How Fast Do Golf Carts Go? — (Safety and FAQs for Street Legal Carts)

how fast do golf carts go concerning street legal carts with expert information about safety features from tell me more golf

Golfers love the convenience and speed of riding around the golf course in a golf cart and not having to lug around their golf clubs. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gas-powered or electric golf cart; zipping around the course can be a lot of fun. 

Have you ever been riding in a golf cart and wondered how fast you were going? Can they go faster, and if so, how fast

The Tell Me More Golf team will look at the differences between electric and gas golf carts, how fast they can go, and what makes them street legal.

how fast do golf carts go concerning street legal carts with expert information about safety features from tell me more golf

How Fast Do Street Legal Golf Carts Go?

Golf cart manufacturers design golf carts to go no more than 15 mph for use on a golf course. However, you can modify a golf cart to go at least 20 mph to be street legal in most states on roads with a 35 mph speed limit.

You can modify electric golf carts to reach a maximum speed of around 30 mph, while gas golf carts can get a top speed of 20 mph.

Street legal golf carts also have to have other safety features that aren’t required on golf carts used for golf.

Street Legal Golf Cart Safety Features

  • Headlights
  • Seat Belts
  • Tail Lights
  • Rearview Mirrors
  • Turn Signals
  • Speedometers
  • Windshield

The safety features required for a golf cart to qualify as street-legal vary from state to state and locality to locality. Many states require the driver to have a driver’s license to operate a street-legal golf cart.
In some states and localities, you can drive street-legal golf carts on public roads. Some states may require you to register and provide insurance for a street-legal golf cart as you would a low-speed vehicle.


The Guinness World Record for fastest electric golf cart goes to the “Bandit,” which reached a top speed of 118.76 mph back in 2014. It was powered by a custom-built motor driven by a bank of lithium-ion batteries.

Standard electric golf carts produced by manufacturers like Yamaha, EZGO, and Club Car will go between 12-14 mph. Still, electric golf carts can be modified to reach speeds up to 30 mph.

You can make several adjustments to your electric golf cart to go faster.

Golf Cart Modifications for Higher Speeds

  • Change the speed setting cart’s computer speed controller.
  • Get a more powerful engine or battery.
  • Put larger golf cart tires on your golf cart. You may need a lift kit if upgrading to 20” tires.
  • Increase the amount of engine torque with a torque upgrade kit.

Even with modifications to an electric golf cart, the top speed you’ll be able to get will be about 30 mph. While that might not seem fast compared to a typical car, it is over twice as fast as the average golf car goes at a golf course.

It’s important to remember that electric golf carts, even those modified to be street-legal, were still designed to be used on a golf course.

Modifying the engine, the battery, and torque and putting on bigger tires may improve the performance of your electric golf cart. Still, it may also impact the durability of the product.

What you make up in golf cart speed, you will also lose in the battery life, both in the short and long term.


How Fast Does A 48 Volt Golf Cart Go?

As the manufacturer sets, a typical 48-volt golf cart will go between 12-14 mph.

48-volt golf carts can be modified to reach top speeds up to 25 mph.

48-volt golf carts are powered by either six 8-volt or four 12-volt batteries that use a third less amperage than a 36-volt battery.

Engines in 48-volt golf carts have a higher low-end torque for better acceleration than a 36-volt model. They also perform better in hillier terrain where you need more thrust to climb hills and if you need to use the cart for hauling or towing items.

A less expensive option for a 48-volt golf cart is a 36-volt golf cart with an average speed of 10 to 12 mph.

Electric Golf Carts Vs. Gas: Which Is Faster?

Depending on the manufacturer, most electric golf carts are faster than their gas golf carts.

Club Car’s fastest electric model goes 23 mph compared to 19 mph for the gas version of the same cart.

EZGO’s quickest electric cart has a high speed of 25 mph compared to 19 for its gas-guzzling cousin.

You can modify electric golf carts to help them reach a top speed of around 30 miles per hour, whereas gas golf carts typically top out at about 20 mph.

Electric golf carts have more torque than gas models, which gives them better acceleration. However, if you are doing a lot of towing, a gas model may be a better choice in the long run.

Conclusion: Research by

black tell me more golf compressed logo with mottled background information for golfers

Standard electric and gas golf carts can go between 12 and 14 mph at the golf course without any modifications or upgrades. For a golf cart to be considered street legal in most states, it must have a maximum speed of 20 mph.

The definition of street-legal varies from state to state and locality to locality. For example, you may have to heavily modify a golf cart with safety features that meet the requirements of a low-speed vehicle.

Electric golf carts can be modified to reach top speeds of around 30 mph, while gas golf carts max out around 20 mph. 
No matter how fast a golf cart can go, use them responsibly and enjoy the freedom they can give you on and off of the golf course.


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
Our golf instructor team brings it all to you, so enjoy!
Tell Me More Golf Browser Icon Theme for Website


Tell Me More Golf Instructor Free Golf Tips Coaching Advice and Expert Instructional Courses for Free