Later, you can look at the video to see who it was, or even show it to the police. It’s like having a friend who always watches over your stuff and tells you if something happens!
Don’t Make Things Easy
Nothing you do is foolproof. If a thief wants your golf cart bad enough he can probably find a way to get it. For instance, even if they can’t start your cart, they can still pick it up and put it on a trailer.
But that isn’t to say any of the above aren’t great deterrents. If anything, having any sort of golf cart security would incline the thief to find an easier target. Making it difficult on potential thieves is effective because most people make it way too easy.