Is It Better To Rent Or Buy A Golf Cart? (My 40 Year Experience)


I have played golf for over forty years, and have been a member of a country club for twenty years, the question of renting vs buying a golf cart always comes up a lot.

However, you must think about the time you will spend with your golf cart in order to make the proper decision between renting and buying.

In total renting or buying a golf cart depends on how often you plan to use the cart. Renting golf cars typically cost $25-$100 daily without any extra or add ons. If you only plan to play golf or need a cart a couple of times a year renting is the better option. If you play regularly consider buying a golf cart.

Like everything, the answer isn’t so simple, in this article, I will go into depth explaining the choice of renting or buying a golf cart, and if golf cart rent is a good investment keep reading to know for sure.

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Why It’s Better To Rent Or Buy A Golf Cart

Before you decide to rent or buy a golf cart ask yourself the following questions, these questions depend on how much time you will spend in that cart you must use the cart a lot to get a return on your purchase.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying/Renting A Golf Cart

1.   Do you want a cart for playing golf at your country club and saving money from fewer cart fees? This is the most likely reason people consider buying a cart, and if this is the only thing that you are going to do with the cart, then the answer is no, you do not want to buy a cart.

2.   Do you have a way to get into your garage and the space to put the cart into it and an electrical hook up?

3.   Do you have an enormous property, and can you use the cart for landscaping or gardening? This is an enormous plus if you do as you will use the cart much more often and in this case, yes you want to consider buying a cart.

4.   Do you live in a retirement community where people drive around all day in their cart to do the daily chores and activities a cart, buying a cart in this case as you will easily get your return on investment.

5.   Do you want a cart to go camping or on a vacation for a few days or a week once or twice a year? Then the answer is no, you do not want to buy a cart!

It is easy to see that if you are going to use the cart a lot, you can buy it, but if not, you rent!

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Proccess Of Renting the Golf Cart

There are two ways to rent a cart. First, you can be at a golf course and rent the cart to play 9 or 18 holes of golf.

Second, if you are going on a camping trip or any type of vacation for up to a week, and want to rent a cart to facilitate moving around more easily, you can rent from companies to do this. Often people rent the cart in this case to help an older family member’s mobility.

The price for a cart rental obviously varies from club to club and from state to state, but usually, the price for 18 hole golf rental is $15-$20 around if you play golf twice a week, then we are looking at a price of around $140 a month which is about $1600 a year.

If you want to rent a cart for a week to go camping, the price is $150-$180 a day! Ugh! IT is very reasonable to rent a cart at the golf course and not a wonderful idea to rent for camping

Why It Is Better To Buy A Golf Cart

Other factors to consider when buying or selling are: type of cart, price of a cart, and driving on city streets.

Buying the Golf Cart

To buy a cart costs from $6000-$15,000! This is obviously a new cart. You can buy a used cart for $3000-$11,000! The difference in pricing costs involves the condition of the body, the canopy, and the most important thing, the age of the cart. Finally, where you buy the cart matters as well. In Florida, there is a greater supply of carts than in Montana, for example.

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What Type Of Golf Cart Do You Want To Buy?

You can buy a gas cart or an electric cart and both have advantages and disadvantages.

Gas Carts

If you buy a gas cart, you will spend money on gas and change of oil for the first time after 100 hours and then every 200 hours.

Gas,  unfortunately, has fumes and emissions, and in a cramped space like a garage, you will smell it. The plus side of gas carts is the fact that you can travel much further with them. You can always bring a gas can with you to fill up.

Electric Carts

If you decide to buy an electric cart, there are some advantages.  Electric carts are clean, environmentally friendly, and there is no smell. There is a brief sound, but they are reasonably quiet and quick to start. However, you are limited to the distance of 13.5 miles(21.7 KM) of use before the battery needs to be charged.

Also, electric golf cart batteries need to be changed about every four years at a cost of $1000.

Driving on City Streets

At my country club, this was a problem. If you stayed at the club until dark, while many members lived on the course or nearby, it was so dark on the course itself, and unsafe. So, the question of driving on city streets came into play.

In order to drive on city streets with a cart legally, you must have headlamps and stop lamps, turn signals, a windshield, parking brakes, rear-view window, and a VIN number and license and be insured.

These are some things that make the cost of the carts much higher, either new or used. And insurance runs a few hundred dollars a year.

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How To Know The Price Of A Golf Cart?

The more seats a golf cart has the more expensive it will be, on average 2 seater costs between $7000-$8000 with a 4 seater costing $8000-$10000 and a 6 seater $10,000-$13000. Golf carts depreciate 8.3% yearly, golf carts have a BlueBook where you can put the cart model and year to get an idea of pricing.

Take a look at this online golf cart calculator to make pricing a potential cart that much easier.

Is Golf Cart Rental a Good Investment?

If you don’t play golf often then renting a golf cart for between $25-$100 a day is a good investment. There are no maintenance costs and you don’t need to worry about selling the golf cart afterward.

Electric walking carts are a great option to buy. If you are an individual who can still walk 9 or 18 holes, you can buy an electric cart for around $500 and get your money back in less than six months of use.

Many members at my country club would walk nine holes with their electric cart, and if they got tired, just rented a regular cart for the other nine holes. This is a great way to defray the twice-a-week cost of renting a cart.

Also, check with your country club before you decide to buy or rent. At a former country club, you could buy a cart, and pay $100 for a “trail fee”. That helped a lot to keep the cost down.

However, my country club now is completely different. You pay to buy the cart, then you must pay a “cart path fee”, and then have to pay $20 for a cart rental, anyway. The cart path fee is $100 a month. And if anyone else rides with you, they charge them $20 to ride in your cart. Here, renting a cart is a very reasonable investment.

My final thought is that most people simply will not use their carts, old or new, to make it reasonable to buy a cart and should just continue to rent.

As with boats and planes, if it floats or flies, rent it! Same with golf carts!

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