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Are These The Best First RC Cars For Kids? We Think So!

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I’ve given my nephews, godchildren, and even my nieces their first radio-controlled cars. I had one as a kid, and I loved it. Here are the things that you should know about the best first RC cars for kids.

What are the best first RC cars for kids?

Here are your choices:

  1. Prextex RC Police Car and Race Car
  2. Kidirace RC Remote Control Police Car for Kids
  3. Traxxas Rustler
  4. Rabing RC Car
  5. Redcat Racing EPX Drift Car
  6. Haktoys Blue Invincible Tornado Twister RC Stunt Car
  7. NQD Dual Motors Remote Control Truck
  8. DOUBLE E RC Monster Truck
  9. Kididdo Mechanical Master RC Racer Building Blocks Set
  10. ELEGOO UNO R3 Project Smart Robot Car Kit V 3.0 Plus

Of course, an equally important question is why are these the best first RC cars for kids? What are the characteristics you should look for when choosing one?

What are the Benefits of Driving RC Cars for Kids

There is no debate that RC cars mean hours of fun, but there are several other reasons why you should buy them for your kids. These are the other reasons:

Independent play

Sure, you may need to be there to supervise your kid. But most likely, your kid will be maneuvering the car on his or her own.

Your child learns independent play, which is essential in helping them become successful adults later in life. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended unstructured play where the kids can lead.

Healthy competition

Kids who enjoy driving their RC cars will soon discover the joys of racing. They learn how to compete with other kids, as well as how to win and lose with grace.

What’s more, your kids learn how to relate and interact with other kids. It also improves their self-esteem.

Supporting their interests

For some parents, the reason why they buy RC cars for their kids is because the little ones ask for one. So they agree and get them RC cars for birthdays or Christmas.

When you get RC cars for your kids, you are also helping develop their interest in other things. Perhaps, they like tinkering with parts and assembling them.

They might also be interested in engineering or electronics or simply in race car driving.

Develops their hand-eye coordination

Driving an RC car also helps your kids develop their hand-eye coordination. This skill is vital for young kids.

Studies have shown that hand-eye coordination is not only crucial for movement and video games, but it also helps your kids excel in school, according to Psychological Science.

One more reason to play outside

If you are worried about your children spending too much time on their iPad, having a sedentary lifestyle, and cultivating other unhealthy habits, then get an RC car to encourage them to play outdoors.

Playing outside is an important factor for kids to be physically healthy, according to Sanford Health. They get aerobic exercise, and being under the sun allows them to store vitamin D in their system.

Outdoor play can also help with their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Some studies show that it also increases attention span.

What to Look for in Your Kid’s First RC Cars

When choosing the right RC car to buy, your first consideration should be what your kids want. Kids would want something easy to drive and something that looks fun. They may also want a car model that looks familiar to them.

You would also want to get them something safe and durable.

RC cars for kids generally do not have the best specs, and it may not achieve speeds of more than 50 miles per hour. But, in a way, you are giving your kids a safe and fun introduction to driving RC cars. Plus, they are easy to use, even for beginners.

If you get something too complicated for your kids, they might not play with it. This is especially true if you have to assemble the RC car yourself. Younger kids might not be able to do that or might get bored while waiting for you to put it together for them.

Toy RC Cars

There are two types of RC cars that you can buy. One type is the hobby-grade RC, which might be a substantial investment even for some adults.

When it comes to children, what you are looking for are the toy-grade RC cars. They cost less and are not as complicated as hobby RC.

Toy RCs also do not require too much assembly.

Another option you have is to look for child-friendly RC kits. You will need to assemble these RCs, but the job will be a breeze, and it will not require any soldering.

What’s more, easy-to-follow and step-by-step instructions are included in the package. You can assemble them with the kids, and it would be a great bonding activity for you.


Pricing might be an issue for some parents. Some of these RC cars are going to be more expensive than the average kiddie toys.

However, you should consider the price per play. If your child loves the toy enough that he or she keeps playing it, then the high price might be worth it.


RC cars use up a lot of batteries, and getting rechargeable ones will help you save in the long run.

You should choose one that has long run times. Even the best RC cars will be no fun if your kid spends more time waiting for the batteries to recharge than actually driving them.

