So, you’re looking into buying an RC car: you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re already a hardcore enthusiast looking to amp up your collection, or if you’re new to the game, we’ve got all the info you need right here in this guide. So, what are the different things you need to think about before you buy?
- Types of RC Cars
There are tonnes of different varieties on the market; if you see a car driving along the road, the chances are there is an RC version somewhere out there too. Maybe you’re the sort of person who prioritizes a realistic scale model, or maybe you’re looking for something fast and bash-friendly. Either way, think about what you want from your car (drift cars, bash, race, etc.) and pick accordingly.
There are two main categories to consider: on-road and off-road. On-road RC cars prioritize speed and control and are usually characterized by their realistic look. Off-road cars are all about rough driving on rugged terrain; these cars are usually the rough-and-ready looking monster trucks, buggies, rock crawlers, or construction equipment. Off-roaders are an excellent choice if you’re just getting to grips with controlling an RC car for the first time since they’re a lot more durable than their on-road cousins.
- Electric or Nitro/Gas
Next, you will want to think about your car’s fuel situation. An RC car is powered in one of two main ways: either a rechargeable electric battery or with liquid fuel (gas or nitro).
If you’re new to RC cars, I highly recommend starting off with an electric car; the performance is excellent, they’re more reliable, and they’re overall easier to run and maintain.
Gas or nitro cars certainly have their appeal; they’re more of a spectacle thanks to the loud roar of the engine, the smell of the fuel, and the plume of black smoke shooting out from the exhaust. The thing is, the internal combustion engine on a gas/nitro vehicle is pretty finicky and can be difficult to maintain without the right know-how. If you’ve got the experience already, and you’re looking to step up your RC game, a gas or nitro car is an awesome choice.
- Build-it-yourself or Ready-to-run?
This aspect plays a huge part in defining what kind of RC hobbyist you are. A ready-to-run RC model (RTR) comes as a fully assembled, complete vehicle that (you guessed it) is ready to run as soon as you take it out of the box. These cars are a super choice for those who are new to RC cars in general, as it removes a lot of the complicated aspects.
The build-it-yourself kits require the user to assemble the vehicle themselves, and sometimes even require you to purchase parts separately from the appropriate sellers. While build-it-yourself cars are the more complicated option, they also offer another level of interest for the hardcore hobbyists among us. I love them because it gives me more control over the car itself, and a better understanding of my vehicle so if it ever breaks down, I know exactly how to fix it (must be the mechanic in me talking).
If you’re keen to get some more insider knowledge, check out rcrank.com and look for their advice on buying a car to fuel your hobby.