Golf is a game played by rich people. Rich people don’t mind paying for luxury, comfort, and style. That is the way of the world, but you have to wonder why golf carts are so expensive? Is it because enough wealthy people keep on buying them? Let’s examine the reasons that make golf carts so expensive.
Golf carts are expensive as they are made of high-quality materials that last for years. Luxury upgrades, accessories, and safety modifications increase the cost considerably. Additionally, the golf cart market is currently monopolized by three manufacturers, resulting in higher prices.
Golf carts fall in a niche market dominated by three big manufacturers, creating a monopoly of sorts where prices are typically higher than they would be if there were more direct opposition or independent sellers. Other factors make golf carts expensive. Let us examine the main ones.
Why Are Golf Carts Expensive?
Golfing carts fall under a niche market, and products produced for a smaller select market tend to be more expensive than mass-produced goods.
The top reasons why golf carts are expensive are:
- Golf carts are constructed from high-quality parts that last years.
- They are a niche and monopolized market.
- Golf carts come with a range of accessories and safety add-ons.
Think again if you believe that golf carts are only used at the golf course! Golf cart manufacturers have found niches of the greens in recent times.
These specialized vehicles are popping up everywhere and have become a popular mode of transport, especially in the following settings:
- Sporting Events
- Residential Estates
- Retirement Communities
A new golf cart can cost you between $7,000 to $10,000 for a decent standard one, up to $18,000 for a high-end model, and buying a used one can become expensive if you decide to add amenities or if it’s already modified.
Let’s examine why they are such wallet-drenching purchases and determine why golf carts are so expensive.
1. Niche And Monopolized Market
Suppose you look at who buys golf carts; it’s either big businesses or wealthy people. You only need to look at why golf is the most expensive sport globally. On average, members of elite golf clubs are more affluent than people belonging to a local tennis club.
Even with golf carts spreading their wheels to perform more functions in different settings, it still falls under a niche market.
Products made for a niche market are generally more expensive as research and development costs are divided across each sale unit. Total profit is derived by dividing across the number of units sold.
Fewer sales encourage manufacturing companies to sell at a higher price to make it worthwhile for themselves, and typically higher-quality parts are used in the manufacturing process.
In the golf cart market, there are three top manufacturers:
These companies produce high-quality carts, but due to the lack of competitors that will drive prices down, they can charge higher prices for their products. They don’t need to attract lower-priced buyers; their client base is relatively solid.
Related: 9 Reasons Why The Rich Play Golf
2. Modern Day Designs: High-Quality Parts
Gone are the days when a golf cart had a two-stroke engine, space for a six-pack, and storage space to fit a golf bag only. That was the requirements of old. Today, they are designed with different engine options, for example:
- Four-Stroke Engines
- Electric 36-Volt Engines
- Electric 48-Volt Engines
Today’s reality of golf cart designs is that new ones are intended to be heavily customized according to the client’s needs. You can modify older models with accessories, which adds to the price, making them super expensive. Golf carts have become like little pimp-my-ride mini-cars.
Golf carts are constantly being improved with new technologies, increased levels of comfort and safety, and innovative designs. Engine designs are much more advanced than a couple of years ago. Add navigational and entertainment systems, and you get why prices are so steep.
Golf carts are made to last for years by using high-quality parts that are not cheap. For example, an extensive battery arrangement in some models will push the price up when comparing it to a model with one battery.
There are more types of carts to choose from since they’re not only used on the golf course anymore, which has led to increased prices. You pay for the functionality of your cart.
Today you can choose from the following kinds of carts:
You can use these carts on the golf course and off it. If you buy yours at Club Car, prices range from $8,478 to $17,515. These dual-functioning golf carts are also being used as a mode of transport in estates, typically by teens, and if this is the case, you know the cart will have to be accessorized.
These carts are legal on the course and public roads. Expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $13,000 for a standard model. These carts have VINs and are fitted with lights, seatbelts, windshields, mirrors, and indicators.
