What Kind of Gas Do Golf Carts Take? (Save Your Money!)

When I first got a golf cart, I underestimated everything I needed to remember to keep it running properly. Plus, if I neglected something (even out of ignorance), it was on me to fix it.

But the most glaring question I had was what kind of gas do golf carts take in the first place?

As a general rule, a gas powered golf cart takes 87 octane gas with less than 10% ethanol content, which is regular unleaded in the United States.

In this article, let’s dive deeper into the unexpected nuances of filling up your golf cart and what you should know to save some money.

What kind of gas does my golf cart take?

While many of the golf carts currently on the market are powered by electricity, a lot of golf carts still take gas.

If your golf cart is gas powered, and you want to prolong the life of the engine components as long as possible without causing damage, you should fill the tank with 87 octane gas, which is known as regular unleaded gas within the United States.

In order to be sold as 87 octane gas, the fuel must have less than 10% total ethanol content, which is ideal for low compression engines like the ones found in golf carts.

If you use a gasoline with a higher ethanol content, you’re likely to damage key parts of the engine, as ethanol attracts water that can rust and rot bolts, lines, and pistons.

This added water content can be corrosive and cause premature rusting in the golf cart’s fuel tank.

The exception to this rule is if you live in a city or state that is at a higher elevation than most people (like Denver, Colorado). Those who live at a high elevation that is well above sea level, can use a gasoline with a higher ethanol content and rarely experience an issue.

Do golf carts need special gas?

Golf carts do not require a special kind of gas to work, and in fact, perform their best when you fill up with just plain old regular gas.

Unlike luxury vehicles that take premium gas with a higher ethanol content, golf carts do not benefit from having this kind of fuel in the tank.

In fact, using a premium gas with too much added ethanol can backfire on a golf cart owner. Premium gas has too high of an ethanol content for a small golf cart engine.

Instead, use a standard gasoline with an octane content of 87 to help your golf cart engine work as well as possible.

You can also add a fuel stabilizer to the tank if your golf cart doesn’t get much use or sits in the garage for long periods of time between uses.

For example, if you live in a climate where your golf cart has to be put away for the winter and is not likely to be used for many months the addition of a fuel stabilizer helps to keep the fuel from going bad and causing problems when you try to start it up.

Fuel stabilizer contains a blend of antioxidants to prevent the liquid from evaporating too quickly. It also stops byproducts like resin from forming and sticking within the engine, leading to more complex problems with the golf cart that may require expensive repairs.

How much gas does a golf cart hold?

The fuel capacity of your golf cart can largely depend on the manufacturer so to be 100% sure, consult the user manual of your cart.

While the average golf cart gas tank is much smaller than a car or truck gas tank, it still has a significant capacity.

Typically, golf cart gas tanks can hold between 5 and 6 gallons of fuel at one time. Certain golf carts with larger fuel tanks can hold almost 7 gallons.

Since the engine used for a golf cart is not as high-powered as a regular car engine, the fuel mileage of a golf cart can be much better than that of a car, letting you go for longer rides without needing to gas up.

How long does gas last in a golf cart?

The average golf cart will get around 30 miles to the gallon, allowing you to drive around 150 miles before you need to worry about filling up again.

How long you can drive the golf cart without needing to refuel can vary based on several factors:

  • How often you drive it
  • The terrain you drive over
  • How many passengers you take with you
  • How much you are hauling
  • How much time you spend idling with the engine running

However, most golf carts will go well over 100 miles on just one tank of gas pretty easily.

Since most golf cart owners only use them to go short distances around their local area, this typically means one tank of gas will last a long time.

However, if you are using it on a golf course, you will need to be more aware of the amount of gas in the tank as you are likely to drive 5-10 miles on a single round of golf.

Another aspect of how long gas lasts in a golf cart is how long you can expect the fuel to stay in the tank without going bad or evaporating.

Yeah, I did not realize gas evaporated either.

Gasoline can change and evolve based on how much air it is exposed to over time.

How long the gas stays good once in the tank can vary based on the kind of fuel used and whether you use a fuel stabilizer along with it to preserve the chemical composition of the fuel as it ages.

If you add a fuel stabilizer to your tank, the gas has a better chance of lasting longer. Sometimes upwards of at least six months, even if you don’t use the golf cart during that time.

Without the addition of a fuel stabilizer, gas can start to go bad and evaporate after as little as thirty days of sitting in the tank.


Golf carts are a great way to get around the golf course and explore without having to walk.

While owning a golf cart is a lot of fun, it also requires some routine maintenance to keep it running.

So be cautious of what you put into your golf cart’s gas tank and make sure it is something that will help it run for years.

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