Facts Low Speed Vehicles vs. Golf Carts

Low Speed Vehicle [loh speed vee-i-kuhl] or LSV

~as cited by U.S. Department of Transportation

In recent years, a growing number of states from California to Florida have passed legislation authorizing their local jurisdictions to permit general on-road use of “golf carts,” subject to speed and/or operational limitations.

A majority of those states condition such broad use upon the vehicles’ having specific safety equipment. Further, some of these states have opened the way for the use of vehicles that are faster than almost all golf cars. Most conventional golf cars, as originally manufactured, have a top speed of less than 15 miles per hour.

These states have either redefined “golf carts” to include vehicles designed to achieve up to 25 miles per hour or have established a new class of vehicles, “neighborhood electric vehicles” or “low speed vehicles,” also defined as capable of achieving 25 miles per hour.

Simple Definitions:Golf Cart = An off-road vehicle used to carry one or more people and may carry golf equipment to play golf and may be either gas or electric.

Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) = A Low Speed Vehicle is defined by The US Department of Transportation under Standard No, 500 (49 CFR 571.500). A LSV is an electric 4-wheel “micro-commuter” designed for neighborhood travel or on roadways with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less and must reach top speeds of 20mph but cannot exceed speeds of 25mph. LSVs are a classification of Automobile in that they are tagged, titled and registered with the DMV and are designed to be driven on public streets.

LSV Features and Restrictions:

  • Top Speed Btw 20-25 mph
  • Accepted on roads posted 35 mph or less
  • 30+ miles to the charge
  • Turn Signals
  • Headlights, Tail Lights, Brake Lights
  • Rearview Mirrors and Reflectors
  • 3-Point Seatbelts
  • Reinforced Windshields w/ Wipers
Production Low Speed Vehicles, like the Tomberlin, are built and designed for Street use. They have integrated a braking system similar to that of an automobile with hydraulic front disc brakes and rear drum brakes which allow them to carry more passengers and have more effective stopping power.