These carts are suited for use on rough terrain, and you can get them new from Club Car from $7,653 to $17,504, depending on the model.
These cart models can carry up to eight passengers and are made for crew and cargo. For a six-seater, you can expect to pay $13,466, and $14,658 gets you an eight-seater. Commercial transport carts can be used at airports, resorts, in residential estates.
Are you wondering if you need a license to drive a golf cart? Check out this article, Do You Need a License To Drive a Golf Cart?
3. Accessories and Safety Modifications
One of the best golf cart manufacturers, Club Car, offers a mind-blowing selection of accessories for the buyer wanting to modify his standard golf cart. A fairly standard golf cart will cost you between $6,000 to $10,000 (depending on the accessories included in the model).
Let us look at the following example when purchasing a Villager 2 Personal Golf Cart, the MSRP cost totals $8,478. Accessories included in this standard, mid-level model (electric or gasoline) are the following:
- Corrosion-resistant, rustproof aluminum frame
- 360-degrees wrap around bumpers
- SportsDrive suspension and steering system
- Standard white non-metallic body (Optional upgrades to non-metallic black, metallic Candy Apple Red, or metallic Sapphire Blue – at an extra cost)
- Front safety reflectors
- Rear safety reflectors
- 10-inch Champion alloy wheels
- 205/50-10 Kenda Pro Tour tires
This model is close to the average price of $9,000 you can expect to pay for a new, fairly standard golf cart. So, if you decide to pimp your standard cart with a few accessories, the total cost can be as expensive as a high-end model.
Deciding on adding one or two accessories will keep the price under $10,000. Going all out will push it past the $15,000 mark. Here is a list of some of the modification culprits:
- Club Car Connect
- Premium Sound Bar ($78 to $680)
- Versattach Golf Bag Holder System ($90 to $360)
- Homelink Universal Garage Door Opener ($230 – Installation not Included)
- Rear View Mirror – Five Panel ($65)
- Dash Liner Inserts ($37)
- Steering Wheel Covers ($37)
- Canopy Grab Handles ($60)
- Select Overhead Console ($130)
- Select Overhead Sound System ($500)
- Select Rear Seat Kit ($726)
- Under Seat Storage Compartment ($65)
- Rear Beverage Holders ($45)
- Onward/Precedent Premium Seats ($267 to $316)
- Onward/Precedent Premium High Back Seats ($1,375 – Front and Rear Cushions)
- Onward Custom Fit Enclosures ($560 to $1,070)
- Premium Dot Approved Windshield ($350)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System ($143)
- Side Mirrors ($76)
- Body Panels ($170 to $428)
- Wheels ($149 to $320 each x 4)
High-end models will have most of these accessories (luxury upgrades) included in their design, hence their very expensive prices. As you can see, even a standard model can become costly if you let your imagination go when adding modifications and safety features.
Further adding to the cost is that additional safety and other accessories are not typically installed at the manufacturing plant. These add-ons are usually installed at the dealership, adding manual labor and parts costs to the mix.
Where To Buy Less Expensive Golf Carts
Used golf carts are much less expensive than new ones. However, even though you can expect to pay between $2,000 to $5,000 for a fairly decent one, a model fitted with accessories can push this price up again.
When buying a used golf cart, the best advice is to inspect the cart yourself and make sure everything is in working order.
Here are some avenues that you can use to find and buy a used golf cart:
When using online sites, check for items listed in your area. That way, you can set up a viewing appointment before you part with your money. Remember that getting a golf cart shipped to you from other parts of the country is expensive.
If you are unsure of a golf cart model’s average value and don’t want to be taken for a ride just yet, ensure you check the value of any golf cart, new or used.
You can also check out my pick of other golf cart brands in this article, 7 Best Golf Cart Brands.
Golf carts will only get more expensive. That is until more competitors enter the manufacturing market, resulting in price decreases when they fight for market share.
Another way to keep your new golf cart on the less expensive side is to opt for a standard model, resist the luxury upgrades, and stay away from accessories.
Buying a used cart will always be your cheapest option.