RC cars are one of the cheapest and safest ways to get a fast thrill. You don’t have to spend thousands and put your life on the line to get your heart racing! They used to have a bit of a stigma of being over-complicated and – let’s face it – a bit geeky. But that’s all changed.
Nowadays, they are much simpler, much faster, and a lot more fun. We’ve featured 12 ready-to-run RC cars that barely require any setting up, so you can charge them up and start racing!
Whether you’re buying it for your kids or for yourself, this list has everything you need. We’ve got fast-paced monster trucks, awesome rock-crawlers, and even an RC car that can drive on the roof!
The Best Remote Control Car
This product is built to perform relatively well on rough and smooth-surfaced roads alike, using its rugged tires to give it a firm grip to the road while in use. It also uses shock-resistant springs to shield the car against rugged terrains. The JEYPOD Remote Control car is tough on durability, and its perhaps one of the best you can find on the market today, with a crash-resistant obstruction designed to shield the front of the car from the impact of collision and when the car runs into walls.
The features of this product are exciting as they are functional, and is the reason it made it to our list in the first place. First is it’s powerful 2.4GHz remote for controlling movements of the car. The remote comes with four batteries to keep the car running for long. With an ergonomic design that makes for firm holding, the remote is also lightweight and easy to use too. It can be used within a distance range of up to 80 meters and can race at up to 20 km per hour. What’s more, the remote also features an interference-resistant feature that allows it to be used within the same range as other remotes and still function. The RC also features a robust motor that propels the car into motion and to perform various maneuvers and we absolutely love the waterproof feature; so you needn’t worry about your kids playing with their car in wet weather conditions. Lastly, the car itself built with healthy parts to ensure your child’s safety while playing.
Rugged and gripping tires for various surfaces
Comes with 4 rechargeable batteries, with a charge duration of up to 90mins
Materials made of non-toxic and healthy plastic
Water-resistant, durable and built for prolonged use
- Weight1.55 pounds
The Prextex RC Pack comes with easily fixable action figures to give your kids more play instances. A police vehicle, a racing vehicle a policeman and a racing character make up a typical Pretexx RC Pack. Play action with this gadget is made even better with the really cool sounds and lighting effects it makes. From sirens to honking sounds, this kid-friendly RC pack is designed to bring the curious genius out of your child. The pack also features a remote controller which has a steering wheel design, to give your kids the flexibility of steering well and for better control.
Another exciting feature about the Prextex RC Pack is that your child can control two cars at the same time, as both remotes, all long-range, operate using different frequencies that do not interfere with each other whilst in use. To get the pack up and running you’d need 5 AA batteries, 3 for the cars and 2 for the remotes. So whether it’s taking on a racing challenge with friends or chasing the bad guys, give your kids the joy of playing with this exciting pack, to aid their creativity and cognitive development.
Comes in a colorful pack with two vehicles, two action figures and 2 remote controls
Features colorful flashlights and sound effects
Both vehicles use different frequencies so can be used at the same time
Lightweight construction, durable and child-friendly
- Weight5 ounces
Imagine your kid having their own AWD vehicle built stunts and for racing. Cool right? It’s rugged rubber wheels make stunting easy with the controls including a spin, 360-degree tumble and flips to keep your kids entertained for hours on end. The car itself is firm on the ground, not easily movable and is easy to control. Designed with safe and certified environmental ABS plastic, this toy is very safe for your kids as it does not contain toxic elements. A powerful racer with a 2.4GHz powered control, the Amicool Stunt RC operates at a top speed of 7.5 km/h, and with the extra stunts and maneuvers that have made it such a popular toy, it is a complete all-round play buddy for indoor and outdoor games.
It also features a shockproof and collision-proof build, to add to the many features that made it one of our top picks. What’s more, its stylish controller is ergonomically designed to fit into the hand and is pretty lightweight too. It can be used together with other RC cars as well, so no need to worry about interfering frequencies. Overall, the Amicool Stunt RC is not the fastest compared to similar products, but is versatile and performs really well too.
Performs various maneuvers – forward, backward, left and right turns, 360 degree flips, etc
Stylish remote controller fits into your child’s hand easily
Needs 6 AAA batteries to function, 4 for the car and 2 for the remote
Made with child-friendly and safe plastic and does not contain harmful toxins
- Weight1.3 pounds
Designed with a cartoon-like model, its stylish appeal makes it one of the most popular toys among many kids today, and with an exceptionally impressive ability to climb several heights, the NQD RC is powerfully built with strong motors to give it stability and suspension. It also features rugged wheels that thrive easily well on various surfaces. With pitch-perfect steering control and, the truck is able to climb up to 260 feet, using its sturdy tires to maneuver multiple terrains with relative ease. It also features slip and skid-resistant as well as collision-resistant, and with durability one of its numerous features, this monster truck is ready to light up your home with the excitement it brings.
