I started out in the custom cart business about 5 years ago, focusing on refurbishing used golf carts and reselling them. Nice and shiny carts, good as new, right? Well, maybe not so much. Not all refurbished cart dealers are the same.
It’s in your best interest to do your research, visit the cart shop, and look at custom golf cart reviews. A refurbished cart can look new, but under that shiny paint job could be worn out parts that cause issues in the long run. It reminds me of that saying, “Good from far but far from good.”
The life cycle of a golf cart that becomes a refurbished custom cart looks like this: Cart manufacturer sells to golf courses using a leasing firm. Over the next four years, thousands of people drive these golf carts. They’re put through all kinds of conditions on the golf course. It’s kind of like the car rental business, except these carts were driven by a bunch of people who’re drinking alcohol and throwing clubs after bad tee shots. After a full out abusive start to life, the carts are returned to a nearby dealer and sold at wholesale. Sometimes, the best carts go back to the manufacturer, who puts them through a “certified manufacturer refurbish program.”
What gets replaced during the refurbish process if I buy from a local shop instead of a certified manufacturer refurbished model?
It’s probably easier to answer the reverse of that question – What doesn’t get replaced? Typically, the motor, controller (the computer), the shocks, steering, brake pads, electrical wiring, frame, and miscellaneous plastic moldings are going to be original components to the cart. There are even some dealers who don’t replace batteries so that they can keep the price point low and sell more carts.
Note: If you purchase a certified manufacturer refurbished cart, all of these components will be certified and replaced. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t buy a refurb, but do your homework and always, always, get a warranty.
What about buying a new cart?
Buying a new custom golf cart is definitely a much safer option. However, getting a truly customized vehicle has been limited to those with deeper pockets. In the past, some customization aftermarket items were not available, but that is rapidly changing. It’s also important to point out that most new cart manufacturers don’t make lift kits. We’ve seen some instances where these parts fail and cause a driving hazard.
Lift kits are one of the reasons we chose Evolution as our new golf cart option. All lift kit and suspension parts are designed and made by the manufacturer and have a single warranty. Evolution carts are also at a price point that isn’t too much more than a refurbished cart. EPIC Carts is Evolution’s custom golf cart company that keeps the manufacturers specs intact while making the cart individualized for every customer.
We also offer a great warranty. A standard 2-year warranty is provided with a purchase of a new cart. In addition, you’ll have the option to upgrade to 3 years bumper to bumper coverage.
So, whether you choose refurb or new, take the time do your research and ask people’s opinions. There are plenty of reputable companies out there to build your cart (and maybe a few that need to go back to Alaska!)
Start your research at EPIC Carts. Stop in, take a custom golf cart for a spin, and see what we can do for you. I promise it will be the most fun you’ve ever had doing research!