There are plenty of things to consider when you buy a golf cart, but two decisions seem to stress out buyers the most:

  • Selecting the power source
  • New vs. used

In this post, we will tackle the first one. The bottom line in the electric vs. gas debate is that it’s all about choosing the type that best suits your needs. Let’s go over some points that will help you make the best decision for your particular situation:

The Good – Gas

  • Longer range: Depending on the engine, you can get between 100 and 200 miles out of one tank of gas.
  • More powerful: This is especially important if you plan on using the car off-road, for hunting, on a farm, etc.
  • No charging required: Just fill the tank, and off you go.

The Bad – Gas

  • Maintenance: Gas golf cars require tune-ups, oil changes, exhaust and muffler service, and all the other maintenance that goes along with an internal combustion engine.
  • More systems and moving parts mean more things can go wrong.
  • Repairs are more costly.
  • Difficult to run at slow speeds.

The Good: – Electric

  • Quiet.
  • Smoother starts.
  • Not as much maintenance.
  • Fewer moving parts means fewer things can go wrong.
  • Acceptable for indoor use.

The Bad – Electric

  • Shorter range: A properly maintained set of batteries will take you about 20 miles.
  • Needs an electrical outlet to re-charge.
  • Batteries must be replaced every 4 to 6 years.

Think about where and how you plan on using your golf cart, and let those requirements guide your decision. Talk to friends and neighbors who own golf cars, and get their recommendations. Then visit National Carts and get some professional input before making your final decision.

Whether you are playing 18 holes, cruising around your neighborhood, or driving on the job, golf cart safety should be a priority. Laws and ordinances vary by location, but we recommend always following these tips:

  1. Arms and legs should always remain in the golf cart.
  2. If your vehicle is equipped with seat belts – then use them.
  3. Do not carry more passengers than you have seats for.
  4. Be courteous and obey vehicle traffic laws.
  5. Never drive intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
  6. Always check blind spots before turning, and use caution throughout the turn.
  7. Look behind your golf cart before backing up.
  8. Avoid excessive speed, sudden starts and stops, and sharp turns at fast speeds.
  9. Do not leave keys in an unattended golf cart.
  10. Avoid driving in bad weather. Golf carts may be prone to lightning strikes.
  11. Avoid distractions, and don’t be reckless. This means you should not text, talk on the phone, read, eat, or do anything else that takes your attention away from driving.

Choosing the Best Golf Course Near You

Whether you’re new to golf or you’re an avid golfer who has recently moved to a new area, you might be looking for a place to play and wondering how to make the best decision. Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance that you have plenty of options. In fact, in some warm-weather locations, you might find five or six golf courses within a ten-minute drive from your house.

The most important thing to remember is that, no matter how seriously you take your golf game, it should be fun. Every day you spend on a golf course should be the most enjoyable experience you can make it. So, for example, if you’re a beginner or have only been playing for a short time, look for courses with wider fairways, fewer hazards and more even greens. On a difficult course, you’ll spend a lot of time searching for your ball in the woods. Or, even more frustrating, watching a putt that barely misses the cup just keep rolling and rolling… right off the green!

On the other hand, if you’re a skilled golfer who’s been playing for a long time, you’ll probably find an easy course too boring to really enjoy. Every time you play, you yearn for a challenge! To the skilled golfer, standing at the tee box looking down a narrow corridor of a fairway with dense woods on both sides presents a test of your skills and you want to win! (You beginners will get there someday with enough practice.)

So how do you figure all this out?

  1. It’s simple… play! Ask a few golfers in your area which courses they like and do some online research. Then, get out there and try a few courses. Eventually, most players settle into one that they consider their “home course,” and the best way to figure out which one you enjoy the most is to play as many of them as you can.
  1. Look closely at the amenities. Most clubs treat their course like a rock star, as they should. They want the grounds to be as beautiful and enjoyable as possible and so do you. However, pay attention to details like the condition of the cart paths. In the excitement of playing a new course, it’s easy to overlook a bumpy ride in the golf cart, but will it make playing there less enjoyable when you’re bouncing along that path every week? Are the golf cars well maintained and operating smoothly? Does the pro shop have everything you need and can you get a decent bite to eat at the restaurant? Sometimes, the little things make a big difference.
  1. Talk to other players. While you’re playing, don’t be shy about talking to other players in the clubhouse. And while you can ask them what they like or don’t like about the course, it’s also important to ask yourself if you genuinely like the people there and enjoy their company. If you do, that’s probably a good indication that you’ll enjoy playing there.
  1. Location. Is the course easy to get to? As you drive from your home to a new course, pay attention to traffic. If you have to drive past a huge shopping area and you like to play on Saturdays, will it be a pain to get to, especially around the holidays? Is there a lot of construction along your route, or are any new construction projects planned? Again, it’s easy to overlook this on your first visit to a course, but if you deal with it repeatedly, it might wear on you.

