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Best RC cars: the best remote control cars for kids

Remote control cars are great fun and can provide hours of entertainment for kids big and small. Here’s our pick of the best.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Mar 3, 2022

two children playing with remote control car

Remote control cars are an excellent way of helping children develop crucial skills. Improved hand-eye coordination, increased spatial awareness and improved dexterity are all positives to come out of playing with an RC car.

Racing remote control cars with friends and family encourages healthy competition and promotes bonding. And, of course, pretending to be Lewis Hamilton can be a lot of fun too.

There are loads of top-notch remote control cars out there, which makes choosing the best RC car for your child a tough challenge.

Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and trawled the Mumsnet forums to find out which RC cars our users recommend.

Here are the best remote control cars to buy this year.

1. Best overall remote control car: Nikko VelociTrax RC Car

A green and black Nikko VelociTrax RC car

Price: £46.87 | Buy now from Amazon

“We bought our son the Nikko VelociTrax a couple of years ago. It’s quite substantial, withstands crashes, is simple to drive and fast enough to be fun, but not too fast to control.” 26Equimum

“My DS has a Nikko remote control car […] It flies around inside and out and over longish grass too.” Carrie76

Fast and durable, the Nikko VelociTrax is great for tackling all sorts of tricky terrain, from grass to rocky surfaces.

The VelociTrax is easy to steer and control, so it’s ideal for those new to multi-terrain RC cars. It can do 360-degree turns and its high-powered transmission means that up to 10 cars can race at the same time. 

The car boasts a longer runtime than similar RC buggies on the market thanks to its ‎lithium ion batteries, meaning the kids will be kept amused for longer. What’s not to like?

Pros

  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Easy to steer

Cons

  • Not recommended for kids under six

Key specs 

  • Type: Buggy
  • Scale: N/A
  • Top speed: 15 kph (9.32 mph)
  • Dimensions: ‎29 x 18 x 13cm

2. Best budget remote control car: Range Rover 1:24 Radio-Controlled Sports Car

White Range Rover remote control car with red controller

Price: £11 | Buy now from Argos

“I bought my little one a remote control car from the Argos two for £15 offer. It’s a white Range Rover and works fine. I don’t think I’d spend more at age four.” JinglesWish

If you’re looking for an affordable remote control car that doesn’t compromise on quality, this dinky Range Rover is the toy for you.

The simple controls make this a straightforward car to drive, so it’s perfect for younger children and RC car newbies.

And if you want to make your pennies go even further, the Range Rover is currently part of the Argos two for £15 toy offer. So why not treat yourself to a BMW  or a McLaren too?

Pros 

  • Affordable
  • 120 minutes runtime
  • Can race 10 cars simultaneously

Cons

  • For indoor use only

Key specs

  • Type: Sports car
  • Scale: 1:24
  • Top speed: 8mph
  • Dimensions: 8 x 20 x 9cm

3. Best remote control car for toddlers: SGILE Remote Control Police Car

A blue SGILE remote control police car, with a policeman figure sitting in the driving seat. A chunky blue handheld controller with two large orange buttons is next to the car

Price: £14.44 | Buy now from Amazon

This cheerful little car is a great way to introduce toddlers to the RC car club. The chunky two-button remote control is ideal for little hands and the controls are easy to master. 

The car comes with a removable policeman and there are buttons to press for lights, music and siren sound effects.

But parents be warned - the accompanying tune is a real earworm.

Pros

  • Robust
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Can’t use two cars at the same time otherwise one controller controls both

Key specs

  • Type: Police car
  • Scale: N/A
  • Top speed: Not stated
  • Dimensions: 20 x 12.5 x 17.5cm

4. Best remote control car for a 4-year-old: Disney Toy Story 4 Remote Control Turbo Buggy

A Buzz Lightyear figure dressed in a green and white spacesuit sitting on a green turbo buggy, with large black and red wheels and two eyes on the front. A green handheld controller is next to the car

Price: £25 | Buy now from Argos

“[I recommend the] Toy Story 4 Buzz Buggy.” Fivemoreminutes1

Everyone’s favourite Space Ranger has swapped his spaceship for a turbo buggy.

