Jeremy is going to be ten years old this week and he’s been asking his parents for a “real” RC car since last Christmas. He outgrew his little remote control “kiddie” cars years ago and has been dreaming of having his very own, “big kid” RC car ever since.
Dad is totally onboard with the idea, but he’s been putting off buying one for his son since he has no experience with them. He’s seen some of those high-speed RC cars and isn’t sure just which type of radio control vehicle would best for a 10-year old as a first-time RC car.
And what he really needs is a simple guide to walk him through the essentials of buying RC cars. So, here is our simple guide to buying RC cars in 2022.
Breaking It Down to Basics: An Ultimate Guide for Buying an RC Car
Getting started with an RC hobby – whether that’s cars, trucks, planes, or boats – opens the doors to whole, new worlds. And those worlds come with their own “language”, so to speak, and many things to learn and understand.
But when it comes to buying an RC car, there are some fundamental facts to know that can smooth the way and make the process painless and fun.
While there are several facets of an RC car that can be considered, for a first-time buyer, focusing on the following points is enough to get you started:
On the high level, RC vehicles are usually categorized as either off-road or on-road. Generally speaking, off-road vehicles mean more places to drive.
Among the most popular off-road vehicles are monster trucks, buggies, short course trucks, and rock crawlers. Each have their distinct characteristics and capabilities. Many experts agree that a basic rock crawler model is an excellent choice for beginners.
For on-road RC cars, there are racing or touring cars, and drift racers, for the most part. And there are some “crossovers” like those that are a mix of buggies and monster trucks.
This is simply a reference to the general size of an RC car compared to a full-sized version. For example, the most common RC scale is 1/10 which is one-tenth the size of a real car. Larger scale cars can be appealing but also more expensive. Starting with a more common scale also means spare parts are usually much more available. A 1/10 scale rock crawler, for example, is about 17 inches long.
Most RC cars today run with electric motors. And batteries are the “fuel” that allow them to run. Which means that the type of battery can be a huge factor in performance.
There are two main battery types in use for most RC cars:
- Nickel-metal hydride (NiMh)
- Lithium polymer (LiPo)
NiMh batteries are a bit heavier but cost less. They degrade over time but can be long lasting.
LiPo batteries are considered more of a “premium” choice. They cost more, but are lighter, and can hold more milli-amp hours, or mAh. Also, with LiPo batteries, it is the voltage that determines the power output.
2WD vs 4WD
Opinions differ in the RC car universe, but it can be said that a four-wheel drive can be somewhat easier to control, while a two-wheel rear-drive RC car can be nimbler on the track.
Beginners may be better off with a 2WD RC car as they are simpler to work on, when required, and they tend to be more affordable when buying one. In addition, if speed is one of your requirements for your first RC car, then going with a 2WD is the better choice, as well.
Like teenagers driving the family car, kids (of all ages) driving RC cars are bound to crash. Budget for the inevitable replacement parts and, once you’re experienced and comfortable driving your RC car, you may want to consider upgrading key parts.
Inquire about the availability of spare parts for the RC car you’re considering buying. Not all cars offer the same versatility when it comes to spare or replacement parts.
Much like real cars, when it comes to brand preference for RC cars, the RC hobby has several camps.
Some of the more popular brands are Tamiya, Traxxas, Arrma, and Axial. These brands generally have good reputations and have a broad market. Some brands are known for being “high end” and costly, while others specialize in more budget-friendly RC cars like HSP.
Fundemonium is Your Premier Resource for RC Cars
In addition to some of the best radio control cars on the market, we also have a variety of other RC toys and vehicles including trucks, planes, boats, tanks, and more. And we something for every age, skill level, and budget.
So, whether you want high-speed thrills, gritty climbing ability, or flying high and fast, we know that you’ll find some fun radio control toys to make it happen.
At Fundemonium, we’re more than just a hobby shop – we’re a toy store, a game store, a crafting shop, and a fun event center – all rolled into one! As a “family fun experience” here in Rohnert Park, we provide a fun place where families and hobby enthusiasts of all ages can meet and play.
By the way, when it comes to RC cars, we do more than just stock and sell them. If you have a problem with your RC car, no need to fret – Fundemonium is home to Sonoma County’s premier RC car repair services center. So, for RC repair and “tune ups”, come to Fundemonium.
We do our best to quickly respond to inquiries about remote control cars (and everything else we carry!) through our website, but you can also find an answer to your question by calling us.
Want to talk with one of our Fundemoniacs? Just give us a call during business hours at (707) 540-0701.
Thanks for reading and looking forward to seeing you soon!