So get out there and explore the golf courses. And, most of all, enjoy yourself! Eventually, you’ll figure out where you like to play the most!

Golf Car Buying Guide: Windshields

While a golf car is a great way to get around, it’s not designed to protect you from the elements the way an automobile is. Most base models are open-air, which is great on a nice day, but not when it’s windy or rainy. However, if you want to be able to use your golf car in less-than-perfect weather, you might want to consider installing a windshield on the front.

Fortunately, there are several types of windshields available. Determining which one is best for you will be based on your driving conditions, preferences, and budget. Here are a few choices to keep in mind:

Original manufacturer or after-market. You’ll have to decide if you’re willing to spend a little more to get an original manufacturer (or OEM) windshield, or if you want to save a little money with an after-market product. Naturally, because the OEM windshield is designed specifically for the manufacturer’s models, they fit perfectly and install fairly easily. That said, you can find cheaper options without giving up much quality from other companies. So if that’s your choice, be sure to do your research to make sure you’re getting the quality you want.

Acrylic, polycarbonate, or both. Windshields for golf cars are usually made from acrylic or polycarbonate, or sometimes a blend of the two. Figuring out which one works best for you will depend mainly on your driving conditions. The main advantage of acrylic is that it withstands scratching better than polycarbonate. However, acrylic is more susceptible to cracking or breaking if it’s hit by a projectile, like a golf ball. This might also be a concern if you drive your golf car in a construction area or on gravel roads. Polycarbonate, on the other hand, can better withstand getting hit by something without cracking but is more likely to get scratched. Over time, hundreds of tiny scratches can give the windshield a dull look and make it more difficult to see through. There are also some windshields that are made from a blend of acrylic and polycarbonate, so it’s more impact resistant than acrylic and more scratch resistant than polycarbonate.

Full window or hinged window. You might decide that, while you want to protect yourself from the elements, you’d like the option of opening it up on a nice day. If that sounds good, you’ll prefer a windshield designed as two pieces that fold down on a hinge to open the golf car up a little. When purchasing a fold-down windshield, look for one with hinges that are UV-protected. Over time, constant exposure to the sun can make the hinges brittle and they can start to crack and disintegrate if they aren’t protected.

As for installation, we can take care of that at National Carts for you!

A CLASSIC never goes out of style. Sometimes it just needs a facelift.

You might think that old golf cart in the shed or under a tarp is destined for the junkyard. But you might be wrong. With the right expertise, you can transform a sad relic into a slick ride that looks like you drove it out of the showroom.

That’s what our team did with the 1999 Yamaha G-16 you see here. Getting a fantastic looking golf car doesn’t have to mean dropping big bucks on a new model. People restore vintage cars, boats, and airplanes all the time. As you see here, we can do the same thing with old golf cars that have seen better days.

This one came to us looking pretty rough. No way would you want to cruise around your neighborhood in this beat up old thing. The same applies if you’re running a business. You want your employees in a vehicle that will make a good impression on customers.

Our service technicians did a bumper-to-bumper restoration on this Yamaha. Here is the complete rundown:

  • Custom Synergy lime green paint
  • Custom hand-stitched seat wraps to match the body paint
  • Custom alloy rims with low-profile tires
  • New clear fold-down windshield
  • Reconditioned all exterior black body panel pieces
  • Reconditioned the back seat (sand and paint)
  • Reconditioned the battery compartment (sand and paint) with new hold-down rods and restrainers.
  • Repaired the brake pedal torsion spring and rod to fix a sticking pedal
  • Installed a new key switch for extra security

We can do the same thing on your car if it’s getting up there in years. We will restore the body, upholstery, and accessories. Those updates are easy to see. Beneath the surface, we renew all mechanical systems and ensure they are reliable and safe.

Contact us at 800-940-8068 for more information about how we can restore your old golf car.

Golf Car Stereo Systems - National Carts

What to look for. What to look out for.

