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Go With Garrett’s Specialty Vehicles has been in business since 1992, and in that time we’ve seen plenty of shady golf cart dealerships pop up and disappear, leaving customers stranded with vehicles that need far more in the way of repairs than they bargained for.
How to avoid dealers with less-than-stellar business practices? We have a few questions to ask — before you buy.
“When you say refurbished, what does that entail?”
Any reputable dealer should be able to walk you through their refurbishment process on demand. You may not receive a full tour of their service area for safety reasons, but you should still end your conversation feeling reasonably comfortable that you understand what steps were taken to prepare a preowned golf cart for sale. In newer or more well-kept models, this may be as simple as a tuneup and a battery replacement — in older models, more significant fixes may be needed. If your dealer talks in circles, uses vague language, or simply can’t answer the question? Buyer beware.
“Are you a factory-authorized dealer?”
While having your dealer be authorized by one of the big golf cart or specialty vehicle companies (we’re authorized through E-Z-Go, for instance) isn’t a must-have, it is a sign that the dealership has been vetted for quality before that authorized status was approved. The approval process involves the large brands taking an in-depth look at financial stability, what kind of liability insurance is carried, whether or not the dealership will be able to represent the brand to a high standard, and other important details. If your dealer isn’t factory-authorized? We don’t say walk away, but it’s worth it to take a moment to ask why they haven’t sought authorization.
“Exactly how used is this used golf cart?”
Reputable dealers will have at least a good general idea of the age and previous use of any preowned golf carts they take into their facility and be happy to walk you through what they know about any vehicle that has come into their possession. If your dealer won’t answer questions about the age or previous usage of the golf cart you’re interested in… you might need to walk away.
“What happens if the vehicle won’t start as soon as I get it home?”
The dealer you purchase your golf cart from should have a plan in place for these occasions, which unfortunately do sometimes happen. You should be able to bring your golf cart back for service, or in some (but not all) cases your dealer can provide a pickup service and come by themselves. Usually an extra fee will apply for this. If your dealer “isn’t sure” what would happen or has no plan in place, you may want to consider giving another golf cart dealer a call.
“Can you verify how old the batteries are?”
We’ve heard horror stories from new customers whose previous dealers swore up and down the batteries inside their new carts were “brand new” — only to get home and realize those “brand new” batteries had been sitting unused for months, slowly losing their charge and leaving the customers with what amounts to a big, motionless golf-cart-shaped rock sitting in their garage. Your dealer should be happy to show you the battery and walk you through whether or not it’s new and if the golf cart has been periodically turned on to ensure that the battery stays charged and operational. If they won’t show you the battery or ask you to trust them that it’s new, odds are good that it really isn’t.
And finally… “What’s your return policy?”
This is another question that has a couple of ‘right’ answers. Return policies may vary from dealership to dealership, which is understandable. What you’re looking to find when you ask that question is a clear answer and a return policy that is available in writing. Make sure you know exactly what circumstances allow for returns and which circumstances do not before you ever even choose a specific vehicle to make your own. If the dealership has no offocial return policy, it’s vague and contradictory, or they can’t provide it in writing, walk away.
You deserve a quality specialty vehicle. At Garrett’s, we provide sales and service for new and preowned golf carts from brands like E-Z-Go, Cushman, Bad Boy, and more throughout the great state of South Carolina (and nationally, too!). Our clients love us for our customer service, prompt attention to any issues they have, and long-term connections to the communities we call home. You can reach us by phone at (843) 881-8894 (Charleston), (803) 407-2687 (Columbia), or (864) 862-7709 (Greenville) or contact us online at any time.