Thinking of Buying a Remote Control Car, Truck or Buggy?

What RC Car Should I BuyAre you thinking of buying a RC car, truck or buggy but do not know where to start or what to buy? Excellent you have come to the right place. I was once in your place.

When my son got bought a car for his birthday I helped him play with it (I played with it and he watched). I was hooked and wanted to buy my own but had no idea what I had to consider.

Within this post I will go through what I have learnt so you can pick the perfect radio controlled vehicle for you.

Questions to Ask

When I went to buy my first RC Car I knew next to nothing about them. I was confronted with literally hundreds of models covering all manor or specifications most of which I didn’t understand. Even the basics eluded me.

For that reason I have come up with the very most basic questions to be able to narrow down which radio controlled model you want. It is a little like ‘Guess Who’ for RC Cars.


Ready to Run (RTR) or Self Build?

The first question is probably the simplest to answer – do you want a ready to run car or do you want to build it yourself?

In all honesty if you are a first time buyer then a self build car is not one I would recommend however some people find that getting right into the nitty-gritty of something is the best way to learn. How better to know how cars work than to build it from it’s component parts.

It wasn’t for me but it is a valid question to ask.


Electric, Nitro or Petrol?

An important question to ask is what kind of power source do you want? The options are Electric, Nitro and Petrol. Your decision will have a big impact on what models are available to you.


Quick Guide:

  • Electric – Powered by a chargeable battery (Charged from mains)
  • Nitro – Powered by Nitro Fuel
  • Petrol – Powered by standard unleaded and 2 stroke oil.

Electric RC Cars

Beginners are more likely to get an electric car because they are far easier to charge. They are charged using a charger much like your mobile phone or electric shaver.

When I first started I thought that it was more likely that chargeable RC Cars were more likely to be on road. In fact my experience since has told me that over half are off road so there is no issues there. They do tend to be smaller cars overall.

Nitro RC Cars

Nitro is the next step up in my opinion. These vehicles are powered by nitro fuel which is available from hobby shops. While it is quick and easy to refuel your car, truck or buggy it is a fuel and should be treated with respect.

I wouldn’t recommend a nitro car to a child but teenagers (Responsible ones) could handle them and find them great fun.

Petrol RC Cars

The largest and most powerful vehicles are those powered by petrol. When I say petrol I mean real life petrol – the same as you power your family car with (Unless it is diesel of course). It will also require 2 stroke oil but this is where the true hobbyists end up.

The vehicles are larger (1:5th Scale) and very powerful – typically with a 26cc or 30cc engine. To put it into perspective a 50cc motor bike can carry a person. These are not quite as powerful but they don’t carry people. A petrol powered truck, buggy or truggy can really move.


On Road or Off Road?

Moving on the next question is do you want a on road vehicle or an off road one? The difference is obvious but it still needs to be considered.

For me the answer is that if you can afford an off road truck or buggy then get one. The reason being is that an off road car can still go on road. An on road model though will struggle badly driving round an off road track.

Of course the price can play a part but overall I would always look for an off road model. Saying that if you are looking for a replica car like a Subaru then you must take it as it is. This kind of car is not for dirt tracks.


Two or Four Wheel Drive?

Following on from the on road, off road dilemma you also need to question how many wheel drive you want the car to be.

If you go back to the on or off road question it is obviously advantageous to have an off road vehicle with four wheel drive. In the mud of a track power in all four wheels is going to help no end.

On road however there is no real need for four wheel drive. Two wheels will be more than enough. Saying that there is no harm in driving round on tarmac using all four wheels.


Car, Buggy, Truck or Truggy?

A great question to ask when looking to buy your first remote controlled vehicle is do you want a car, a buggy, a truck or even a truggy. Let’s look at what I mean by each one.


RC Car

When I talk about an RC Car I am talking about a sports car replica like a Subaru. Many people love a sports car but let us face facts most of us simply cannot afford them. However a radio controlled sports car is much more affordable.

RC Buggy

A RC Buggy is a little fast moving than a truck. If you think of something like a dune buggy then you wont be far off. They are sleeker and lighter than truggy’s or trucks and they a super fast. Check out the XSTR Electric Radio Control Buggy

RC Truck

Including monster trucks an RC Truck is a bigger vehicle with slightly less speed but a much greater level of power. The ultimate in monster trucks would be the HSP Nitro RC Monster Truck.

RC Truggy

A RC Truggy is simply a design of vehicle half way between a buggy and a truck. Their performance is much the same. Their speed and power is between that of a Buggy and Truck – Check out the AoWei Yama Petrol RC Truggy


What Scale is best?

If you have already answered the other questions then the scale really does answer itself. All models of car only really come in one scale.

Typically electric cars are smaller starting with the 1:24th scale which are the smallest. Petrol powered cars are the largest and are usually 1:5th scale. Nitro cars are in between.

If you have already worked out what you want your car to be powered by, what type of vehicle you want and whether you want it to be on or off road the scale is a question answered for you.


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