There are a lot of ways to upgrade a golf cart and customize it to your needs. After all, the main reason to have one for your personal use is simply to have a comfortable and convenient way to get around your neighborhood. You might as well enjoy some of your favorite tunes when you’re behind the wheel.

There are plenty of ways to upgrade your golf cart, depending on your preferences and the type of golf cart you own. That said, when shopping for a stereo system, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, golf carts are sometimes exposed to the elements, especially rain and humidity. So, it’s important to choose a system that can withstand a little moisture, similar to the equipment you might install on a boat. Second, if you have an electric golf cart, you should pay attention to the amount of electricity the stereo draws from the battery and what the limits of your battery are. You would hate to install a new system and find out that it drastically cuts your battery life. If your golf cart is gas powered, however, you obviously don’t have to worry about this.

“If you’re not experienced with doing these types of installations, it’s a good idea to see a professional,” said VP of Parts & Service Tom Bledsoe, who has been with National Carts since 1991. “Every now and then, I see someone who tried to do it themselves and ended up not being happy with the results, both in how the system sounded and how it looked.”

Here are a few important things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a system:

Amplifier – This is the main component of your stereo system and its performance will largely determine how good the system sounds, so look for quality. You’ll also want to think about some of the options that are available. For example, if the amplifier is Bluetooth compatible, you won’t need to plug wire from your MP3 player or smartphone into it. Also, you’ll see quite a few options in the control panel, so consider the driving conditions. A simple, intuitive layout is always better than one with too many buttons. Finally, as with any stereo system, the more wattage the amplifier has, the better it sounds. But more watts also means more of a draw on your battery, so you’ll need to find the right balance, or consider upgrading your battery, too.

Speakers – Quality speakers deliver quality sound, so this is not a good area to skimp. For a golf cart, it’s a good idea that your speakers are also durable and can withstand the elements. Look for a speaker that uses rustproof hardware and sealed components. It’s also important that the speaker has some flexibility in how it’s mounted so that you can have them installed in the best location that works with your model of golf cart. And if you want to show off a little flair, some speakers come with multi-color LED lighting and a highly stylized design!

Power Source – In addition to the amount of electricity your stereo requires, it’s also important to make sure that the electricity used by the stereo (and any other electrical accessories) is evenly drawn from your batteries. If it’s drawing off of just one or two batteries, it will run those down quickly, forcing the rest of your batteries to work harder, potentially leading to battery failure. Installing a voltage reducer or DC converter is a good idea if you plan to install a stereo system on your golf cart.

To answer your questions and help you identify the best stereo for your golf cart, come see one of our Parts and Service professionals today, or give us a call at (800) 940-8068.

Proper Battery Care tips by National Carts

To keep your golf cart running smoothly and minimize costly repairs, it’s important to perform regular preventive maintenance. For electric carts, that includes properly caring for the batteries. A properly maintained, high-quality battery should last four or five years with normal use. If you try to save a few dollars and buy inexpensive batteries, it will end up costing more in the long run when you have to replace them prematurely.

Be sure to wear safety glasses and heavy rubber gloves when checking battery fluid levels or adding water. Battery acid is corrosive. The batteries in a golf cart pack a lot of voltage. Enough to weld metal. So, always remove jewelry such as watches and rings. You don’t want them to come in contact with the terminals.

Unless you have sealed batteries, you should regularly check the electrolyte water levels in each cell of each battery to ensure the leaded plates are covered. People often ask if they need to add acid to golf car batteries. Under normal operating conditions, you never need to add acid. A properly operating battery will only need water added periodically.

Not only can dry cells shorten battery life, but they also can be a fire hazard. Use only distilled water to refill, and don’t fill the cell all the way up — add just enough water to cover the plates. If corrosion is present, you can use baking soda or cola to clean the terminals.

Dirt, dust, and grass also can interfere with the battery connections. That’s why we recommend cleaning the top and sides of the battery when you wash your golf cart. It helps with the vehicle’s long-term life and its day-to-day performance. Avoid getting other electrical components wet if you clean the battery compartment with a hose. This could cause a short in the system.

At one time or another, you’ve probably had that dreaded experience when your car won’t start. The good news is that you usually have the option of calling for roadside assistance. And when the family SUV is dead in the driveway and you need to get somewhere in a hurry, you can call a friend, lean on a neighbor, or launch the Uber app on your phone.

