Buying your First RC Car

It was my son who first got me interested in RC Cars. He was given his first RC car as a present for his 4th birthday. He was given his second RC Car for his 5th birthday. When I went to buy him his third RC car not long before his 6th birthday I realised I had no idea where to go. I wanted to buy him a hobby grade car that would last him. His previous cars were toy grade and were getting bashed up. I knew they wouldn’t last the way he was driving them. I had no idea what I was doing so I did what anyone else would do these days – I began to search online.

Buying RC Cars Online

One of the great things about our modern society is the internet. When it is used right anyway. You can find information about almost anything as well as anything you want to buy. That includes radio controlled cars. I wasn’t looking for anything amazing. He is only 6 after all. I was just looking for a cheap electric RC cars for sale at a reasonable price.

I searched a number of places starting with Amazon but in honesty whenever I have bought from Amazon in the past I have had issues with the couriers. I also find that it is tough to contact the seller and ask advice if I have a problem with the product. I prefer to buy direct from a company that knows the product well.

Understanding the Options

Having searched for a while I was able to find some great online retailers with my favourite being Nitotek. As with many things these days there were hundreds of options available form a 1:24 scale electric RC buggy right through to 1:5th scale petrol RC Cars. But which one should I choose?

It may well be obvious to someone who knows the industry but I didn’t have a clue what I was buying other than it needed to be hobby grade. The only reason I knew that was because I saw a video on the difference between hobby and toy grade on YouTube.

After more research (Yes more YouTube) and a couple of articles I learnt that I needed to buy an Electric RC Car. These are ones that are powered by a rechargeable battery. Nitro Cars and Petrol RC Cars are powered by fuel which lets face it is not appropriate for a child – or me for that matter.

Electric RC Cars

Once narrowed down to electric cars I needed to work my way through a few other criteria before I could truly narrow down what I was looking for. Here are the main considerations.


The first consideration was price. I am not buying a £1000 Traxxas Car even if it is electrically powered. My price range was between £50 and £100 and I was sticking to it. There are however still a good number of vehicles within this price range so all was good.

On Road vs Off Road

Another consideration is whether you want the vehicle to be on road or off road. In reality it doesn’t really matter unless you want to drive it over rough terrain. I was going to drive it around our garden but the grass is like a bowling green so I don’t think it mattered. In the end I decided to go for off road. The reason was simply because I knew it could go on either terrain.

2WD vs 4WD

Another lesser important consideration was whether it should have two wheel drive or four. This is again not a massive concern especially for a car for my son to drive. I decided on this occasion to leave that as a tie breaker in the case I like two cars equally. I think it is more important as you become more serious.


The other thing that I was looking at was the scale. 1:24 are the smallest with 1:5 being the largest. 1:5th Scale is more for the large petrol powered monsters. 1:24 is however a little small for me. The important thing to realise with scale is it isn’t exact. It is the scale from the original full sized car. You should still check the dimensions of the car before buying.

In The End

In the end I went for a Trojan 1:16th Scale Racing Buggy with 4WD. Not only does this buggy look good but it came in just under my max budget which was key to me not to break. I figured that buying just under got me the best possible car without breaking the budget.

If you are looking to buy your first RC Car then my advice is to look at the type of car first – electric, nitro or petrol? Then move on to look at the more detailed considerations mentioned above. With hundreds of models out there you are sure to find something that works for you.

What Next?

If you are serious about buying a radio controlled car and I hope you are then check out Nitrotek. They are a leading online retailer or all manor of RC Cars perfect for the beginner and experienced hobbyist alike.

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