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Standardized Golf Car Rating System Badly Needed

Official Golf Cart Rating System by
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Have you ever attempted to buy or sell a golf car/cart and then tried to find the book value of a used golf vehicle, only to discover that there is no golf cart industry "blue book" to inform you of price or condition values?

And so in frustration you go to eBay and Craigslist and Google to see what everyone else is asking for their golf carts - and what a trip that turned out to be!

Automobile dealers have long had reliable information provided to them by NADA and Kelly Blue Book, including wholesale and retail values, condition limitations, mileage factors, etc., but not the golf car industry.

For example, administrative staff at Intermountain Golf Cars (a new and used golf car distributor/dealer) recently authorized extensive research to find the current wholesale and retail value of a pre-owned 2007 Club Car Precedence they wanted to market nationwide, and they found other sellers were marketing the model in a staggeringly wide price range of $1,375 to $4,495! But how is it possible to compare the condition of the hundreds of 2007 Club Cars (or any other model) listed for sale by dealers, classified ads, the internet, and elsewhere, when there is no industry-wide accepted standard for rating the quality and condition of a used golf car?

That was the next dilemma encountered: comparative value - comparing apples with apples! And when looking deeper, the researchers found that many golf car manufacturers, dealers and wholesalers often DO provide some sort of rating system to describe the comparative value of their golf cars.

Many of these dealers had a sort of "report card" rating: A to F; others used a system of stars, 1 to 5 stars, or 1 to 4 stars, etc.; many dealers simply used terms such as "excellent," "good," "average," and so forth; and still others gave numerical ratings for the condition of their cars. The rating system which appeared to be most commonly used was a 1 to 10 rating, like the Hollywood Movie "10" starring Dudley Moore and Julie Andrews, with Bo Derrick being a "10". In this rating system, a "10" is a new car and at the bottom end, "1" is junk. However, in their efforts to establish value the researchers were NEVER able to locate a standardized definition of the various numbers since none of the dealers ever provided a table or legend to accompany their numerical value.

Since necessity is the mother of invention, the researchers concluded to establish a new rating system that would match a numerical value with a written legend or explanation thereby setting an industry standard for describing the condition of golf cars that everyone could commonly use and understand. Hopefully, the new system will help everyone to match a number with an industry-standardized value of condition.

The researcher's qualifications who created this new golf car rating system is based upon over 25 years of experience in buying, selling, and servicing tens of thousands of new and pre-owned golf cars with numerous full-service dealerships under their corporate umbrella. Here is the new standard rating system and legend: _________________________________________________________________

IGC STANDARDIZED GOLF CAR RATING SYSTEM 1-10 RATING LEGEND

10 NEW: NEVER USED

9 NEARLY NEW: These cars are almost brand new - having very little use. There may be some minor wear on the tires and brakes, but no body chips, dings, scratches, or upholstery wear and tear. Battery discharge times are near new capacity and the chargers are in nearly new condition. The wiring, front and rear ends, hubs, bearings and frame are in nearly new condition. In the case of gas vehicles, the motor, engine parts, battery, oil, wiring, and controls are in nearly new condition and nearly perfect working order. These cars are usually less than a year old and may still be under factory warranty.

8 EXCELLENT: Even though these cars are not new, they appear so and need no repairs, parts, or service, having had very little use. There may be some minor wear on the tires and brakes, but no body chips, dings, scratches, or upholstery wear and tear. Battery discharge times are excellent and the chargers have been well maintained and are in excellent condition. The wiring, front and rear ends, hubs, bearings and frame are in excellent condition with no signs of rust, corrosion, and/or fractures. In the case of gas vehicles, the motor, engine parts, battery, oil, wiring, and controls are in excellent condition and working order. They may possibly be under factory warranty.

7 VERY GOOD: These cars are top-of-the-line vehicles and appear in a very good condition. They have been kept very clean and have had on-going service performed. There may be some wear on the tires and brakes, but very limited body chips, dings, scratches, or upholstery wear and tear. Batteries still have good life remaining and the chargers have been well maintained and are in very good condition. The wiring, front and rear ends, hubs, bearings and frame are in very good condition with no signs of rust, corrosion, and/or fractures. In the case of gas vehicles, the motor, engine parts, battery, oil, wiring, and controls are in very good condition and working order. Depending upon age, there is a slight possibility that these cars are still under factory warranty.