But an out-of-commission golf cart is a different story. The options are pretty limited. That’s why National Carts offers two easy ways to get you back in business as soon as possible:

On-Site Service

Our service technicians come to you in a self-contained repair truck. They even carry spare parts for all major golf cart brands. We perform on-site repairs for both business and residential customers. This option is available whether you have a single golf cart or an entire fleet. We reduce downtime by bringing full-service golf cart repair to your location. That’s a problem for commercial customers because downtime can mean lost revenue.

Transport Service

When on-site service isn’t the best solution, we can transport your golf cart to one of our repair facilities. Our technicians in Orlando and Jacksonville know the ins and outs of all major golf cart brands. They are experts in servicing cars from E-Z-GO, Cushman, Club Car, Star, and Yamaha.

We provide a detailed written estimate before proceeding with any work. No surprises or unexpected charges here. Once we have your approval, our techs complete the repair, and we deliver the golf cart back to you.

Whether you need us to breathe life back into your golf cart, or it’s due for regular maintenance, we have you covered. Click here to request service. One of our technicians will contact you to schedule an appointment.

How to Care for Golf Car Tires - National Carts

Tire maintenance is critical for the passenger car or truck you drive every day, and the same thing is true for the tires on your golf cart.

The most important thing you can do is maintain proper air pressure in your tires. Properly inflated tires will ensure optimum handling and provide a better ride. Check the pressure in each tire once a week. Inflate low tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, which you will find in the owner’s manual. These tires typically use anywhere from 15 to 25 pounds per square inch (PSI), with the average being 20 to 22 PSI.

For golf carts driven off-road or on rougher terrain, it’s not uncommon to under-inflate tires to gain additional traction. However, under-inflated tires wear down prematurely. If you intentionally drive your golf cart with low tire pressure, check the treads and sidewalls regularly for uneven wear.

Over-inflated tires have too much pressure and will create a stiffer ride. The middle of your tires wear faster, and the cart has less traction because not enough tread makes contact with the ground.

Striking a curb or hitting a hole can send the wheels out of alignment. Occasionally check for uneven tire wear, which may indicate an alignment problem. Whenever you notice your tires wearing unevenly, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with a reputable service facility like National Carts to diagnose and repair the problem.

Face it… when you purchase a golf cart, especially for residential use, you’re purchasing a luxury item that makes your life more convenient. That makes it an item that a lot of people want, which makes it a potential target for thieves. For many new golf cart owners, it might seem unlikely that someone from inside your own community would stoop to do such a thing, and you may be right. But, it only takes one person to turn an envious eye toward your prized possession. Either that, or someone from outside the neighborhood with sticky fingers.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your new golf cart safe and secure when you’re not using it:

Keep it out of sight from the street. The best place to keep your golf cart is in a locked garage when you’re not out riding it around. If you don’t have room in your garage, the best thing to do is make room. Move some things around and throw some away or donate some of it to charity. Look at it this way… what’s more valuable to you, your brand new golf cart or that treadmill you haven’t used in over a year? If you still can’t find room in the garage, at least keep it behind your house where it can’t be easily seen. And if you won’t be using it for more than a few days, put a cover over it to reduce the temptation of thieves.

Use theft deterrents. There are a lot of products available specifically designed to prevent golf carts from being stolen. Ask your dealer about electronic theft deterrents powered by your golf cart’s battery. There are even options that allow you to arm the device remotely with a key fob. Or, you could get a non-electronic device that locks the pedal so it can’t be used or locks the steering wheel in place and can only be removed with a separate key. There are also products that act as a boot, locking the wheel in place.

Have a new key cylinder installed. Many golf carts come from the factory with interchangeable keys, which means your key may not be the only one that will start it. Ask your dealer about installing a unique key switch to ensure that only your key will start the cart. These can also be installed by a reputable golf cart service shop, like National Carts.

If your golf cart should be stolen, you’ll want to make sure that you give the police the best opportunity possible to catch the thief and return it to you. Make sure you have photos of the golf cart from several different angles so you can provide them to the police. Also, keep your purchase paperwork in a safe place where you can get to them easily. These will have the model and serial numbers, which will help the police in their investigation.