This remote controlled car can easily zip around over carpet and grass, with a great range of movement and an additional ‘turbo’ function.

Buzz Lightyear’s buggy can race with other cars and has a drive time of up to 40 minutes. 

On the downside, even with the turbo function, the buggy only has a top speed of 4mph. 

To infinity and beyond (slowly)!

Pros 

  • Durable
  • Fun design
  • Can be used outside on grass

Cons

  • If you want speed, best look elsewhere

Key specs

  • Type: Buggy
  • Scale: 1:24
  • Top speed: 4mph
  • Dimensions: 14 x 20 x 28cm

5. Best remote control car for a 9-year-old: LEGO Technic Off-Road Buggy

A LEGO Technice remote controlled buggy. The buggy is black, dark pink and bright blue and has a back aerial and four chunky black and white tyres.

Price: £99.55 | Buy now from Amazon

“A bargainous Lego Technic remote control car.” (Recomended by Mumsnet user Theonlyoneiknow)

If your child is after a bit more of a challenge, then why not get them to build their remote control car first?

The LEGO Technic Off-Road Buggy is the perfect gift for LEGO fans and big kids alike. With 374 pieces, it’s not the most complicated build, but it will get those little grey cells working. Then you just have to download the CONTROL+ app to your phone and put your new build to the test. With various tricks to learn and different challenges, this will keep children amused for hours.

Pros 

  • Fun to build
  • Good for older kids and adults too

Cons

  • Controls can be difficult to master
  • Requires a compatible phone to download the app

Key specs

  • Type: Buggy
  • Scale: N/A
  • Top speed: 4kph (2.49mph)
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 38.2 x 26.2cm

6. Best outdoor remote control car: Monster Jam Megalodon STORM All-Terrain Remote Control Monster Truck

Black and blue RC monster truck which looks like a shark. A black controller with blue buttons sits next to the shark

Price: £59.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Snow, rocks, mud, grass… there’s not much terrain that this alarming-looking monster truck can’t conquer. It can even drive on water, which you’d expect from a truck designed to look like a massive shark.

Wheelies, doughnuts and other tricks are all part of the Megalodon’s repertoire. It’s fast, speedy, durable and, most importantly, lots of fun.

Pros

  • Can be driven pretty much anywhere
  • Drives on water
  • Performs great tricks

Cons

  • Controls take some getting used to
  • Not suitable for kids under three

Key specs

  • Type: Monster truck
  • Scale: 1:15
  • Top speed: 8mph
  • Dimensions: 25.4 x 38.1 x 27.94cm

7. Best indoor remote control car: Baztoy Remote Control Car

Silver and black Baztoy remote controlled car with blue lights at the front

Price: £18.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Bored with remote control cars that trundle along on the ground? Then why not try the gravity-defying Baztoy stunt car?

This zippy RC car climbs the wall with ease and a powerful suction fan helps it to glide across the ceiling. Multicoloured lights and sound effects add to this exhilarating ride.

Just a word of warning - the car only drives on smooth or glassy surfaces. If you try to drive it on a hollow or bumpy surface, things may not end well. 

If you have nervous cats or dogs, then you may wish to consider a different car as this one can be rather intense.

Pros 

  • Did we mention it drives on the ceiling?

Cons

  • May not be suitable for pets
  • Not suitable for all hard surfaces

Key specs

  • Type: Mini
  • Scale: 1:50
  • Top speed: Not specified
  • Dimensions: 24.4 x 18.4 x 8cm

8. Best flip remote control car: New Bright Tumble Bee Radio Control Car

A two wheeled remote control car that looks like a black and yellow bee

Price: £34.99 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

“Got my eight-year-old a Tumble Bee - like a remote control car but with more flips - for Christmas and it was a hit.” SmednotaSmoo 

It may not look like your average remote control car, but the Tumble Bee can jump, flip and spin with the best of them. 