Another consideration is whether the battery used in the RC car you want to buy has a nickel-metal-hydride or lithium-polymer battery.

NiMH batteries are very affordable and require little or no special care. But these batteries are heavier than LiPO cells.

NiMH batteries also lose power steadily. When you have NiMH powering your RC, you will notice that your car becomes slower over time.

LiPo batteries, on the other hand, are more lightweight than similar NiMH batteries. They can also maintain their voltage longer. But these batteries are often more expensive.

You also need to take the utmost care of these LiPo batteries to ensure safety and longer life.

One last word about batteries

Short battery running times are not bad per se, but you should factor in how patient your child is. If you end up having to charge the battery longer than actually playing with the RC car, then your child might lose interest in it.

Remote control

Make sure that you choose an RC car that has an ergonomic remote control. This means a remote control that is comfortable to hold. Choose a multi-channel remote that will lessen interference if two or more cars are running alongside each other.

If you are planning to give the RC car to younger kids, you may want a simple controller: one that goes forward, backward, left, or right.

Where are your kids going to drive?

If you have a small space, house, or apartment, consider getting an RC car that you can use outdoors. These RC cars have bigger wheels and a higher base, allowing them to easily go over grass and run in the dirt.

Safety and durability

RC cars for younger kids should have very few small loose parts if any at all. Check if there are warnings for choking hazards, which are usually printed on the box.

Go for something durable. After all, children tend to be rough with toys in general. The RC cars will end up colliding into walls or falling down the stairs.

You should also take into consideration how big or heavy the RC car is. If it is too heavy for your kid to pick up, then it will probably gather dust where it is stored.

Other considerations

While parents might be interested in things such as safety, durability, speed, and other features under the hood, kids are more interested in what they can see, touch, and hear.

Your child might prefer something with flashing lights, colorful designs, or honking sounds.

Types of RC Cars

As you go through the process of selecting your kid’s first RC car, you will encounter five different types.

First, you have the street variety, which runs the fastest on paved concrete and other flat surfaces. These cars are not suitable for use in your backyard where there’s going to be grass.

Drift cars, on the other hand, have slick tires, and they can slide when making turns. Drifting can be a bit difficult to perform, so these types of cars are better for older children and younger teenagers.

Meanwhile, buggies take the best features of on-road and off-road vehicles. These products are best for kids who spend a lot of time driving their cars on flat surfaces, but sometimes want to take it to the playground or backyard.

Buggies, however, are better suited for on-road conditions and may be too slow when navigating on dirt. If you want something faster, get a truggy with monster truck tires that help it navigate grass and dirt better.

Monster trucks are the master of off-road RC vehicles. If you solely drive your RC car around the backyard, then choose a monster truck.

How We Chose Our Recommendations for the Best First RC Cars for Kids

To come up with our list of recommendations for the best first RC cars for kids, we took into consideration the characteristics that these products should have. Then we looked into dozens of products on Amazon and pared down the list to the products that have the features we outlined in the previous section.

We also picked different types of RC cars as well as a variety of products that would appeal to different age groups.

The Best First RC Cars for Kids You Can Buy in 2020

The best first RC cars for kids will be excellent options for parents who want to give their children fun, educational, and exciting toys. Depending on what your child wants, here are our recommendations.

1. Prextex RC Police Car and Race Car

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You can introduce younger kids to the fun world of remote control cars and racing with the Prextex RC Police Car and Race Car set.

This set comes with a police car with a removable policeman action figure, a race car with driver, and two remote controls. The remote controls work on different frequencies, allowing you to race the vehicles without interference.

What we like:

  • Realistic police siren and honking sounds
  • Has flashing headlights
  • The remote control is shaped similar to a steering wheel
  • Great for creative play
  • Affordable at around $30

What could be better:

  • Needs 10 dry cell batteries for both vehicles and the remote control to work
  • Some kids might find it hard to steer

Best for:

This product is perfect for introducing your toddler to RC cars. Because you get two vehicles in this set, it’s great for young kids with siblings or for playdates.

2. Kidirace RC Remote Control Police Car for Kids

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The Kidirace RC Remote Control Police Car for Kids has easy-to-use controls. It allows the user to maneuver the car in any direction, even when making tight turns.

