With Summer rapidly approaching, I reckon a lot of you will be looking into new hobbies for the upcoming outdoor season. If you have stumbled upon this site, that’s most likely due to the fact you did research on the best RC cars. Let me tell you something – it’s an amazing hobby! If you are one of those parents who are battling with their kids to go and play outside, RC cars might just be the answer to all your problems.
You see, I’m also a parent who had a similar issue. Luckily, I was quick enough to introduce my kids to the amazing world of RC toys (not just cars but for drones and helicopters as well) so they don’t make their smartphones and PCs a proper habit.
The first thing that popped to my mind when I was on the lookout for the best RC cars was – Which one to buy? I had an extensive research session before realizing the market is filled with many similar models. To my own surprise, as I dug deeper and deeper, I came to the conclusion that they’re not that similar at all. My final verdict was that the market is overly complicated… and so I decided to make my own list of top 10 RC cars for sale. It might not be the most comprehensive list that you can find out there, but you can at least be sure that it’s objective and written by a regular person, just like you…
If budget is not an issue, then I warmly recommend one of the models from the list below!
How much should I pay for my first RC car?
This is a question we hear a lot nowadays. Unfortunately, I believe I cannot give you a one-out answer since everybody is different. Every one of you reading this has different experiences and expectations from these speedy little racers. Needless to say, those 2 will greatly influence the price range of your fir RC car purchase… well, that and your budget, of course.
But still, I suppose I can give a couple of valuable guidelines to make your life somewhat easier. So, here goes…
- RC Cars Under $50
If you are looking to purchase an RC car for your children or as a gift to someone, then this category should be your first pick.
- RC Cars Under $100
For roughly $100 you can actually get pretty good deals in terms of general performance. If you found those under $50 models too weak for your taste, then this is the way to go.
- RC Cars Under $200
If you are thinking of entering the world of RC cars, then you cannot go wrong with these ones. They provide excellent performance and upgradability to keep them viable as long as possible.
- RC Cars Under $300
Now we are slowly creeping towards the high-end market. For approximately $300 you can get high-performance brushless vehicles that don’t agree to any compromise.
- RC Cars Under $500
Are you ready to splash out $500 for an RC car? If your answer is yes then I’m sure you’ll get a proper beast. Most of these models are not for beginners so bear that in mind before your purchase.
- RC Cars Under $1000
The ultimate list of best RC cars currently available on the market. Whether you’re aiming for electric or nitro-powered vehicles, under $1000 budget will provide you with a proper answer.
Best RC Cars for Sale in 2020
10. Maisto Rock Crawler
We are starting this list off with the standard Rock Crawler made by Maisto. This is a great entry-level model that does not have any of those bells and whistles in terms of upgradability or racing-grade parts. But, despite all that, it still performs great and is bound to exceed all of your expectations.
Now, even though this RC car is priced at an affordable price point, don’t let that trick you. Believe it or not, it sports not 1 but 2 motors, hence it brags about being 4×4. And it’s true – this little fella can climb on rough terrain without any issues whatsoever.
Unfortunately, it does not work with rechargeable batteries. Instead, you will be forced to use 6AA ones. On the bright side, you can always get a rechargeable 6AA battery pack and lower your expenses. And there will be expenses, don’t say I did not warn you!
All things considered, if you’re not exactly on good terms with your budget but you still want a decent RC experience, Maisto Rock Crawler is definitely work checking out. It’s pretty fast and most importantly, it will not break easily!
9. Force1 Buggy 1/32
Decorated by a flash (and gigantic) spoiler on the back, this little buggy from the labs of Force1 can definitely spark up your outdoor entertainment. It’s an incredibly small RC car, a 1/32 model to be more precise. But, don’t let its small size fool you – it has quite the power underneath the hood.
Starting off with the top speed, Force1’s miniature electric motor allows up to 12 miles per hour of top speed. While that might seem slow at first, when you take into consideration the buggy’s size, it’s more than appropriate. Moving forward, it’s also worth mentioning that it does not support 4WD but can still work seamlessly on rough terrain due to its high-quality suspensions.
