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Utv Vs Golf Cart

utv vs golf cart
utv vs golf cart

“Why would I buy a golf cart when I could buy a UTV (side-by-side) for nearly the same price”

I’ve been asked different forms of that question above hundreds of times and if you are apart of the UTV or golf cart industry, I’m sure you have asked or been asked that question to. It’s an easy question to ask, but a very hard question to answer because there are so many reasons. Early on, I had a hard time answering because I didn’t usually hear people trying to compare a UTV to a golf cart. However, I’ve heard the question a lot over the last few years which has allowed me to do quite a bit of thinking on the issue.

Though I have the reasons drilled into my brain, I finally wanted to put them down on a piece of paper. So, to inform those of you who still compare golf carts to UTVs, and to assist those of you who try to explain their differences, here is why you should and shouldn’t compare golf carts to UTVs.

Road Legal Use

If you want a UTV or golf cart to drive down public roadways, but you live in a state that allows golf carts but doesn’t allow UTVs, then you cannot compare UTVs to golf carts. However, if you live in a state or county that allows both on public roadways, then go right ahead and compare the two!

Our dealership is in Ohio so 75% of our sales are to customers that live here in the Midwest. Most of the Midwest states like Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin do not allow UTVs on public roads. Ohio’s state laws are bit different than others because the state of Ohio lets the counties decide if UTVs and golf carts are allowed on their roads or not. Some of the rural southern counties of Ohio allow UTVs on roads but the majority of the 88 counties do not.

If you live in one of the few states or counties that allow UTVs and golf carts on public roads, then there are quite a few reasons why you should compare the two types of vehicles. But if you’re like the majority of Americans that live in a state or county that only allows golf carts on public roadways, then the comparison between a UTV and golf cart makes absolutely no sense.


If you stay at a campground that allows both UTVs and golf carts, then you should compare the two. But if you stay at a traditional campground that only allows golf carts, then you’re wasting your time comparing the two.

This reason is simple.

If a person is staying at a campground that only allows golf carts, then they have no need to compare a golf cart to a UTV. Furthermore, if a person is staying at a campground that is connected to a UTV/ATV park, then they have no need to compare a golf cart to a UTV because they obviously prefer UTVs if they’re at a UTV park.


In terms of performance, it’s no secret that UTVs are superior to golf carts. However, performance isn’t the end-consumers only concern. If performance was the only variable people cared about when shopping for a vehicle, then all of us would only own sports cars and 4X4 trucks.

Let’s talk about Bob.

Bob is 65, retired and he decides he wants to buy a motorcycle or scooter to take into town on nice summer days. He drives quite cautiously and has never received a speeding ticket because he is never in a rush to get from A to B. Bob is strictly looking for a smaller, light-weight machine that is built for leisure. He decides to buy a 24 horsepower, Vespa 300 scooter for $7,000 which tops out at around 75 mph.

Now imagine trying to tell Bob he made a mistake by spending $7,000 on a Vespa scooter because should have bought a Kawasaki Ninja 650 sport bike for $7,400 which has 67 horsepower and tops out at 131 mph.

Considering Bob’s relaxed nature behind the wheel, it would be preposterous to compare a sport bike to a scooter. Although a sport bike outperforms a scooter, the Vespa is a better fit for Bob because he prefers a slower bike, and the Vespa better suits Bob’s personality.

If it’s unreasonable to compare a sport bike to a scooter, why would it be okay to compare a golf cart to a UTV? Like a Vespa scooter, a golf cart is a vehicle built for leisure and simplicity. Like a Kawasaki Ninja, a UTV is built for performance and adrenaline. A potential buyer that has the need-for-speed, or needs a powerful work vehicle, is going to prefer a UTV. Meanwhile, a potential buyer that has a relaxed personality, or needs a vehicle for light work, is going to prefer a golf cart.

Considering everybody has personalities and preferences, we shouldn’t compare UTVs to golf carts because there is no right or wrong when it comes to somebody’s personality and preference.


If every person in the world valued everything the same, then yes, we could compare UTVs and golf carts strictly based on price. But some people value a golf cart way more than they value a UTV. Meanwhile, other people value a UTV way more than they value a golf cart; and due to this diversity in value, we shouldn’t compare UTVs to golf carts based on price. Furthermore, if you are open to buying either a UTV or golf cart but know nothing about the two types of vehicles, then you SHOULD compare the two! Just make sure you ask plenty of questions, do lots of research, and take test drives because you’ll figure out which vehicle you value more.

Bone stock golf carts and bone stock UTVs aren’t usually compared because the difference in price between the two is quite substantial. However, a golf cart that is heavily accessorized and customized can easily reach the price range of a UTV, which is why people compare the two machines. A good example of a golf cart that is compared to a UTV would be a cart from our Extreme line, which is our line of tailor-made, luxury, custom-built Club Car Onwards. Our Extreme Onwards retail anywhere from $14,000-$25,000, and they feature luxury custom cushions, a custom paint job, custom rims, LED lights, a JL Audio/Wet Sounds sound system, and a whole lot more.

Well due to the retail prices, our Extreme carts are often compared to UTVs by people that drive a UTV or by people that see no value in a luxury golf cart. Whether it’s an attack or an honest question, I approach every customer with the same word.


If money wasn’t an issue, and you wanted to have the coolest ride at your campground that doesn’t allow UTVs, would you value an Extreme golf cart more than you would a UTV? Yes! On the flip side, if I wanted to have the fastest/coolest UTV at the local ATV/UTV park, would an Extreme golf cart be of any value to me? No!

I hope we can all agree that a fully loaded $25,000 golf cart is way over the top, just like a fully loaded $50,000 UTV is way over the top. But there is a reason they both exist, being they are really cool, a lot of fun, but most importantly, people find value in them.

Considering we all value certain things more or less than others, we shouldn’t compare UTVs and golf carts strictly based on price.


I’ll be honest, I initially wanted to write this article because I’ve slowly become more frustrated with people trying to compare UTVs to golf carts. But now that I’ve spent countless hours writing and editing this article, I realize I’m more concerned with the end consumer making the right purchasing decision. I can’t keep people from comparing UTVs to golf carts, but I can educate the end consumer with hopes that they purchase the vehicle that is most beneficial to their lifestyle. Even though I sell golf carts for a living, I’m not going to tell you that a golf cart is the solution to all your wants and needs. Whether a UTV or golf cart is best for you is entirely based on who you are as a person as well as what actions you need the vehicle to perform.

So, considering all the points that I’ve covered in this article, I hope you have gained an understanding on when you should and shouldn’t compare UTVs to golf carts. Though I’m sure the UTV world and golf cart world will continue bicker, I hope we can all agree on one thing.

UTVs and golf carts are both awesome!