It uses a 2.4-GHz remote control that allows for up to six cars to run together without interference.

This RC has a rechargeable battery that offers up to 30 minutes of driving time.

What we like:

  • Realistic siren, horn, revving engine, and other sounds
  • Flashing lights
  • Long runtime
  • You can turn the sounds off
  • Made with top-notch materials for durability

What could be better:

  • The battery is not replaceable
  • Some remotes need to be in sync with the car

Best for:

This is great for older tykes who might like a more grownup-looking RC car but still want it to be easy to drive.

3. Traxxas Rustler

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The Traxxas Rustler is a two-wheel-drive RC car that has a 12-turn motor and can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

The Traxxas Rustler impresses with its design. It uses the company’s TQ 2.4 GHz radio controller, which guarantees long-range control without interference when you’re driving with multiple vehicles.

But that’s not all. Even if your kid drives it through mud and snow, the waterproof chassis and electronics will be safe from damage.

What we like:

  • Powerful motor and speedy top speeds
  • Excellent on-road and off-road performance
  • Compact and durable size at 1/10 scale
  • Hand-grip style remote control with a steering wheel, making turns and swerves easier to do

What could be better:

  • More expensive than most RCs as it retails at around $160
  • Only has a NiMH battery included at its price point

Best for:

This RC car is ideal for kids who can handle driving and maneuvering at high speeds. Adults will enjoy this RC car, as well.

4. Rabing RC Car

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The Rabing RC Car is a stunt radio control car that can go forward or backward, turn left or right, flip, tumble, and spin. What’s more, you can do all these while it’s half-submerged in water.

This 4WD can reach speeds of up to 18 miles per hour because of its powerful motor. What’s more, you can drive it just about anywhere from sandy beaches to wet and muddy terrain.

What we like:

  • Waterproof and floats on water
  • Made with durable ABS plastic material
  • This RC car can perform stunts and tricks
  • Comes in a variety of colors, including black, blue, green, and red

What could be better:

  • There are complaints about the company shipping out packages with some parts missing
  • Customer service is terrible

Best for:

This product is perfect for those who love driving their RC cars over muddy or wet areas. This is also an excellent option for those who like having fun on the beach or the lakeshore.

5. Redcat Racing EPX Drift Car

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Not only does it look like a real racing car, but the Redcat Racing EPX Drift Car is an excellent choice for those who like customizable models. You can attach accessories to the motor to make it faster.

You can even modify the handling and suspension. What’s more, the 2.4 GHz remote controller is very efficient, making it very easy to maneuver the car while drifting.

What we like:

  • This RC car gives you that “The Fast and Furious” feel
  • Top speeds of 25 MPH

What could be better:

  • The battery only lasts for 20 minutes
  • Perfect for older kids who like to make their RCs drift just because it’s cool.
  • The rims are flimsy, and you cannot swap it out.

Best for:

This one is best for older kids who want to try drifting, but those who just like to drive an RC car will be happy with this, too.

For parents who want to introduce RC cars as a hobby, this product is an ideal choice because of its customizability.

6. Haktoys Blue Invincible Tornado Twister RC Stunt Car

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The Haktoys Blue Invincible Tornado Twister RC Stunt Car is a stunt car that spins, twists, and stands.

This product has a three-point axle that allows it to correct itself when it tumbles upside down.

It also has LED lights that can attract younger kids’ attention.

What we like:

  • The controller has a flexible antenna, which makes it safer for younger children
  • Top speed of 12 mph, making it ideal for toddlers

What could be better:

  • Runtime is short at only 10 minutes maximum
  • Charge times can take up to three hours
  • Reports about how easily it breaks and other quality-related issues

Best for:

Toddlers who like their RC cars to twist and turn will love this RC car. The flashing lights also help make this an easy sell for young kids.

7. NQD Dual Motors Remote Control Truck

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The NQD Dual Motors Remote Control Truck is a 4WD vehicle that has front and rear dual motors. You will love just how fast this offroad monster truck can go.

It runs on any terrain from sand, grass, and even dirt. Each tire has non-slip treads and a shock absorber.

