To Golf Cart, or Not??

To Golf Cart, or Not??

Should I have a golf cart for my vacation rental?

Many investors ask me what the pros and cons are to having a golf cart for their rental property. This is a very involved question and there are often more than one way to approach it.  Certain areas in Walton County are just best seen as the wind blows your hair.  Most of you are familiar with the famous 30A. As you stroll along you will see a mixture of golf carts, bikes, walkers and those who travel by car.  That would be me, since I am usually working.
This area has the advantage of several miles of golf cart friendly roads that access restaurants, beach access points and shopping to name a few.  Of course as you can imagine, most who travel to this area would love to use a fun little vehicle to get around.  For our investors, this can come with a price.  Let’s look at the overall thought, please remember that some of what I am telling you is an opinion based on my experience with investors who purchase in our area.
As an investor, you must way the cost vs. liability.  Golf carts in our area are required to be street ready. I have attached link to a great read by our local Electric Cart company
There is cost in this but that part is easy, you can always contact them for more information and let them know your intentions with the golf cart to make sure your purchase is used properly.  Here is where the risk can be.. often people think vacation means no rules.  
It is important as the investor to make sure you protect yourself from liability.  I encourage those who can to put their vacation rental properties into an LLC to help keep the liability away from their personal life.  Please always check with your accountant on items like this but as I said, these are my recommendations.  
Having a golf cart available to your renter provides a couple of perks that often are expected in our area.  One, it gives great, easy access to many areas and makes it very easy to get all your toys back and forth to the beach.  Also, if the location of your vacation rental is further from the pool or the beach, it makes access a little quicker and easier to park by using a golf cart.  Think of this like a renter…. You are paying $500-$1000 per night for a rental, one has a golf cart, one does not…. Which will you most likely choose? 
Back to the risk, there are rules to golf cart users that are often not followed.  Renters letting under age children drive, too many people piled on one cart, lack of use of seat belts.  These are real risks that come with real consequences.  
Following is a link to another great article to help understand the rules and regulations. Florida Highway patrol and safety site. 

When these laws are broken and accidents happen, often people want someone to blame.  It is important to make sure your renters are aware of the rules, and sign a waiver to release liability.  Again, seek legal counsel for any specific questions on how to provide these documents properly to your guests.
There are options of including rental golf carts and also providing a link to a company that will deliver golf carts to your renters.  Here is a link to a reputable company on the 30A that delivers golf carts.  I encourage owners to check out their options and make wise decision when it comes to golf carts.  As an agent I have many investors, some choose to provide them and some do not,  The upside is you can most likely charge more for a rental including toys, such as golf cart, bikes and paddle boards.
Feel free to contact me directly for more tips and tricks on investing in Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach or Destin area.

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