Radio Control Cars Jargon Buster

Electric, Nitro & Petrol

Radio Control Cars come with one of three different power sources. Electric, Nitro and Petrol. Electric cars are simply chargeable batteries which charge in the same way your mobile phone does. Nitro cars are powered by nitro fuel which is a special type of fuel that you can get from your local hobby shop. Petrol cars are powered by standard petrol just the same as the stuff you fill your car with.

2WD / 4WD

All cars whether radio controlled cars or your standard family car have a certain number of wheels that drive the car. Obviously the more wheels that drive the better especially if you are talking off road vehicles. 2WD simple means 2 Wheel Drive and not surprisingly 4WD means four wheel drive.


When you see scale mentioned it is talking about the ratio between the radio controlled car and the real thing. 1:24 scale is the smallest and is usually electric models while the largest are 1:5 scale and these are typically petrol powered. You will need to check out the dimensions to be 100% sure on the size as it can vary.

On Road / Off Road

On road and off road is another quite straight forward idea. The car is designed to be either for on road or off road. Many of the 4WD buggys and tucks are designed for off road while the replica cars like the Subaru are designed for on-road.


RTR means ready to run and it refers to the condition of the car when delivered. Read the details carefully as nitro and petrol pwoered cars will obviously not arrive fueled so a little work is required. It will hoever not need to be build.

Self Build

A self build car is a car that arrives in its parts requiring assembly. These are not recommended for beginners but can be great fun once you have some experience.

Buggy / Truck


Fuel Tank Capacity


Radio Type


Motor / Engine


Brushed / Brushless




LiPo Battery


Li-Ion Battery


Ni-MH Battery


Monster Trucks





RC Stands for Radio Controlled or Remote Control and what it basically means is that the car and the driver are not connected other than by radio waves.



Run Time

When run time is mentioned this is simply a way of saying how long will the car last with its current charge or a full tank of fuel. While a nitro or petrol car can be filled up quickly an electric car will need to be charged which can take some time.