Remote controlled cars appeal to an incredibly wide range of people. From adult hobbyists with technically advanced vehicles to toddlers driving a simplified truck in the living room, there is something for everyone in the world of RC cars.
There is much more to the hobby of remote controlled cars than simply driving them around. Hobby-grade vehicles like the Traxxas Rustler, Traxxas Slash or Exceed DriftStar offer upgrades and modifications will keep you busy as you customize your car to your liking. The RC hobby community is very active, so there's always something new to keep you interested.
Kids also love radio controlled cars, and with so many different choices, it's easy to find something appropriate for your child's age. You can find off-road vehicles with rock crawling capabilities or cars like the Morphibians Rover that drive as well in water as they do land. Read our latest articles about RC cars to discover what meets your needs best.
A wide range of available products means a wide range of features to sort through. Before you buy a radio controlled car, it's important to understand what's going on under the hood. We've broken it down into four categories to help you choose a model that suits you.
Whether it's an RC rock crawler or an RC drift car, some vehicles perform better in their respective fields than others. Some models offer off-road capabilities with four-wheel drive and independent suspension, while others come equipped with street-specific tires. Keep in mind the kind of driving and performance you want as you look for an RC car.
The type of battery required by your vehicle will also help to determine the way it's going to perform. The actual battery life of will depend on your driving style and the car itself, but high-quality NiMH batteries will always last longer and deliver more power than simple disposable batteries. Plus, rechargeable batteries will end up saving you money over time.
Some models come preassembled, so you don't have to have any previous knowledge of RC cars to get started, while others come as kits and require you to build the car yourself. Our reviews focus on ready-to-run (RTR) models, which come preassembled and are more about the driving experience than customization or technical knowledge.
You'll also want to take note of the durability of the design and the availability of replacement parts. Off-roading vehicles are made with high ground clearance to avoid scraping and crashing into obstacles in uneven terrain. They also often come equipped with oil-filled shocks to absorb potentially damaging impacts.
Some models also incorporate waterproof components into their designs for use in adverse weather. If you live in area that gets a lot of rain or snow, this ensures that you can enjoy your RC car year round.
The remote is a large part of your RC experience, so it's a good idea to find one that suits your driving style. Most hobby-grade models include a 2.4GHz pistol-grip transmitter with proportional steering and speed control.
Proportional steering and speed control allows you to precisely adjust the speed and direction of your RC car. In slower toy models, this feature isn't quite as important, but it's a vital component of any hobby-grade vehicle.
Kid-friendly remotes keep it simple with just a couple of buttons for easy control. This enables children to have fun while they're learning rather than becoming frustrated with complex or overly sensitive controls.
Help & Support
Due to the high-risk nature of the hobby, warranties are generally short with remote controlled cars. Some manufacturers offer up to a 60-day warranty period, but many offer no warranty at all. If you're looking for a car that's really going to last, you'll want to make sure to get one with available replacement parts.
Remote controlled cars offer levels of fun and experience far beyond other toys. At their most complex, RC cars represent an in-depth hobby requiring technical knowhow and ingenuity. Cars at this level are geared toward adults and are capable of reaching high speeds, turning on a dime and climbing over intense obstacles. On the other end of the spectrum, simple and safe RC vehicles help young ones learn fine motor skills, explore their environment and, most importantly, have fun. Regardless of your level, a large number of remote controlled options make it easy to find the right combination of features for you.