Everything Golf Cart logo

Should I buy a Golf Cart? Gas or Electric?
Which is faster, which lasts longer? Which is cheaper?
Find out the answers to these and other questions below …

How to choose a gas golf cart
How to choose a gas golf cart

Key Takeaways

Gas Carts have advantages over Electric golf carts as they are ready to ride up steeper hills, go longer distances, refuel quicker, and cope well with heavy-duty tasks needing extra power for long periods.

Consider, though, the gas engine, which produces emissions and noise and needs extra maintenance and fuel costs.

History and Evolution of Gas Golf Carts

The journey of gas golf carts starts in the 1930s. The first gas-powered golf cart was introduced by an inventive chap called Virgil D. Gulley.

Initially, these carts sported just three wheels and were simple in design. It wasn’t until the post-war era that gas golf carts revved up in popularity, evolving with the times. In an attempt to court lady golfers during World War II, golf carts took on a more refined marketing approach.

By the mid-20th century, Gas golf carts began to adopt four wheels for stability (and to look better!). Manufacturers decided it was time to give these carts a dose of pizzazz, adding sleeker lines and more comforts. It was gas power leading the charge, even as the electric revolution loomed.

1950s: The Challenge!

How Powerful are Golf Carts?

Gas golf carts typically use a four-stroke, single, or twin-cylinder internal combustion engine to generate from 10 to 14 horsepower (compared to 3 to 5 HP for an electric cart, although the newer ones are definitely catching up). Gas Golf carts run on regular gas, just like a car.

Advantages of Gas Golf Carts

Range and Power

With a gas engine under the hood, you can expect over 100 miles and up to 200 miles on a single tank (compared to 50 miles for the new E-Z-Go RXV with its top-of-the-range 56V lithium battery).
They are also much quicker to refuel – no waiting around for a daily recharge time of up to 14 hours.


Durability is where gas golf carts flex their muscles. They’re built to last, especially with the reliability of a Yamaha Gas Golf Cart. (Because of this higher reliability, and with no need to replace a battery, gas carts also have a higher resale value.)
If you have to leave your Gas cart alone for a while, adding a fuel stabilizer will mean it stays happy. An electric cart likes to be ridden frequently to keep its battery in top shape, especially in cold weather.

Towing Capacity

A Gas Golf cart can carry up to 1500 lbs, enough for 6 people.
For towing cargo, 1000 lbs is a good guide, but so yes, it can pull your jet ski!

Disadvantages of Gas Golf Carts

Gas golf carts emitting smoke, noise, and pollution on a crowded golf course, causing discomfort and environmental harm

Though they can be sprightly little things, gas golf carts come with their share of drawbacks you’ll want to consider before hitching one to your leisurely lifestyle.

Environmental Impact

Your gas golf cart might be a hoot to drive, but it’s not exactly giving Mother Nature high-fives. These carts run on fossil fuels and churn out greenhouse gases with each jaunt, contributing to air pollution. They’re not the eco-friendliest sidekicks, especially compared to their electric counterparts, which boast zero emissions.

Noise Levels

Although the latest Yamaha gas carts with Drive2 QuieTech EFI are much quieter, they are still noisier than the silent electric golf cart. As well as the exhaust fumes, they also have seat vibration and heat coming from the engine.

Maintenance Requirements

Your gas cart will ask for servicing every year (or 250 hours) with two annual oil changes, belts & filter swaps, and spark plug replacements.

Maintenance Tips for Gas Golf Carts

With great power comes… well, not-so-great maintenance costs.

Regular Servicing

You will need to service your gas cart at least annually but ideally twice a year.
Check the oil level every month and change it as recommended by the manufacturer, which is usually every six months or after a specific number of operating hours.
Don’t forget to replace the oil filter, air filter, and fuel filters too.

Every week, check the fuel gauge, and every month, inspect the tires, steering wheel, lights & mirror, as well as checking the engine & fuel system for leaks.

Engine Maintenance

If you are keen, a good scrubbing of the carburetor and spark plugs will keep your engine in top condition. Pay attention to the engine mount and drive belt, too and make sure it isn’t loose.

Should I Choose a Gas or Electric Golf Cart?

The most commonly asked question!

Performance Comparison

FeatureGas Golf CartElectric Golf Cart
Speed14 – 20 mph unmodified25mph unmodified (and easier to modify!)
MaintenanceRequires regular engine maintenance and refueling.Needs less frequent maintenance, battery checks, and replacements.
Noise and EmissionsLouder and produces emissions.Silent and emission-free.
Towing CapacityBetter for continuous heavy-duty tasks – average up to 1000 lbsIt has more instant torque but is less suited for towing and hauling. A ClubCar CarryAll can tow 1500 lbs! 

Cost  – Gas vs Electric

Gas golf carts can be more expensive upfront (US$1000), and you’ll also have to pay for gas and servicing. They do tend to last longer and have higher resale values if you’re good with maintenance. A reminder that even in a gas cart, the battery needs to be changed every 7-8 years (like a car).

Electric golf carts are cheaper to run day-to-day since you’re just paying for electricity but remember, battery replacements (US$750) can be costly every five years.

Cross Country or On the Green?

