By March 7, 2017

Slow Your Roll: The Family Golf Cart

Claire Tremp, left, and her brother Bobby strap into the rear seat for local trips with their parents Rob and Jaclyn. In&Out Staff Photos

By Robert Roy Britt — When Rob Tremp and his family moved from the Anthem Country Club to Desert Hills, they brought the family golf cart along. Now they use it for lots of local trips, including the short drive to a trailhead for an evening walk in the Sonoran Desert Preserve. They like it so much, they’re even taking it to Florida this summer.

“It’s quick, easy and convenient,” Tremp said. And, except for the bluetooth stereo, “it doesn’t make any noise. Easy on, easy off, easy in and out. It’s a more fun way to cruise around the neighborhood or go to the grocery store.”

Standard street-legal golf carts max out at a speed of 16 mph, but a wheel-size change can get the top speed to 24 mph, the maximum allowable. Properly equipped and registered golf carts are legal on any street with a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

Larger custom wheels can replace the stock wheels, changing the gear ratio to increase the top speed from 15 to 24 mph.

“We’re seeing a lot of young families using them for neighborhood cars,” said John Jenkins, owner of MotoCity in Anthem; “…soccer moms, grocery getters.”

Seventy percent of golf carts sold at MotoCity’s Avondale location are primarily for family use, Jenkins said. The other 30 percent are for golfing. He expects a similar ratio in Anthem, where the dealership began selling and servicing E-Z-GO carts last month. “Anthem is so self-contained, I think it’ll be a great neighborhood car, as a second vehicle,” he said. MotoCity takes trades and sells refurbished carts, too. Prices start at $5,995 new and $4,990 for fully refurbished.

The only significant maintenance costs: Batteries will need replacing after 5-6 years, and tires wear out with use, Jenkins said. Carts typically run on four to eight batteries, which can cost anywhere from $100 to $175 each, depending on brand and quality, he said.

The Tremps plan to trailer their cart to Florida during summer vacation. They’ll use it for all the local treks, including the two blocks to the beach. “We’ll probably use it the entire time,” Tremp said.

It’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between new and refurbished golf carts at MotoCity in Anthem.

One way to get to the trailhead.

This article first published on North Phoenix News.

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