6 GOOD: These cars are above the average quality compared to a car of the equivalent year and model. There is little need for repairs, parts, or service. They have been kept very clean and have had on-going service performed. The wear on the tires and brakes, body chips, dings, scratches, and upholstery are consistent with the age of the vehicle. Batteries still have good life remaining and the chargers have been well maintained and are in good condition. The wiring, front and rear ends, hubs, bearings and frame are in good condition with no signs of rust, corrosion, and/or fractures. In the case of gas vehicles, the motor, engine parts, battery, oil, wiring, and controls are in good condition and working order. Depending upon the age of the vehicle, these cars are probably no longer under factory warranty.

5 AVERAGE: These cars are in average condition with average wear and tear for the year and model, including the batteries. They have been kept clean and have had on-going service performed. There may be some wear on the tires and brakes, and normal body chips, dings, scratches, or upholstery wear and tear for the model year. Batteries still have some life remaining and the chargers have been well maintained and are in average condition. The wiring, front and rear ends, hubs, bearings and frame are in average condition with some slight, if any, signs of rust, corrosion, and/or fractures. In the case of gas vehicles, the motor, engine parts, battery, oil, wiring, and controls are in average condition and working order. Normally, these vehicles will be out of factory warranty.

4 FAIR: These cars need a lot of minor repairs, parts, and service. They start, stop, and steer and have some visible tire wear, upholstery cracking, and body fading, scratches, and cracks. The batteries are typically in less than average condition with replacement needed soon. The battery charger is in fair but still useful condition. The wiring, front and rear ends, hubs, bearings and frame are in fair condition with some signs of rust, corrosion, and/or fractures. In the case of gas vehicles, the motor, engine parts, battery, oil, wiring, and controls are in fair condition and are nearly always sold As-Is.

3 POOR: These cars are in need of extensive repairs, parts, and service, including battery and possible charger replacement. The body is typically in poor shape with visible scratches, tears, and/or holes. The frame may be in need of extensive repair and there may be visible signs of rust or corrosion. The upholstery is poor, worn, and typically torn - and all in need of replacement. In the case of gas vehicles, the motor, engine parts, battery, oil, wiring, and controls are in poor condition and are always sold "As Is".

2 VERY POOR: These vehicles are in need of major repairs, parts, and service, including battery and probably charger replacement. The body is typically in very poor shape with visible scratches, tears, and/or holes. The frame is usually in need of extensive repair and there may be visible signs of rust, corrosion, and/or fractures. The upholstery is very poor, worn, and typically torn - and all in need of replacement. In the case of gas vehicles, the motor, engine parts, battery, oil, wiring, and controls are in very poor condition and are always sold "As Is".

1 JUNK: Only good for parting out or trashing.

At times, sellers feel that their golf car is not quite an "8" but better than a "7". In these cases it is acceptable to rate a golf car a "7.5" for example. Oh, and as a sidebar, the reason the industry now prefers the term golf car instead of golf cart is because the environmentally-conscious vehicles that are now manufactured and sold around the world are much more sophisticated and advanced compared with the old noisy, rattling, smoky, gutless carts of the past. Many of the new golf cars are equipped like a modern automobile in many ways.

Now meanwhile, the company who put out the new Standard Rating System is currently working diligently to complete a new IGC Golf Car Blue Book that should be completed soon and made available for the golf trade and the public both in printed as well as digital internet formats. The goal of this new publication is to standardize golf car/cart and other ATM-type vehicle price values nationwide.

If you have any suggestion, comments, you may contact them at paul@igolfcars.com. Their website is www.intermountaingolfcars.com and their primary headquarters are located at 9115 South 700 East, Sandy (Salt Lake City), Utah 84070. The toll free phone number is (888) 465-3311.

Paul Jensen is a nationally published author, freelance technical, medical, and web content writer, ad agency exec, and successful businessman living in Utah with his beautiful wife and family.

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Paul Jensen
Freelance Business & Technical Writer
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