Petrol RC Cars: A Complete Guide

Marauder Petrol RC TruckOne of the finest things about RC Cars is when you get to buy your first petrol powered RC Car. While not recommended for young kids or inexperienced adults the petrol powered car can be amazing fun. I highly recommend them BUT it is best to know what you are buying first. They can really cost so to avoid making a costly mistake check out the guide below before making your decision.

What exactly is a Petrol RC Car?

A petrol radio controlled car is a radio controlled car that is powered by petrol. (No brainer right?) I mention this to begin with because many people do not realise that when I say petrol I mean the same stuff you put in your family car. With 2 stroke oil this will power the vehicle to great speeds. It is because it is real fuel that I do not recommend this to kids although for adults with a little experience they can be amazing fun and that is why I put together this guide. I hope to help anyone thinking of buying one by going through a few of the considerations and answering a few frequently asked questions.

What is the difference between Petrol and Nitro RC Cars?

The difference between petrol and nitro RC Cars is that nitro cars are powered by nitro fuel while petrol on the other hand are powered by standard petrol.

The main benefit of this is that petrol is a lot easier to obtain being available from any petrol station. Nitro fuel on the other hand is only available from specific retailers many of whom are only online these days.

Petrol RC Car Cost

How much does a Petrol RC Car cost?

Petrol RC cars can cost anywhere from £300 for a cheaper model right up to up to £2000 for a high end model. The price can vary depending on the quality, the features and specifications and the retailer.

Where can you buy cheaper Petrol RC Cars?

Cheaper models of RC cars can be perfect for a adult beginner. The best place to buy a cheaper petrol RC car is Nitrotek who sell a number of different types of petrol powered RC cars including buggies, trucks and monster trucks.


Buying a Petrol RC Car: The Considerations

There are a number of considerations to make when it comes to buying a RC car. Each one can effect the price and performance. Below are the top considerations.

On Road / Off Road

One of the first questions to consider when buying any RC car is whether you want on road or off. I’ve always felt that off road is better because it enables you to drive on any surface. An on road car cannot drive on dirt tracks or over grass.

2 WD / 4 WD

Another often forgotten consideration is whether yo invest in a 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive model. While this may not seem like an important decision it can have an impact on performance.

Above I recommended getting an off road vehicle because they can perform on any surface. Well if you are going to get an off road it stands to reason that you should get a 4 wheel drive vehicle. At least then it can get maximum grip on whatever surface you are driving on.

While many vehicles come as 2WD as standard they often have the facility to be upgraded. This is the case with the Marauder Petrol RC Truck from Nitrotek. If you are going to spend several hundred pounds on the car itself you may as well spend a bit more to get it upgraded.

Buggy, Truck or Monster Truck?

The question of what type of vehicle to get is more about personal choice than performance. You can create an argument for saying that some types can outperform others but in reality it is what is within the vehicle that is more important.

A buggy, truck or monster truck are different more for the shell that goes on top of them. The result is a simple decision about what you would prefer to drive. What looks good, what looks cool and what would impress your friends the most?

Size of Engine

The size of the engine is an important consideration for those with a particular interest in speed and power. They can come in a variety of sizes with 26cc and 30cc being very common.

Size and Scale

Size and scale is where many people come unstuck when buying a RC Car. Many think that scale is the same as size and that is the reason why they end up with a car that is a lot smaller than they thought.

An RC Car scale is the ratio of the car from its full size equivalent. So for example a 1:5 scale car is one fifth the size of the real life car and a 1:24 scale car is one twenty forth of the size. In other words the larger the second number the smaller the car will be.

RC Car sizes are simple measurements and are the best way to really understand just how big the vehicle is. Many think 1:5 sounds small yet when they get the vehicle they find it is huge.

Petrol RC Cars are generally large with a scale of 1:5 so be sure to check out exactly how big the vehicle is when making a purchase.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is a nitro RC car faster than a petrol RC car?

As a general rule petrol RC cars are faster than nitro cars. This is however a general rule that is not always the case. Some high specification nitro cars can be faster and more powerful than petrol powered ones.

How fast can Petrol RC Cars go?

The speed of a petrol powered RC car depends on the particular model but top speeds are very often up to 80 km/h. A good example of this is the Aowei Petrol RC Buggy – See below for more details.


Examples of Petrol RC Cars for Sale

FS Racing Radio Controlled Buggy with 30cc Engine

FS Racing Radio Controlled Buggy with 30cc Engine

Here’s the range of 1/5th Scale models starting with the Best Seller which is currently the FS Racing Powerful 30cc 2.4Ghz Buggy.

At just £399.99 this FS Buggy has become an extremely popular Buggy supplied to you by Nitrotek.

The have a great range or petrol, nitro and electric fuels buggies, cars, trucks, planes, drones and actually tanks.

Anyway, let’s get on to talk about this awesome buggy.

It comes with a metal roll cage, extra fuel tank, carbon fibre great looking body shell and all metal differentials.

The engine to this vehicle has been given a 30cc 2 stroke engine compared to the small engine in some petrol radio controlled cars. This means the speeds you should be able to get out of this RC buggy is 50mph+ with a great driving thrill and experience.

When fuelling the unleaded you require can be either the 93# or 97# with the stroke oil as already mentioned.

On a more technical side, the torque for his petrol RC buggy is 30kg/cm so amazing with an overall great quality.