It can go as far as 50 feet away from the transmitter which will require you to go and buy 4 AA batteries (they don’t come with the package, unfortunately). On the other hand, the buggy itself comes with three 3.7V 100mAh batteries which last up to 7 minutes, giving you roughly 20 minutes of fun straight out of the box.
Last but not least, I’d like to mention a special deal from Force1. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy which means the following: if you don’t like their RC buggy, simply send it back to them and they’ll either give you your money back or give you another one of their products. It seems great, doesn’t it?
8. GP NextX S911 1/12
This next one provides an excellent all-around experience and probably the best bang for the bucks in this list. It’s running on 2 800mAh Lithium-Ion battery packs that provide good reliability and a proper amount of power.
More precisely, we are talking about approximately 35 miles per hour which is amazing at this price point. I’ll even go out on a limb here and say that it’s probably the fastest RC car you can get for this money. Moreover, GP NextX S911 is a 1/12 model that incorporates S-truck suspensions making it a lot easier to drive through rough terrains.
It sticks to the ground amazingly and is pretty difficult to tip over. The only real drawback is the outer shell which is pretty prone to tearing and splitting during frontal collisions at high speeds.
Luckily, GP NexX is not only offering a 30-day money-back guaranty but also a 12-month replacement (parts) warranty as well, allowing you to get a new shell for free if your current one breaks. All in all, GP NextX S911 seems like a great model that can, with its amazing top speed of 35 mph, provide you with an enormous amount of fun!
7. Vatos RC VL-BG1513A
This gorgeous 4WD RC car from Vatos, whose name I am not going to use since it is pure gibberish, actually stands quite good against the competition even though its paired up with an affordable price tag. With a top speed of up to 25 mph, it’s safe to say that this 1/12 model has what it takes to make it onto this list.
When it comes to the bells and whistles, you’ll be surprised to see 3 incredibly bright LED lights that will allow you to play with this thing even during the darkest of nights.
Moreover, it also incorporates three-stage differential gears that allow the below stated top speed of 25mph. When it comes to terrain, Vatos did a good job with both suspensions and tires, allowing their RC to overcome all terrain types.
All things considered, the folk over at Vatos did a good job with this one and it is already paying off with more and more people purchasing it… You should too if you’re up for an entertaining off-road experience.
6. Redcat Racing Volcano EPX PRO
Redcat Racing is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the best RC cars industry and with each consecutive RC car they release, they are making sure they stay at the very top. That’s especially true when it comes to the Volcano EPX Pro.
This 1/10 racing truck sports the 27T 540 brushless electric motor and, of course, incorporates 4-wheel drive for ultimate all-terrain performance. It is made out of polycarbonate which is durable and can sustain more than a few high-speed collisions.
While we’re talking about high speeds, Volcano EPX Pro with upgraded LiPos’ can go as fast as 35 mph, making it quite the Speedy Gonzales. In addition to its speed, it is also important to state that Volcano EPX grinds on the road excellently. It prevents accidental flips and makes the handling much more fun.
In the end, I really don’t know what else to say about this one. I’ve personally used it for more than 2 years (had a total of 5 pieces at home) and I gotta say it’s one of the best medium level RC cars out there!
5. Traxxas Slash 4X4 Platinum Edition
Even though there are several versions of Slash available, I decided to go with the 4WD Platinum Edition. It’s a pretty big (1/10) model with a low center of gravity that enables it to stick perfectly to the road. Build quality is second to none. It is based on an LCG chassis known for its ruggedness and durability. It also offers adjustable both front and rear sway bars.
Additionally, you can also paint the body however you like since it’s made out of clear polycarbonate. That’s not where the good things end – Traxxas Slash also comes with built-in low voltage protection as well as completely waterproof electronics for safe encounters with mud and puddles. When it comes to performance, this Traxxas Slash version runs on the VXL brushless power system and is able to reach more than 60 miles per hour.