This high-octane insect can be used indoors and outdoors, where it can tackle most terrain with ease. Great fun, particularly for kids aged six and up.

Pros

  • Can do lots of tricks
  • Durable

Cons 

  • Not suitable for under-threes

Key specs

  • Type: Buggy
  • Scale: N/A
  • Top speed: Not specified
  • Dimensions: 29.5 x 19 x 14cm

9. Best off-road remote control car: LEGO Technic 4x4 X-treme Off-Roader Truck

A yellow and black LEGO Technic monster truck standing next to its box

Price: £159.49 | Buy now from Amazon

With 957 pieces, the LEGO Technic X-treme Off-Roader Truck is a much meatier build than the LEGO Technic Off-Road Buggy, providing more of a challenge for budding engineers.

With independent suspension, large wheels and chunky tyres, it’s great for tackling a multitude of terrain. Just download the app and unleash this beast of an RC car.

Pros 

  • Sturdy
  • Handles multiple terrain with ease

Cons

  • Compatible phone needed to download the app
  • Expensive

Key specs:

  • Type: Monster truck
  • Scale: N/A
  • Top speed: 20mph
  • Dimensions: 24.4 x 18.4 x 8cm

10. Best Lamborghini remote control car: CMJ RC Cars Lamborghini Aventador Car

A bright orange Lamborghini remote control car with red and black controller

Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

No list of the best remote control cars would be complete without an appearance from a Lamborghini. 

Here at Mumsnet, we like the bright orange Lamborghini Aventador Remote Control Car. This sleek supercar has a working spring suspension system, adjustable front wheel alignment and xenon-style headlights, and can race alongside 10 other RC cars without interference.

The Lamborghini is suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Although it does work on carpet, you really need a flat, smooth surface for the best experience.

Pros 

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons 

  • Not recommended for children under six

Key specs

  • Type: Tourer
  • Scale: 1:24
  • Top speed: 8mph
  • Dimensions: 19.99 x 4.8 x 9.6cm

How to choose the best RC car for kids

There are a number of things that you should consider when buying a remote control car for your child.

  • Budget: The cars on our list range from just over a tenner to more than £150. You should set yourself a firm budget before shopping.

  • Age suitability and speed: Check that the car you’re thinking about buying is age appropriate. Younger children may struggle with complicated controls or keeping some of the speedier cars under control. Older children may find a slower car that doesn’t perform any tricks a bit of a bore.
  • Terrain: Check whether the car is suitable for your intended terrain. Some cars can be used indoors and outdoors, while others are indoor only. Some don’t work particularly well on carpet while others take rocks and long grass in their stride.
  • Size and scale: Check the size and scale of the car before purchasing. You want to make sure the car you buy is the right size for the child. And you don’t want to end up ordering a chunky ride-on car by mistake.
  • Extras: Check whether you need anything else for your new purchase. The LEGO Technic vehicles, for example, require an app downloaded on a compatible phone in order for them to work. And not all of the RC cars on our list come with batteries. If a car doesn’t come with batteries included, make sure you get some in to avoid disappointment, particularly if the car is a birthday or Christmas gift.

How fast are remote control cars?

Toy remote control cars have weaker motors than hobby RC cars, typically reaching top speeds of between five and 15mph.

Top-of-the-range adult remote control cars can reach speeds of up to 70mph.

What is the best remote control car?

There are some great remote control cars on our list, but Mumsnet users love the Nikko VelociTrax. A great all-rounder, it can be used indoors and outdoors, it’s strong and durable and won’t break the bank.

How we chose our recommendations

We scoured Mumsnet forums to find out which remote control cars our users rate highly - and which ones they weren’t impressed by.

We also consulted consumer watchdogs and took note of what they looked for in remote control cars and which brands they were recommending to their readers.

Finally, we collated all that information and then looked at other online reviews to see which remote control cars had received the best recommendations.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

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