We’re excited to announce Mid Florida Golf Cars, Virginia Golf Cars and the Golf Car Company have joined forces to become National Carts. With more than 3,000 golf carts, we now have the largest rental fleet in North America, from Florida to Maine and Ohio. We expanded our resources, adopted innovative technologies, and grew our team of passionate individuals. This means we’re making it even easier to rent, buy or service your golf carts. We’re growing in all directions but our company, team, and values will always remain firmly grounded in tradition. We will continue to communicate and take care of every customer with the same courteous service.

“Thanks to a bigger team, our passion and knowledge of the industry are stronger than ever. I’m thrilled to continue working toward our vision of expanding across the States. This is only the beginning.” -Tom Cannon, CEO

We look forward to sharing the journey with you in 2019. Explore the rest of our website, where you can learn more about new offerings and our first big events as National Carts—including Daytona 500, Jazz Fest and NFL Games.

Mid Florida Golf Cars & Virginia Golf Cars merge

Together, the Combined Dealerships Will Have a Year-Round Fleet of More Than 2,500 Vehicles

Virginia Golf Cars, a 23-year-old family-owned golf car dealership in Harrisonburg, Virginia, has merged with a Florida-based dealership. The sale to Mid Florida Golf Cars closed on Dec. 5 and created a combined company with the country’s largest rental fleet.

The sale is a merger of talent and assets that allows Mid Florida Golf Cars to expand its footprint along the East Coast. By consolidating two fleets, the company’s Harrisonburg branch will bolster its inventory of rental golf cars during the busy summer months. Vehicles from Florida can be repositioned for northern events from April through September, which is typically the “off season” for events in the Sunshine State. Then from October through March, Harrisonburg-based golf cars will be relocated south so the Florida branches can serve even more customers.

“With this merger, overall utilization of the fleets will increase, so cars aren’t sitting dormant for a large part of the year,” said Tom Cannon, CEO of Mid Florida Golf Cars. “We’re lucky to have a fantastic team of sales, customer service, and technical professionals in Harrisonburg, all of whom are staying with us as we bring the two companies together. Jointly, we will field a fleet of more than 2,500 golf cars for events and business needs from Florida to Maine, and as far west as Ohio.”

Cannon said Chad Dunham, vice president of Virginia Golf Cars, will join the Mid Florida Golf Cars executive team and continue to manage operations in Harrisonburg. Chad and his parents, Ron and Jeanie, founded Virginia Golf Cars in 1994.

“I don’t think you could draw up a better scenario for two companies to merge,” Chad Dunham said. “Mid Florida Golf Cars brings so many benefits to our operation with their technology, processes, and industry relationships. Joining forces positions us for tremendous growth because our rental fleet is traditionally tapped out during the summer. I’m excited about the new opportunities and what they mean for our employees.”

Mid Florida Golf Cars got its start in 1988 when Darron and Bobby Sanders bought 10 used cars from a buddy. They sold those first 10 vehicles in a week, and then bought 10 more. It didn’t take long for the Sanders brothers to realize they were onto something good. They struck a deal with the regional manager for a major golf car manufacturer; rented some warehouse space – and they were in business.

After nearly 30 years of growth at retail locations throughout Florida, the company is expanding outside the state as part of Cannon’s business strategy, which centers on efficiencies and economies of scale. The founders say Cannon’s plan is the ideal solution for challenges faced by both organizations in what is historically a seasonal business.

“We’ve been looking at new business opportunities for years,” Bobby Sanders said. “But finding the right deal and executing the vision isn’t always easy. This deal with Virginia Golf Cars aligns perfectly with our goals. It’s rewarding to see the plan come together as we take this thing to the next level.”

But even though large-scale growth is impressive to the outside world, the Sanders brothers are most proud of the fact that their reputation is second to none.

“We built this business the old-fashioned way,” Darron Sanders said. “We did it by sticking with our core values of taking care of the customer, providing courteous service, and hiring team members who look and act professional. Business trends come and go, but those values never go out of style. No matter how much we grow, they will always be part of Mid Florida Golf Cars.”

About Mid Florida Golf Cars: Mid Florida Golf Cars (MFGC) is one of the oldest and largest golf car dealers and rental fleet providers in the United States. Family-owned since 1988, the company is based in Orlando, Florida, and has branches in Tampa, Jacksonville, and DeLand, Florida, and a branch in Harrisonburg, Virginia, which operates as Virginia Golf Cars. MFGC provides golf car sales and rentals to individuals, Fortune 100 companies, and all types of customers in between. It is an authorized dealer for EZ-GO, Club Car, Yamaha, Cushman, and Carryall.