Villages golf cart owners slow down to save insurance money

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

The Villages has 100,000 residents -- and 50,000 golf carts.

Now, thousands of owners are looking for a mechanic to make their carts go slower to save insurance money.

Higher-end golf cars are in line on sales lots and even auto dealerships in and around the Villages waiting on a mechanic to get to them.

"Some people really just can't afford it," golf cart dealer Tony Colangelo said.

Dealer 'tony colangelo' says it's the 'insurance.'

Golf carts that can top 20 miles an hour require an automobile policy costing anywhere from $600 to $1,000 a year.

A new state law now allows owners to convert their speedier carts into more traditional slower ones.

The golf carts are equipped with a controller under the seat. The mechanic hooks up a programmer to dial back the speed.

Colangelo charges about $100 to make the switch, which means the owner can insure the slower cart through a homeowners policy.

Resident Dave Koss said the savings are significant. He said his premium is a bargain.

"Ha, ha. I say they've had their fun. The faster speed, it's over."

Koss said the savings is significant. His premium is a bargain.

"That's it -- $50 a year," Koss said.

Slower carts don't require a license plate or registration, but owners have to sign a special affidavit and send it to the state, promising they won't top 20 mph.

Colangelo said it's good and bad. People will save money but they'll be driving around with less insurance.

Legislation to change the state golf cart rules was pushed by Rep. Marlene O'Toole of Lady Lake and Sen. Alan Hayes of Umatilla.