So, you are looking for a good RC car either for yourself or as a present to someone you hold dear… but you do not know the first thing about them. Sure, you can go ahead and purchase the first one that pops up on Google search. But is that really a good option, or you should read a few reviews and see what is the best RC car under $100?
Well, considering the sheer number of models available on the market, there are definitely a bunch of low-quality ones. No, no… let me rephrase that – there are definitely those who do not exactly offer the best value for money. That’s why, today, I am going to show you which models do!
The “RC cars under $100” category has an abundance of solid models. Despite that, there are still a few of those who will not live up to your expectations. In order to prevent you from choosing one of the latter, I made this top 10 list. Not only does it feature the best budget-friendly models out there, but it’s also ranked 10th to 1st spot for easier understanding. P.S. If your budget is not limited to $100, you might be interested in our list of 10 RC Cars under $200?
Table: Best RC cars under $100
|5. DEERC DE36W
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|4. HOSIM 1/16
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|3. BEZGAR TRUCK
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|2. HAIBOXING 1/12
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|1. HOSIM SPIRIT 1/10
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5. DEERC DE36W
Let’s start off with DEERC’s DE36W that goes for as cheap as $70. Better yet, it’s often on sale for roughly $65, which makes it an absolute bargain. We’re talking about a nicely poised model here, one that won’t take too much money out of your budget but will still amaze you with the driving performance it offers.
For cca $70, you’re getting a 1/16 model equipped with a potent motor. We’re talking roughly 15 to 20 km/h, which isn’t half bad for the price you’ll pay for it. On top of that, DEERC DE36W can endure up to half an hour of runtime on a full battery charge. The provided battery is a 6V 800mAh NiMh piece, and no worries, its charger comes with the package. As for the range, if you’re controlling it with the provided 2.4Ghz transmitter, you can expect around 50 meters (165 feet) of coverage.
Live FPV Transmission
That’s not the only range you have to be vary of. You see, DEERC DE36W comes with a camera on top of the device. It’s a miniature 720p sensor equipped with a video transmitter that works over WiFi. It connects to your phone and allows you to see your drone’s live action up to 30 meters. All in all, this little bugger provides solid value and is surely among the best affordable RC cars out there.
- Live 720p FPV transmission
- Independent suspension springs
- 20-30 minutes of runtime
- 15-20km/h max speed
For just a few additional bucks, you can get your hands on HOSIM’s potent 1/16 monster truck model, codename Spirit. We’re talking about a heavy-duty RC truck here, possessing massive wheels that allow it to go on all sorts of terrain.
Not a Rock Crawler
Even though HOSIM Spirit 1/16 looks like a rock crawler, it acts differently. This is not your typical rock crawler, HOSIM’S Spirit can also develop solid speeds in addition to its obstacle-beating, going above 36 km/h. Yep, for just a few extra bucks you’re getting a lot more speed than what the DEERC’s model had to offer.
That’s not all, though – Hosim Spirit packs 2.4Ghz transmitter connection that works up to 80 meters or cca 260 feet. 4WD is here as well, which ensures the car can drive on all sorts of surfaces, including snow, dirt, and rocky footpaths. Are you willing to splurge a few extra bucks for all these performance increases?
Great Design Too
As far as the design of HOSIM Spirit is concerned, we’re looking at a very pretty model. The canopy comes in two colors, red and blue, and the overall appearance is satisfactory. The same can be said about its individual shocks which have splashes of rec that give the model an extra layer of detail.
- 36+ km/h top speed
- Roughly 80m/260ft max transmission distance
- 4-wheel-drive for rough terrain adventures
- Great for first-time users and children
- One of the best RC cars under $100
3. BEZGAR Truck
Here we have another fine-looking RC truck. It’s made by BEZGAR and it’s so cheap that it doesn’t even have a marketed name, so we’ll just call it the BEZGAR Truck.
Solid Design & Performance
On the outside, it’s as gorgeous as they come, packing a black and yellow theme and sporting bright LEDs up on the front bumpers. The anti-skid tires are oversized and fancy a strong grip that allows BEZGAR Truck to hold well across multiple types of surfaces.
On top of that, it also features a sturdy chassis and a decent canopy that’s quite durable and will hold on well until the first real full-speed-to-concrete-wall crash. It’s basically what you’d come to expect from a drone as cheap as this. What you probably wouldn’t expect are oil-filled shocks which greatly improve the handling of this little bugger, especially on rougher terrain.
While we’re talking about the pricing, you should know that BEZGAR Truck usually goes for around $130. However, these days, we’ve seen it going for under $100, which makes it a perfect fit for today’s piece. Other numbers are superb too. BEZGAR’s RC truck can achieve upwards of 42km/h and reach as far as 80 meters (260ish feet). The runtime goes for around 20 minutes, but I warmly recommend you go ahead and upgrade the default battery.
- Up to 20 minutes of runtime with stock bats
- 42+ km/h top speed
- 80m/260ft maximum range
- Oil-filled shocks
- Runs on a RC390 brushed motor at 21000rpm
The second place goes to HAIBOXING’s 12815 RC car. It goes for around $100, barely fitting into today’s list. Still, the performance this baby has to offer, as well as its set of beginner-friendly features, ought to impress you. Believe it or not, this model possesses probably the best all-around characteristics and outstanding value for money.
First and foremost, HAIBOXING 12815 piece is a 1/12 RC car featuring 4WD drive and plenty of ground clearance. It goes under two different names – 12815 is its part number while its box proudly displays the name Protector. Be that as it is, we’re looking at quite an aggressive lad here.