That’s only if you pair it up with a good set of batteries. I personally use 5200mAh 2S Li Po’s which work perfectly. Anodized and PTFE coated aluminum GTR shocks will aid Slash in rough terrains while the Titanium Nitride shafts ensure smoother performance and are virtually unbendable.
The only downside is the fact it comes without batteries and a controller, meaning you will have to supply your own. While that can be problematic for newcomers to the hobby, I’m sure more experienced people will have a spare battery pack and a controller somewhere nearby. So, to cut the story short – if you are looking for a popular RC car coming from a highly praised company, then Traxxas Slash is the one you should definitely go for!
4. Redcat Racing Shockwave Nitro Buggy
Redcat Racing is a class A RC cars for sale manufacturer so it’s no wonder they have 2 models in my top 10 list. The first one is this one – the Shockwave Nitro Buggy. It runs on, as the name suggests, on nitro fuel and also requires a glow plug ignitor. For the best results, the folks at Redcat Racing recommend the 80142a which is considered rather affordable.
The transmission supports only one speed without reverse so if you get to a dead-end, you’ll have to manually reset its position. With a 2.67cc nitro engine that runs best on Power Master’s 20% Nitro Fuel, you can definitely expect speeds of up to 35 mph.
When it comes to performance and handling, I’ll be damned if there are many better models than this one. It sticks perfectly to the ground. I actually found it quite difficult to flip it over without crashing into a curb or something similar.
In the end, I believe I’ve said everything that needed to be said about Shockwave Nitro Buggy by Redcat Racing. I’d just like to point out once again that Nitro-powered RC cars aren’t for beginners. Not only do they have a steep learning curve for seamless handling, but they also require a lot of maintenance and DIY endeavors. For all you newbies out there, take my advice and get a fully electric RC car as your first one. You can thank me later!
3. Kyosho Inferno Neo 2.0
The bronze medal goes to a relatively unknown RC car. While many people don’t even know about its existence, I for one was positively surprised by the performance. Kyosho Inferno Neo 2.0 is a 1/8 nitro-powered buggy, just like the Shockwave above. Let’s take a closer look at this powerful little buggy and see what kind of performance can it provide you with!
It comes fully assembled. Beware as that still, does not mean it’s 100% beginner-friendly. People who aren’t used to Nitro-powered best RC cars will stumble upon many issues, so it’s best for them to steer away from this one.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s check this baby up close! First, I’ll start with the biggest downside and that’s the build quality of gears. Unfortunately, they’re plastic… but nobody is stopping you from getting metal ones.
Luckily, everything is on point with the rest of the electronics, allowing Kyosho Inferno Neo 2.0 to reach up to 40 miles per hour. It grips great to the road and with its advanced suspension mechanisms, it can also perform solidly on rough terrain as well. So, if you’re aiming to get a versatile nitro-powered buggy, Inferno Neo 2.0 seems to be a great choice!
2. Traxxas E-Revo VXL
The electric version of Revo, powered by the amazing VXL power system including the Velineon 380 brushless motor, is bound to provide you with excellent performance. Not only that, but Traxxas E-Revo VXL also has rubber-sealed ball bearings (I’d definitely like to see these on a fidget spinner), full 4-wheel drive and the patented Torque-control slipper clutch, making it perform extremely well no matter the terrain type.
Still, it’s quite small (just 14 inches long) but don’t let that trick you – Traxxas E-Revo VXL is a MONSTER! Moving forward, I am sure all of you are wondering how fast can this thing actually go. Well, straight out of the box you are looking at roughly 25mph which isn’t that amazing.
Since it comes with a NiMH battery, you can get an additional one and wire both of them up in order to double the power… and viola, it can go up to 50. On the other hand, a single 3S LiPo will get it up to 50 as well. For faster speeds, I am afraid you’ll have to invest in a better suspension system.
Traxxas E-Revo comes bundled together with a TQ 2.4Ghz transmitter and receiver equipped with the latest Traxxas Link communication technology. And finally, the package is labeled as RTR (ready to ride) meaning there is no assembly required. Simply charge it up and you are ready to go.