  • The height of this model is 245mm
  • The length of this model is 800mm
  • Impact Resistant Wheels with a great traction depth on the treats with split rims as a feature.
  • The 30cc engine is air cooled and has a recoil start engine as you may be used to
  • The Steering Servos are water resistant and Hi-Torque being able to handle added power with excellent handling of the speed and weight of this FS Buggy
  • Radio Equipment – This is 2.4Ghz as we already mentioned which is more reliable than radio equipment from the past and now allows you to have multiple RC vehicles to run in the same area without interferences.


Petrol RC Truck with Hummer Bodyshell

Petrol RC Truck with Hummer Bodyshell

Next we have another Petrol FS RC Model but this being the FS RC Monster Truck with Hummer body shell. This is one of the best examples of a petrol RC car for sale.

This as with the previous FS RC Car has radio equipment on the 2.4GHz range and preinstalled with a range of features.

Adding to this, this also has a powerful 30cc engine compared to many models that come with a 23cc engine so have a check when comparing models.

With the 2.5Ghz this allows you to drive and race your petrol Hummer around the area without the radio frequency being interrupted by other RC Vehicles that maybe nearby.

Even with this monster of a monster truck, the speeds of this remote controlled Truck are 50mph and over. You will be pleased here that this truck works on normal #93 or #97 unleaded petrol from your local garage along with the 2 stroke oil we have mentioned elsewhere.

If you are not aware, then you simply fuel this RC Truck with unleaded fuel into your fuel bottle up until the line and then add in the 2 stroke oil which is also available from the service station around the corner from you.

More on the truck itself, it comes as 4WD ready which the kit included that allows you to upgrade it from 2WD to 4WD to improve the handing and grip on different types of terrain.

Add all the above together and you would normally pay a significant more from other RC Retailers than you will find at Nitrotek.

When you get your hands on this radio controlled truck you will the outstanding build quality of the features including the alloy chassis that is very rock solid.

Additionally you have the shaft driven drive system, the radio compartment is sealed so substances cannot get in. The truck itself comes prebuild so this is not a RC Build Kit.

AoWei 26cc Petrol RC Buggy

AoWei 26cc Petrol RC Buggy

Third on the list from Nitrotek is the Aowei 1/5th Scale Petrol RC Buggy that for quite some time was Nitrotek’s best seller.

This was until other models became available such as the FS range of Petrol controller vehicles listed above.

As with the awesome range available from Nitrotek this also has the excellent 2.4Ghz radio frequency controlled equipment.

This model however has a 26cc engine whereas you may have seen that the FS models above come with a 30cc powerful engine so a percentage difference in the engine size.

Great features include aluminium parts which a roll cage additionally with oil filled shocks which are colour coordinated. The acceleration is great with a brake system that is trustworthy and reliable so no quarms in having this petrol buggy from accelerating and then needing to stop while travelling and a fast speed.

AoWei have produced an excellent model buggy with a low price where as many other petrol fuelled buggies or cars are easily over £700.

There are a couple of reasons why the price of this and other petrol models you can view at Nitrotek are due to the parts for these vehicles being manufactured in the same factory as the buggy itself which lowers the cost of transport to delivery to the retailers who supply to you and other customers.

The quality of this model has been very thought out with the 2.4Ghz equipment, aluminium shocks and 26cc engine. Overall this provides some excellent torque and giving speeds of up to 50mph and over.

Again as with the petrol fuelled vehicles on this page, this also runs on #93 or #97 unleaded fuel along with the 2 stroke oil you also purchase from the same highstreet garages near to you.

The bottle supplied with this buggy has a line where you fill the unleaded petrol up to, then add in the 2 stroke oil to the top level.

When looking at what petrol buggy, truck or car to buy then make sure you find a range like these that include the accessories that the Baja buggy comes with.

This includes the radio equipment, 1:5 scale steering servo, the battery charger and the high capacity rechargeable battery pack itself for the UK.

Additionally, this comes with all the tools you need to get up and running so a great experience as your first petrol rc buggy and highly recommended.


Losi 5IVE-T 2.0 Short Course Truck with Orange Bodyshell

Losi 5ive-TOn the other end of the price spectrum you have the best selling petrol model from Modelsport which is this Losi 5IVE-T 2.0 Short Course Truck that comes in the orange bodyshell.

This at the time of writing has the recommended retail price of £1799 which is £200 lower at the moment.

Modelsport do currently offer the opportunity to use the 0% Interest for 4 months using Paypal Credit on orders above £99.

Quick Specs –

  • Manufacturer: Losi
  • Part No: C-LOS05014T2
  • Terrain Type: Off-Road
  • Assembly Type: Part Assembled (ARTR)
  • Skill Level: Skill Level 4
  • Engine Size: 32cc
  • Drive: 4WD
  • Scale: 1:5
  • Vehicle: Short Course

As you can see, the Losi range of petrol RC vehicles are 1/5th scale as you see on other models from this page. It incorporates Bind-N-Drive technology which you do not find in models from other retailers such as Nitrotek so with this technology you see an increase in the price.

Inside this truck you have the similar cc level engine coming in at 32cc that has been specifically designed and created for this particular truck. For the front chassis, it has been given a overhaul in reducing the front drive shaft angle which provides increased 4WD balance and excellent durability.

There have been advancements in the design for this RC Truck which include upgraded brakes, hard anodized bleeder caps, the shock performance has been enhanced and a improved front hood.

This RC model is for advanced user and allows the owner to tweak many different components that include the overall SR6000T Telemetry Receiver that can allow you to add telemetry options that include head temperature, how long the battery is lasting or going to last and the exhaust heat level. Just by a brief look you can view the information at ease.

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