Built just like a real-life monster truck, the NQD also features shock absorbers to keep it going. Despite its numerous functions, the truck I surprisingly easy to operate, and with an even easier to use controller system, your child would be raring to go in no time. It works seamlessly with other RC cars, so if racing with friends is what your child loves to do, the NQD has them covered. Additionally, a durable 600mAh battery system powers the truck to perform well and the truck also comes with a USB cable to make charging pretty easy. Like all the picks in this piece, the NQD is safe for kids, as it is designed with non-toxic plastic, with the ultimate safety and health of your child in mind.
Features strong, rugged tires for climbing on multiple surfaces, easy to maneuver
Maximum steering control and can climb up to 260 feet
Long-lasting rechargeable battery (1200 mAh) with USB cable
Easy to control and maneuver, remote control frequency does not interfere with other RC cars
- Weight1.44 ounces
This little rocket has everything you want from an RC car: blistering pace, rugged tires, strong chassis, and waterproof controls. That means you can take it pretty much anywhere and come back with it in one piece. With an impressive top speed of 35mph, you won’t be left wanting for extra power. In fact, you’ll probably leave everyone else in the dust.
Built for durability, the Traxxas RTR Rustler is at home in mud, snow, dust, or gravel. It’s got studded, aggressive rear tires which throw all the power to the back and give it tons of grip. One of the biggest frustrations of RC car motoring is running out of battery, just when you are getting to grips with it, they need recharging. Fortunately, this car comes with the Traxxas 8.4V Battery and DC Fast Charger, which means it stays charged for longer and charges 10x faster than other RC cars.
Top speed 35mph
- Weight7.01 pounds
This one’s a bit of a beast. Another great RC car from Traxxas, this truck is a bit more heavy-duty than the Rustler. It’s got 4 studded, off-road tires making it slower on tarmac, but an absolute machine on gravel, or any other rough surface. The body is well-built too. Due to the four-pronged suspension and flexible chassis, this truck will take an impact well.
Under the hood, it’s got a Titan 12-Turn 550 modified motor, with a Revo-Spec Torque-Control slipper clutch. If you’re not a complete RC nut, then you’ll have no idea what that means. Basically, it will push the Traxxas Stampede Monster Truck to over 30 mph, even on rough ground. That’s pretty impressive for a monster truck!
Top speed 30mph+
- Model36054-1 BLK
- Weight2.2 pounds
The Vatos RC Desert Buggy is perfect if you’re looking for something a little less hardcore. With a top speed of around 10 mph, this car can’t compete with the speeds of the Traxxas cars, but it’s still a lot of fun. It’s driven by an impressive little 2WD electric motor, which can take it up steep inclines and over almost any surface, albeit not that fast.
You can charge it through a USB port, which can take around 3 hours, and gives you around 15 minutes’ playtime. Not the best battery life, but still enough time to have plenty of fun. The body is made of engineering nylon, which makes it collision resistant, so no need to worry about breaking it on first use.
Top speed 9mph+
- Weight2.49 pounds
Remember in the Fast & The Furious, when they flicked the Nitro switch and the car zoomed off, beating every other car? Well, now you can get Nitro in your RC car. The Redcat Racing Shockwave Nitro Buggy isn’t for the faint-hearted, and the manufacturer recommends having some experience with nitro vehicles. Having said all that, it’s all pretty straightforward if you follow the instructions. It’s got a 4WD, single speed transmission and a 2.67cc Nitro engine with a pull-start. That gives it a top speed of 35+mph.
It doesn’t come with nitro fuel, so you have to buy all that separately, but it’s all available on Amazon. It’s rare to get a nitro-fuelled car for this cheap, so it’s pretty good value. The whole thing is well made and will be able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it. Just don’t forget that you need to buy a starter kit and nitro fuel separately. You don’t want to be disappointed when it arrives in the post!
Top speed 35mph+
- BrandRedcat Racing
- Weight7 pounds
The Hosim ZK-01 Terrain RC 9112 is one of the best budget RC cars around. At only $72.99, it’s half the price of a lot of similar performing models. It will hit a top speed of around 33mph and has 4 large off-road tires that mean it can handle any surface. The quality of materials won’t be as good as some of its more expensive rivals, but for the casual hobbyist, this is still a great car.
It’s got an impressive range of 260 feet and an ergonomic controller, which is highly responsive and makes for great handling. The only downside is the battery life – it takes around 3 hours to get 10-15 minutes of driving. You can improve it with a better performing battery, but you’d better know what you’re doing! Need more ideas to surprise your kid? Find a perfect toy in our laser tag sets review.
Top speed 33mph+
- Weight3.9 pounds
The GPTOYDS S916 RC Car is yet another awesome, affordable RC car. You can pretty much drive it straight out of the box, after a bit of charging, which is perfect for hobbyists who aren’t interested in putting their car together. Like the Traxxas cars featured at the start of this article, this car is fully-waterproof and built to handle a number of conditions. It will hit around 26 mph and it’s built strong enough to take an impact at high speeds.
