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Help & Maintenance

Petrol or Electric?

When new customers call they invariably ask, What's better, petrol or electric?

The answer is always the same – it largely depends on how you plan to use your golf buggy and what your preferences are. These days, people get pretty creative with their golf carts so the intended uses can vary more than you might think. For the average user either type of golf car will make a perfectly fine recreational vehicle. Electric golf buggies run nearly silently and have no fuels or oils to deal with, perfect for supporters of the green movement. Petrol golf cars are a little more on the noisy side and will obviously require unleaded petrol to operate.

Electric golf buggies do depend on batteries for power, so if you're someone who wants to use your buggy for hours upon hours at a time, you may want to think about petrol. This especially holds true for if you don't have access to a power supply as neither will your electric golf buggy.

Another point that's often forgotten is the amount of accessories you plan to install on your golf cart. If you want stereos, lighting, fans, heaters, etc. all of this takes a considerable amount of power. For an electric buggy this energy comes right out of the batteries that your motor relies on. Petrol golf buggy accessories will also rely on battery power, however, they feature a starter/generator that will charge the battery on its own while the accelerator pedal is down. This does not mean a petrol golf buggy battery is invincible - any accessories left on while the cart isn't running will eventually kill your battery and leave the buggy a non starter.


In the beginning, golf carts were designed to simply be what their name implies – cars for golfing. While either type of cart can easily haul you and a friend around most reasonable kinds of terrain there are other points to consider when making a decision – especially for those who expect (or demand) a little more.

With horsepower ratings ranging from 10-12 HP, petrol golf cars are as much as 3-4 times more powerful than their electric counterparts. An electric golf cart, on average, will feature a 3-5 HP electric motor - but that's not to say electric buggies aren't impressively powerful in their own right. Light hauling and yard work can be done with either type of vehicle and both will perform satisfactorily. However, those who demand power in off-road conditions with rugged terrain and steep inclines will almost always want to stick with a petrol engine.

As mentioned before, electric golf carts aren't for those who wish to joy ride for hours a day. An electric cart will typically get around two hours of continuous motor run time before the batteries will need re-charging. This translates to anywhere between 18-25 miles depending on usage and the terrain – this is still pretty impressive. On the gas side of things manufacturers have made great strides in improving gas efficiency by averaging nearly 29 MPG.

Aside from power sources and horsepower ratings, both types of vehicles operate in much the same fashion. To the untrained eye you couldn't tell the two apart from each other and for the most part they both ride and handle the same. Both types of vehicles will get about 13 mph top-speed (unmodified).


All in all, both types of golf buggies have fairly light requirements when it comes to maintenance. With electric carts your main concern lies within your batteries – make sure you check the water levels monthly (at least) and top-up as needed. The batteries are the life-blood of an electric car and with a replacement set costing well over £600 these days it's not something you want to ignore. With proper maintenance of batteries and responsible charging habits you can expect to get 5-6 years (sometimes longer) of solid performance before they will need replacing. In comparison, neglecting your batteries can shorten their lifespan to as little as 1-2 years.

Gas golf buggies, though, do require periodic oil changes as well as replacement air/fuel filters and spark plugs when necessary. Filters are relatively inexpensive and golf buggy engines take only a litre or so of 10W30 oil after every year or periodic service. With proper care a petrol golf buggy can last a lifetime.