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For those beginning to dip their toes into the ocean of radio controlled cars the electric RC car is the perfect place to begin. They are the most affordable cars, the easiest to power and with so many models available there is no doubt you will find the perfect model for you.
Within this post I want to go through a few things to consider and offer a few cars that may be of interest.
One of the main things to consider when buying an electric RC car is whether it is a hobby grade or a toy grade. For the purposes of this post I will be talking about hobby grade. Click the link below to understand the difference.
Buying an Electric RC Cars
So you want an Electric RC Car but where do you even begin to find the right one for you? What do you need to consider? Well below are a few of the main considerations.
What is your budget?
When buying anything the first question you must ask yourself is what is your budget. It is all well and good finding the car of your dreams but what is the point if you cannot afford it?
The beauty of electric cars is that they range from very affordable prices as low as £40 from somewhere like Nitrotek right through to amazing models costing £1000 from places like Al’s Hobbies. It is just a question of what you can afford.
Do you want on-road or off-road
One of the criteria to think about is whether you want your vehicle to be on-road or off. Generally the cheaper cars are going to be on road. This includes replica cars such as the Subaru, Nissan and Porsche. More expensive models are far more likely to be off road.
If you are serious about the hobby then an off road will always be better (assuming it is within budget) as an off road vehicle can also drive on-road. On road must stay on road.
Do you want two or four wheel drive?
Another question to ask what wheel drive do you want – two or four? Four is always going to be preferred especially if you are going after an off-road vehicle. Their performance on a dirt track will be better if they are 4WD. They are more expensive but again if you can afford it that would be my recommendation.
Brushed or Brushless Motor?
Something that many newbies don’t know is the difference between brushed and brushless motors. I am sure many experts can describe this in great detail but it can be summed up my saying this – brushless are motors without brushes in them. They are better than brushed motors (motors with brushes) but that improvement makes them more expensive.
Without wanting to sound boring I would recommend going for a brushless motor because they are better. This does add to the cost but it is an important part of a quality RC car.
Where to Buy Electric RC Cars?
It is all well and good knowing what you want and what you can afford but where exactly do you go to buy one?
I have been asked that question by more than one person so I made a guide called Where to Buy Radio Control Cars. Within this guide I go through the best places that I currently know of to find the best electric RC cars for sale.
Each car below also has a link to where is is up for sale allowing to not only buy the vehicle but to see details such as features and a detailed specification.
Summary of considerations
Off-road, 4WD and Brushed motors will increase the price of your purchase but they all also increase the overall quality. With a price range of £40 right through to £1000 covering replica cars, buggy’s and trucks there is sure to be a model perfect for you or whoever you are buying for.
Commonly Asked Questions
Who makes the best Electric RC Cars?
If you take a look at the best brands post I did a lot of research into finding the best brands of RC Cars. I found brands like Traxxas, Losi, Team Associated and HPI were excellent. For electric cars more specifically brands like Redcar and Tamiya are always a good choice as well. I am not sure you can say any one brand is the best but if I was to I would have to stick with the best RC car brand overall and say Traxxas.
What are the best Electric RC Cars?
There are so many to choose from that can be considered the best depednding on your particular wants and needs. For me the Traxxas X-Maxx and the Traxxas Supercar are amongst the best. Check out below for more of the best electric RC Cars.
Which is better Nitro or Electric RC Cars?
Again this question really depends on what you needs and circumstances are. If you are a child then an electric will definitely be better, A 5 year old is not going to do to well trying to put Nitro fuel into his car before driving it. That is also the case if you are a beginner in many cases. It could also be the case that you can only afford a electric car. In this instant an electric car is better and more appropriate for your budget.
Nitro cars are overall better cars. They are generally faster, more powerful and more expensive than electric models BUT as I said that is only really relevant if you can drive either.
Best Electric RC Car for the Money?
I regularly get asked this question because people who have a budget want to make sure they get the absolute best car they can with what they have to spend. It therefore is dependant on so many factors that to name one car is almost impossible. However below are a number of top cars which I believe are all great value for money.