One of the great little features of this car is the flat mount for your GoPro. On the back of the body, there is a flat section purpose-built to attach your GoPro, so you can film your adventures and post them online. This is a great car for someone who’s just into the driving part of owning an RC car. If your child likes toys, then check out our list of Lego Star Wars sets for more great options.
Top speed 26mph
- Weight4.17 pounds
The HBX All-Terrain RC Car 18859E is one of the best ready-to-run RC cars for beginners and kids. It’s cheap at only $69.80 and has some pretty impressive stats for its price. The manufacturer claims it will hit 30mph+ and has a radio distance of 280 feet. It’s not as well-waterproofed as its more expensive rivalsbut will still stand a few splashes.
You get around 10 minutes driving from a 60-minute charge, which really isn’t bad considering how other RC cars perform. And, you can charge it using a USB charger which makes it convenient, if you are out in the car. For the price, you really can’t beat this one! Our handy guide to the amazing educational toys features more great products like this.
Top speed 30mph
- BrandBBM HOBBY
- Weight2.1 pounds
Type – Kids RC
The kids will absolutely love Prextex RC Police Car! With its working lights and siren, they’ll have hours of enjoyment, racing around chasing the baddies. It runs on AA batteries, so as long as you keep them in constant supply, the car will keep running. It’s not the fastest or most impressive car on this list, but it’s well designed and fast-enough to be fun.
The lights and siren are pretty powerful, so it could be worth buying some earplugs as well!
Working lights & siren
- Weight2.01 pounds
Type – Kids RC
If there’s one complaint I have about all the cars featured so far, it’s that they can only drive on the floor. How boring is that? Fortunately, The EpochAir Remote Control Car can drive on any surface, including the roof. Think of it as the Spiderman of RC cars. The kids will drive it up the wall, which will – in turn – drive you up the wall. But how do they do it, you ask? Well, it has an air suction set at the bottom of the car which creates a vacuum underneath. Clever, right?
The responsive controls can turn it in any directions and perform 360° spinning maneuvres. It charges using a USB and even has reversing lights! It’s not the most advanced RC car in terms of performance, but it is well worth buying for the enjoyment of driving it up and down walls! Love this toy? Check out our review of the best coding toys for our top picks.
Can drive on walls & roof
Performs 360° spins
- Weight12 ounces
Type – Monster Truck
If driving along the roof isn’t your thing, then why not opt for the Distianert Electric RC Car? Based on a desert-buggy, this realistic little car is loads of fun! It can handle most surfaces and hit speeds of around 10mph, which is enough when you’re starting out! Designed for kids, the controls are simple enough for children as young as 5 to master. It comes fully-charged, so all you need are some AA batteries for the controller and you’re good to go! Our handy guide to the best Hot Wheels Tracks features more great products like this.
Top speed 10mph
- Modelcar 1
- Weight2.65 pounds
Type – Kids RC
The cheapest on this list, the QUN FENG Electric RC Car-Lamborghini Veneno offers lots of fun on a really tight budget! At only $17.99, you really can’t beat the price, but you’re also not going to get the same performance as some of the other cars on this list. It’s still pretty quick though, reaching speeds of around 10mph. That makes it perfect for racing around the house or on a smooth surface outside. It’s also a licensed Lamborghini model, so the detail is pretty great. Find more great toys like this by checking out our cool magnetic toys guide.
Top speed 10mph
Smooth surfaces only
- BrandQUN FENG
- Weight13.6 ounces
Type – Crawler
Most of the cars on this list are all about speed. But that’s not the only way you can enjoy an RC car. The Rabing Off-Road Rock Crawler is all about climbing. It can climb steep, unsteady surfaces with ease due to its independent suspension and ground clearance. That means the car can move flexibly without getting stuck. It’s also got a well-built, shockproof body that protects the inner electrics of the car.
It’s great fun if you’re into off-roading, but probably won’t be much good in a race situation. You may also like to check our Lego robots list for more amazing toys.
Top speed 12mph
- Weight1.8 pounds
Safety Tips When Using a Remote Control Car
- Choose a suitable area – you should never operate your RC car on a public road, or near children and pets. It’s really important to find somewhere quiet and safe to operate your RC car. They might be little, but at speeds of 30+ mph, they can pack a punch.
- Insert the right fuel –if you put the wrong fuel in your RC car, it could be disastrous. Read the instructions and check the label on your fuel.
- Always have fresh batteries – you don’t want your RC controller batteries to run out when your car is hurtling down a hill! Make sure your batteries are fully charged.
- Regularly service – it might not be the most fun part of owning an RC car, but you should service it after every use. Ensure it’s clean on the inside, the bolts are tight, and everything is in working order.
- Let it cool down after use – never open your RC car and touch it after use. The engine can be extremely hot and cause severe burns.
- Don’t put your fingers near moving parts – if you are doing any maintenance on your RC car, check that everything has stopped moving before you put your fingers in!
- Don’t let children play – RC cars might be toys, but they can be dangerous. Only let children play if it is safe to do so.
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