The shock absorber protects the RC car from damage even if it accidentally drops or runs on uneven terrain.

The package includes two rechargeable batteries that can give you 45 minutes of run time each.

Enjoy the company’s three-month money-back guarantee. You can also exchange the product for whatever reason you have within a year of purchase.

What we like:

  • Ready for tough and rough terrains
  • Perfect for any terrain
  • The two batteries provide long runtimes

What could be better:

  • Complaints about the flimsy build

Best for:

The NQD Dual Motors Remote Control Truck is perfect for those who like to drive their RC cars in the backyard or in other rough places. It can quickly scale obstacles on its way.

8. DOUBLE E RC Monster Truck

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The DOUBLE E RC Monster Truck wants you to rule the offroad circuit. This monster truck is 1/12 the size of a real monster truck.

It looks just like the real thing, as well.

This RC car can move on any terrain thanks to the steady torque and robust motor. What’s more, each wheel has its own suspension system and shock absorber

Drive it over muddy roads, grassy gardens, sandy plots, or gravel driveways. You can even drive it at night and still see what’s in front of it because of the realistic headlights.

What we like:

  • Affordable price at around $50
  • Climbs anything up to six inches high
  • Can do flips by climbing walls

What could be better:

  • The battery lasts only 20 to 30 minutes, so you may want to buy another one
  • Might have durability and quality control issues

Best for:

The DOUBLE E RC Monster Truck is great for those kids who like to drive their RC cars on any terrain. It is perfect for adults too. It has powerful motors and can clear any obstacle. All that for around $50, which is one of the lowest prices among the products we recommend.

9. Kididdo Mechanical Master RC Racer Building Blocks Set

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The Kididdo Mechanical Master RC Racer Building Blocks Set allows you to build your own cars. It uses more than 320 building blocks, a universally compatible chassis, four tires, a remote control, and a rechargeable lithium battery.

The package also includes the USB cable for charging and a detailed instruction book.

Kids as young as seven years old can have fun with this kit. It allows them to use their imagination and learn to follow instructions from the manual.

What we like:

  • It’s like LEGO but forms into several RC cars with different designs
  • Even older kids and teeners will appreciate this kit
  • Perfect STEM gift
  • Great value for money

What could be better:

  • Some kids might find it challenging to put together
  • Doesn’t go as fast as most RC cars

Best for:

If you want to encourage your kids to build things and be more creative, then the Kididdo Mechanical Master RC Racer Building Blocks Set will be the perfect choice for you.

10. ELEGOO UNO R3 Project Smart Robot Car Kit V 3.0 Plus

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If you want an intense STEM experience for your kids, then buy the ELEGOO UNO R3 Project Smart Robot Car Kit V 3.0 Plus.

You’re not only letting your kid build an RC car, but you are also exposing him or her to electronics, programming, and robotics.

This kit has 24 kinds of modules that allow it to have rather smart features, including being able to go around any obstacles and following a line.

You have two options to control the robot car once you have assembled it. The first is via the included remote control. Then you can also control it using the mobile app on your phone.

It comes with a CD so that your kids can just watch and learn. However, this isn’t for the younger kids.

The manufacturer recommends this for kids aged 12 or older.

What we like:

  • An out-and-out STEM toy that helps you learn about robotics, electronics, and programming
  • Comes with a mobile app so that you can control the car from your phone
  • Easy to assemble

What could be better:

  • This robot car is not as fast as other products on this list
  • Some kids will find it challenging to construct the robot car

Best for:

The ELEGOO UNO R3 Project Smart Robot Car Kit V 3.0 Plus kit is not for everyone. Older kids and teenagers will appreciate this kit and have to spend a lot of time assembling, programming, driving, and customizing it. It’s also an excellent way to introduce your child not just to RC cars but also to electronics and programming.

The Best First RC Cars for Kids: Choose and Buy One for Your Little One Today

The best first RC cars will largely depend on your kids’ preference, age, and personality. For instance, toddlers will like the Prextex RC Police Car and Race Car or the Kidirace RC Remote Control Police Car for Kids.

If you have teenagers, they will like the car kits in this list. We also have the right mix of off-road and on-road RC cars that are easy to control, have long battery runtimes, and are durable.