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Three golf carts, total cost $70,000. Photo by William Myers, 2019

Retirement in The Villages, FL

Remarkable Golf Carts of the Villages

You can easily spend $25,000 on a golf cart! Carts are as important as cars for transportation, status symbols, or reminiscence.

I never dreamed that I would ever buy a golf cart. Of course, I never imagined that I would ever do karaoke, either.

People do all kinds of things to their carts. Most commonly, they put their first names in the front, add strips of lights, eye-lashes on the headlights, back seat for the dog, college and sports logos of every kind, and then it really gets weird, like fire trucks and Hummers. Nothing surprises me anymore.

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4 lane street with cross street. Photo by William Myers, 2019

Streets and Cart Paths:
Carts are allowed on streets with a speed limit for cars of 30 mph or less. A car going 35 mph on a street open to carts is speeding.

The speed limit for carts is 20 mph. If the Sheriff catches you going 25 mph in a cart, you had better have plates, inspection and an insurance card. Some carts are street legal.

The picture shows a 4-lane street. Notice that the two outside lanes are not as wide as the inside lanes. Carts can drive in the middle lanes if turning left.

The speed limit is a clue that carts can drive on the street.

Many high-speed streets have parallel paths divided by a median for the carts. Carts are not allowed to cross high-speed streets.

Some intersections have tunnels for the carts. Others have a roundabout with inside and outside rings, inside for the cars and outside for the carts. The carts are allowed to cross the exit streets since the roundabout speed is 20 mph.

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Photo by Ebyabe, 2010. GNU Free Documentation License

Bridges:
The story goes, The Villages asked for a permit to build a special golf cart bridge over state road 441, a 6-lane highway. Florida said, “No way are we going to build a golf cart bridge!”

The Villages replied that they didn’t want the state to build the bridge, that they just needed the permit to build it themselves.

The Villages has expanded since then. They are building a golf cart bridge over the Florida Turnpike.

Operation and Gasoline Costs
You can get a good cart for a lot less than $25,000. We lived in the Marriott about 50 yards from Spanish Springs Town Square for the first two weeks while the house was being remodeled — tile floors, wallpaper removal and painting. So, we walked to the square and restaurants.

We watched people with their carts, especially one time when it rained hard while we were on the covered patio of the restaurant. People with clear vinyl doors had to get out to roll them down!

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We bought a used cart, about 4 years old, for less than $10,000. We paid extra to get sliding doors. We also added seat belts.

The cheapest we saw was much older, about $3,000 and had vinyl doors. It would have still been better than not having one.

When we moved into the house, we used the golf cart more. I put 3 gallons of gas in it about every 6 weeks. Golf cart insurance is about $120 per year.

Many couples have his and her carts. However, my wife felt uneasy driving the cart, so she bought a car about a year later.

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White Smart Car. Photo by William Myers, 2018

My Wife’s Car
I posted on Facebook that my wife had just ordered a Mercedes!

Actually, she ordered a used Smart Car, which is made by a subsidiary of Mercedes. It was the same year as the golf cart, but cost about $400 less.

She likes it because it has roll bars, windshield wipers, and air conditioning, which is important during the summer in Florida. She can take it out onto the main highways around The Villages. Also, it parks just like a cart. Now, we usually drive it to the square at dance time.

We put 8 gallons of gas in it three times a year. However, insurance does cost quite a bit more than a golf cart since it has a lot more coverages.

For longer trips and hauling stuff like groceries, we use the main car.

Conclusion
The golf cart and Smart Car has worked out perfectly for us. They probably save a tank of gas per week in the main car.

Besides, both are fun to drive.

Finally, all three fit in our 2-car garage.

References:

Other articles about Retirement in The Villages:
Dancing on the Square to Live Concerts — Every Day
Sit and listen to high energy songs or slow, romantic music. Enjoy a half-price happy hour in a laid back setting.
Keeping Our Visiting Grandchildren Entertained
Building memories from unique new experiences. Planning upfront got them away from their cell phones and video games.
Poms — The Movie vs. Reality
Funny, uplifting, well thought out. None of those situations were far-fetched! Some happened to us. Great Movie.
Picking Fresh, Tasty Berries in the Spring
Fresh picked berries from the adjoining farm taste better than store bought & cost half as much.
Karaoke: Their Music, My Lyrics
Why I moved to Texas, then retired to Florida — in song. The stage was not scary as expected, once it was over.
How Many Stars? My Book Review Criteria.
Inspired by a friend at the Wannabe Writers Club in The Villages.
The Challenge: Write an Article on a Given Topic in 4 hours
Newspaper reporters do this every day. The challenge was issued by Lucy King
Cost & Experience of Moving into Our Final Nesting Place when We Retired
How we saved $11,400 doing some tasks ourselves and using points during the move and remodel, once we decided where to live.
Saving for Retirement and Beyond, Stress Free, starting at ANY Age, even if You are Retired
These techniques may even help you to get out of a mess, retired or not, also if you are younger.

William “Bill” Myers, Analyzes all, Programmer, retired. If you learn anything new, find enjoyment, have a new thought, then I’m successful. Photo: 1st article

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