1. Redcat Racing Rampage XT Gas Truck
At the very end, we have a proper beast in store for you! Meet Rampage XT by Redcat Racing. A fully-fledged truck that runs on petrol. One thing is for sure, this monster truck delivers a ton of fun! It runs on a 30cc HY 2 stroke engine that comes equipped with all the latest (and greatest) parts such as steel gears and tuned exhaust.
Unfortunately, it cannot go in reverse as the transmission is limited to just one gear. But, don’t let that fool you, Rampage XT is the best across all departments. As I’ve already stated above, it runs on petrol. More precisely, on a petrol and 2 stroke oil mix.
I’ve been using the premixed Trufuel in a 40:1 mixture of the regular 2 stroke oil found at the local Home Depot. Keep in mind that this is a very tender machine, just like a real car, so it will need plenty of maintenance. That’s why, if you are a total beginner when it comes to RC cars (or cars in general, for that matter), it might be a good idea to steer away from this one.
On the other hand, if you’re an experienced person, with all these bells and whistles that this 1/5 monstrosity Rampage XT comes with, there’s no wonder you’ll have a proper blast while using it!
Which battery is the best for an RC car?
Let me rephrase that question since we are basically talking about 2 main types of batteries: NiMH or LiPo – Which is better? Well, now that we have that settle in, let’s see the pros and cons of each one!
NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries are relatively cheap and provide a good starting boost in performance than what is the case with LiPos. However, their voltage lowers significantly with use so, at the end of its durability, it becomes much slower than a LiPo.
Furthermore, NiMH batteries tend to heat up more with aggressive use and can even pop… but still, some people consider them as safer alternatives to LiPos. Why? I honestly don’t know.
In terms of constant amperage delivery, it really doesn’t come much better than LiPo (Lithium Polymer) batteries. In addition to that, LiPos also offer superior weight/capacity ratio which allows them to be used not only with RC cars but drones and helicopters too.
Moving forward to the performance, LiPos are actually better (in most cases) than their NiMH counterparts. Even though NiMH batteries will get a head start, by the end of the race LiPos are more than likely to take the trophy.
Different types of best RC Cars
I am sure all of you know that there are several different types of RC cars. These can, of course, be further divided into several other sub-categories but I’ll try to keep them as simple as possible. So, without much further adue, let’s kick things off and see what exactly can you get in the world of tiny RC cars.
Nitro-powered or electric RC car? Which is the best?
In the past, Nitro powered RC cars were all the craze. They were much faster and could run for longer periods of time than the classic electric RC cars. That’s why people adored them and picked them instead of their electric counterparts every day of the week.
Nowadays, the situation is much different, mostly due to technological advances such as LiPo batteries and more powerful, brushless motors. Both of these improvements are a common sight on the market, especially in the mid and higher price points, making electric RC cars a lot more popular than nitro-powered ones these days.
Still, this is a highly subjective matter. If you want a fast, long-lasting RC car that is easily fixable if you break it, go for the electric ones. On the other hand, if you love that crisp sound of Nitro-powered machinery and you don’t mind getting your hands dirty every once in a while, then Nitro-powered ones are the obvious choice!
What do the 1/xx numbers stand for?
Throughout the entire article, you could find these marks. For those of you who are complete newcomers to the RC cars hobby, here is a quick explanation. These numbers represent how much smaller the RC car is compared to real cars. So, for example, if you’re looking at a 1/10 RC car model, those numbers mean that its size is 10 times smaller than an actual car.
In the end, I would just like to add a couple more sentences for all of you who read through the entire list of RC cars for sale. First of all, I would like to assure you that I made the list as objectively as I could. It’s true that I used most of these RC cars personally, and of course, I loved some more and some less. Still, I feel I’ve made a pretty good job with it and sincerely hope it will help you with your purchase.
Once again, thanks for reading!
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment down below! I’ll make sure I answer in due time.