  • If you’re hauling gear or traveling long miles, cross-country, or on the streets, your best bet would be a gas golf cart.
  • For getting from tee to tee in quiet comfort or being eco-conscious, an electric golf cart is probably right for you.

Choose wisely, and may the course be with you!

Safety Features and Considerations

Gas golf carts with roll bars, seat belts, and non-slip flooring. Signs indicating speed limits and caution for pedestrians. Fire extinguisher and first aid kit mounted on the cart

When you’re zipping around in your gas golf cart, safety might not always be front and center in your mind, but be careful out there! 

Keep It Inside: Just like when you are in a car or train, keep your wiggly bits (arms and legs, to be clear) inside the cart while moving to avoid being in one of my end-of-page funny videos!

Buckle Up: If your golf cart is cruising on roads, then seat belts aren’t just smart; they’re a must. It’s like a hug from your cart – a tight one – for your safety. No belts? Time for an upgrade.


E-Z-Go Intellibrake system has an automatic parking brake and a motor brake to slow your cart down on steep grades!

Lights, Please: If you are going out at night, LED lights are the best as they last longer and are good for the environment.

Check the Selector: Before you hit the accelerator, check that direction selector!
(or you may end up being chosen for one of my end-of-the-page funny YouTube videos!) 

Remember, a safe ride is a happy ride.

Buying Guide for Gas Golf Carts

If you have now decided on a gas golf cart, there are a few key decisions to make.
Do you want a brand new cart or save some dollars and get that used cart bargain?
Does having the latest features matter to you, and which brand will you choose?

New vs Used Gas Golf Cart

New Gas Golf Cart: If you choose the latest model from a dealer with all the new features and zero mileage, expect to pay a premium but enjoy the peace of mind of a full manufacturer’s warranty.

Used Gas Golf Cart: Going for a pre-owned cart will definitely save you money, but buy from a reputable dealer, inspect carefully for signs of wear, ask about its service history, and make sure you give it a test drive.
When choosing a Used Gas Cart brand – consider which will give you the best support for parts and servicing, which is the most reliable as well as the price.

When to Buy a Used Golf Cart?
Spring is a great time to buy a used cart, as during Winter, all those golf courses give up their existing carts to buy new ones for the next season. This means after a winter refurbishment, you can get the pick of the best!

Which is the Best Brand of Gas Golf Cart?

The ‘Big Three’ brands are Club Car, E-Z-Go and Yamaha.
Choosing any of these will give you the best chance to find parts, accessories, service, and aftermarket support.

Club Car (est 1958) – they have that aluminum chassis for no rust – a great used cart purchase.

Yamaha (est 1979) – trusted and reliable with great engines.

E-Z-Go (est 1954) – popular, customizable with good parts supply.

Other newer brands of golf carts are good but tend to be electric.

Which is the Best Gas Golf Cart?

It all depends on what you need. Is it purely for the golf course? How many people to carry? Will you use it off-road or customize/modify it?

The Big Three models are currently : 

Yamaha Drive 2 PTV – a really solid and reliable choice from one of the most trusted brands.

ClubCar Onward for the luxurious touch!

E-Z-Go RXV – one of the most popular models with the most storage space.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Miles Can a Gas Golf Cart go?

A gas-powered golf cart can do 20-45 mpg & cover about 100 to over 200 miles on a single tank. The average Golf Cart tank is 5 or 6 gallons and takes regular gas.
The latest 2024 Yamaha Drive 2 with its quietechEFI engine has an average range of 261 miles with its 45mpg engine. 

How Much Gas does a Golf Cart use in 18 Holes?

Assuming a gas cart with a 5-gallon tank would do 30mpg (to allow for those steep hills) and cover 150 miles.
If the average 18-hole golf course is 4-5 miles, a round would use around a fifth of a gallon of gas. A full tank should last for 30 rounds of golf!    

Does a Gas Golf Cart need a Battery?

Yes, even though it runs on gas, it still needs a starter battery (just like a gas car).
It is a smaller, cheaper battery, though than one in an all-electric golf cart. 

Which is Faster? A Gas or Electric Golf Cart?

Surprisingly an Electric golf cart is faster!
The top speed of most Gas carts is up to 19mph. Electric carts can go up to 25mph without modification. 

How Much Does a Gas Golf Cart Cost?

Anywhere from US$4000 to $15,000, depending on whether you want the basic model or the cart of your dreams!

Where Can I Buy a New Gas Golf Cart?

The best way would be through reputable main dealers for that all-important warranty and after-sales service. Choose a local dealer and build up a good relationship with them. Have a look at Google & Trustpilot reviews, but the best recommendations are always personal ones. Ask at your local club too. 

Where Can I Buy a Used Gas Golf Cart?

The same really applies to buying a Used Gas golf cart. Choosing a local dealer is even more important as there is more chance of needing that extra maintenance or service, which could be included in the price.

Again, look at Google & Trustpilot reviews for dealers and for personal recommendations.

and finally … my end-of-page Funny Golf Cart Video! 

Geoff - everything golf cart

I’m Geoff – Short Game Expert and Part-Time Golf Coach.
(only because I love playing flop shots on my local 9-hole and passing on my favorite Pete Cowen tips to friends & family!)
My most memorable golf cart experience – racing through the streets of Hong Kong to catch the next ferry …