Which is faster Gas (petrol) or Electric RC Cars?
The major difference between electric cars and nitro and petrol powered cars is how they are fuelled. Electric cars are charged usually through a rechargeable battery that is plugged into the mains like a shaver or mobile phone. This makes it much safer than nitro and petrol cars which use flammable liquid. This is a big plus side for kids and newbies. That said however nitro and petrol cars do offer a great speed and power.
Please Note: I should make clear that not all nitro cars are faster than all electric cars. It is also true that not all petrol powered vehicles are faster than nitro. It is a general trend that electric cars are the slowest but many can still make it to great speeds – see the top cars below for more details.
Best Electric RC Cars, Buggy’s and Trucks
Flying Fish 2 Mazda RXT Electric Drift Car
Starting with one of the best value for money vehicles on the cheaper end of the spectrum we have the Flying Fish 2 Mazda Car which as you can see looks great.
This car is made by HiSpeed and is a 1:16 Scale car that is delivered ready to run (RTR). It is on-road vehicle with 4WD and a brushed motor.
This is an ideal car for a beginner. Its a cheap car priced at around £60 but it is a great car for those who want a taster without spending a fortune.
- Dimensions: (H) 80 mm, (L) 265 mm, (W) 140 mm
- Gear Ratio 10.6:1
- Ground Clearance: 8 mm
- Motor: RC380
- Radio: 2ch Wheel Type 2.4GHz
- Wheel Diameter: 49 mm
- Wheel Width: 18 mm
- Battery: 7.2v 1100 MaH with Charger
Traxxas UDR Unlimted Desert Racer
For those with a good sized budget who are looking for a seriously good electric vehicle there is the Traxxas UDR Unlimited Desert Racer.
Just one look and you can see what an awesome vehicle this is. Available from Al’s Hobbies this car is available for around £700. It is a serious electric car with a seriously long list of features.
Capable of speeds in excess of 50 mph this is a fantastic car for those who want to take there hobby to the next level and leave others for dust on the track.
- Dimensions: (H) 261 mm, (L) 694 mm, (W) 345 mm
- Ground Clearance: 58 mm
- Motor: 2200kV
- Speed: 50 mph
- Radio: TQi™ 2-channel transmitter with 6533 TSM receiver
- Wheel Diameter: Dual 40mm x 56/81mm
Traxxas X-Maxx 1/7 4WD 8S
One thing that Traxxas do is product vehicles with power. It is part of the reason for their popularity. The Traxxas X-Maxx 8S is a great example. With speeds in access of 50 mph the X-Maxx offers real muscle. If you are after a fast and powerful car then this should definitely be on your shortlist.
This vehicle is 1:7th scale and has dimensions of 350mm in height, 779mm in length and 540mm in width and has a total weight of 8.66Kg’s. This four wheel drive (4WD) beast is available from Al’s Hobbies for a competitive price and comes with an extensive list of features.
- Dimensions: (H) 350 mm, (L) 779 mm, (W) 540 mm
- Ground Clearance:4 inches (102mm)
- Speed: 50 mph
- Tires (pre-glued):8.0×4.0 inches (203mm)
- Wheels:4.3×5.7 inches (110x145mm)
HSP XSTR PRO Brushless Electric Buggy
This is the special edition R-SPEC version of the well known and well loves XSTR RC buggy. Made by HSP this an upgraded model with a fine balance between quality and price. It is the perfect car for those who have got into the industry and want a better more powerful car while staying in the electric category.
It comes with a FSD 3300KV brushless motor, a hobbywing 50A brushless ESC and Fullymad 7.4V 3500mAh Lip battery and charger. It is ready to run and build for off road terrain although as I have said many times it can also run on road. It has four wheel drive which obviously helps with driving off road. This is a lovely buggy that can really motor.
- Manufacturer: HiSpeed
- Scale: 1:10
- Build: RTR
- Terrain: Off Road
- Radio: 2.4 GHz
- Drive: 4WD
- Type: Electric Buggy
- Dimensions: (H) 160 mm, (L) 400 mm, (W) 250 mm
- Ground Clearance: 26mm