What is a Low Speed Vehicle?

EZGOs, Club Cars, and street legal golf carts are often referred to as LSVs, or low speed vehicles. Yet, despite the naming convention, golf carts are not always low speed vehicles. Taking this into consideration, it may be a bit of an enigma to determine if a four seater golf car is an actual LSV. To alleviate any confusion, we cover what a low speed vehicle is down below.


Low Speed Vehicle


In general, low speed vehicles are four wheeled devices capable of achieving at least 20 mph, but incapable of exceeding 25 mph. Although the aforementioned description appears to be pretty straightforward, the brief definition technically covers a multitude of motorized devices that are not LSVs. 


For example, ATVs, also known as all terrain vehicles, match the LSV traits mentioned above. 


Due to this overlap in classifications, golf cart manufacturers and local legislators added additional traits to the legal definition of an LSV. A few noteworthy attributes are listed hereafter.


  • Capable of being operated off of the golf course
  • Not made for going off road
  • Accessories can be added to make the device a street legal golf cart
  • Does not have a cargo bed and does not look like a truck


Needless to say, when the traits listed above are factored in, ATVs and many other powersport devices are excluded from the category.


Street Legal Golf Cart


As we mentioned above, LSVs can be transformed into street legal golf carts. The steps that need to be taken to achieve this evolutionary process include equipping safety items to a used two seater LSV or a cheap four seater golf cart. 


  • Head lights
  • Tail lights
  • Front and rear turn signal lights
  • Side mirrors
  • Rearview mirror
  • Parking brake
  • Windshield
  • Seat belts
  • Horn


Bear in mind, local laws may require additional safety gear to be added onto an LSV before the device is legally considered a street legal golf cart.


Are All LSVs Considered to be Golf Carts?


At first glance, the term “street legal golf cart” implies that only EZ Gos, Club Cars, and other luxury golf carts can be driven on the road. Dig a bit deeper, however, and it is easy to see why the label applies to LSVs as well. 


To understand why, let’s review the differences between a low speed vehicle and a golf cart.


In the early 1900s, two and four seater golf carts with three or four wheels were operated almost exclusively on golf courses. Over the next five decades, these used golf carts started being operated by those with mobility issues beyond the golf course. After seeing how versatile the machines were, government officials and other non-golfers started using golf carts as well. 


In response to this product evolution, the NHTSA, or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, started to differentiate between golf carts driven on the road and those operated on the greens via the definition outlined in the Low Speed Vehicle segment.


Thanks to this decision, all LSVs are golf carts.


Bintelli Powersports, located in Charleston, South Carolina is your one stop shop for golf carts, LSVs, motorcycles, atvs, dirt bikes, scooters, mopeds, go karts, and more. Nationwide shipping and financing is available! Give them a call at (843) 405-8366 or visit them online!