This gorgeous all-terrain RC truck sports aluminum capped oil dampers, metal gear differentials, and modular chassis that can stand quite the beating. The electronics are waterproof, but only to an extent. You can expect this bad boy to run fine during rainy days, but you can’t expect it to run through muddy waters like you’d do with more expensive models.
HAIBOXING 12815 AKA Protector runs on the popular RC390 brushed motor that provides great throttle and solid endurance. If you manage to burn it, Amazon offers awesome deals on replacements and the repair process isn’t overly complicated.
You can expect around 38 to 40 km/h top speed. Battery-wise, this thing runs on 18650 batteries but the stock ones aren’t too good. Upgrade to similar mAh but higher discharge Li-ions and you can expect massive improvements in the runtime section.
- Ideal backyard burner
- Runs on interchangeable 18650 batteries
- Can reach close to 40km/h
- Has 4 bright LEDs up front
Finally, we’ve reached the best RC car you can get your hands on for less than $100. As the heading suggests, I’m referring to HOSIM’s Spirit model. This time around, we’re talking about the 1/10 version which is not only bigger than the above-featured HOSIM Spirit, but also brings forth several massive improvements.
Yep, you’ve guessed it – HOSIM Spirit is the biggest (1/10 scale) RC cars that can be purchased for around $100. Usually, it goes for roughly $110, but it’s often on sale for $100, which perfectly fits into our piece. But just because it’s affordable doesn’t mean it’s no good. It’s quite the contrary, come to think of it. There aren’t many similarly priced models that come with as much raw power as this bugger.
Plenty of Power
In terms of performance, this thing takes no prisoners! With upwards of 45km/h top speed, 80m/260ft maximum 2.4Ghz range, and 10-15 minutes of runtime even if you push the throttle all the way, all the time!
That might seem like a short battery duration, but it’s pretty decent considering the fact there are two power-hungry RC390 brushed motors. Yep, not one but two, meaning this thing features real 4WD that’ll be a lifesaver in off-road scenarios. All in all, for roughly $100 (or just above, if you can’t find it on sale), HOSIM Spirit 1/10 really is the best RC car you can buy at the moment.
- One of the biggest cars in this price range
- Thrilling top speed going over 45km/h
- Cca 80m/260ft of control range
What types of RC cars can you get for less than $100?
What exactly can you get for such a ridiculous price? Well, believe it or not, under $100 will give you a surprisingly huge pool of RC car models to choose from. As a matter of fact, there are lots of models that cost way below $100… heck, $50 even. But, what sort of performance can you expect from them? Or better yet – what types of RC cars can you get for this amount of money? Well, let’s do a quick run through them and you might just find out!
As their name suggests, rock crawlers’ main task is to be really freaking good at driving on rocky terrain. Whether we’re talking about rocky beaches, hill-rides, mountain peaks or some good old gravel roads – rock crawlers will be able to handle all that!
Buggies and rock crawlers are similarly built… but buggies usually come lighter and a bit faster… but faring worse on extremely demanding terrains. They’re insanely fun to play around with. Plus, they have awesome canopies that are worth an extra point.
As far as F1 replicas are concerned, I’m sure you can guess their primary task – they’re supposed to be pretty damn fast. But, in addition to that, some of them are also very maneuverable. Plus, they are so good looking that some people buy them just for showcasing in their homes.
Place a touring car somewhere off-road and enjoy watching it suffer. These LGC (low gravity center) speedsters are made for road driving and road driving only, similarly to their F1 Replica counterparts. However, when you place them on roads, you’ll be up for a speedy contest!
What Dimensions can be found in this price range?
In this price point, the most common models are 1/16. This means the model is roughly one-sixteenth of a real car. To put things into perspective, the first-placed under $100 RC car on this list is a 1/10 model which is quite bigger than all of its similarly priced 1/16 competitors.
If you’re looking for smaller RC cars that you use inside your home, opt for 1/18 and smaller. These days 1/24 is as small as it gets, but at that size you’ll definitely end up craving better performance. Personally, I feel like 1/16 is the sweet spot for RC cars under $100.
What to Expect from best RC Cars Under $100 Performance-Wise?
When talking about operating distance, AKA the distance the RC car can reach without losing control connection, most affordable $100 RC cars don’t show themselves in the best of lights. You see, typically, they’re meant to be used within the backyard, which translates to roughly 300 feet at most. That’s 100 meters for our European readers.
In terms of battery duration, many people expect surreal numbers inching to the hour-mark. However, that’s far from what you can expect from drones under $100. Most of the time, you’ll be looking at 20 to 30 minutes of runtime, which isn’t half bad considering the average battery durations from a few years ago.
The speed varies greatly from model to model. At this price point, typically, you’ll find models claiming to go as fast as 30-40 km/h. There are, however, cheap buggy and touring models that go faster than 50km/h, going all the way up to70km/h. But, at those speeds, we aren’t talking about RC cars for kids anymore. These speeds are quite dangerous and only teenagers and young adults should operate with such devices.
Last but not least, let’s focus on durability. There are no exact numbers we can make comparisons on in terms of durability, but one thing is certain – the build quality of newer RC cars under $100 is far superior to models dating back a 4-5 years back. Newer tech trends have surfaced a new wave of rigid chassis and durable canopies that can handle quite a few crashes before finally giving in.
FAQ: Best RC Cars Available for Under $100
Now that you’ve seen all of our favorite RC cars in this price range, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the models currently available on the market!
Are RC cars under $100 worth the money?
Short answer – yes! RC cars that fall below the $100 mark are, in most cases, well worth the money spent. Even more so if they are aimed at younger children who wouldn’t even be able to use the most out of a pricier model. The same goes for adult beginners to the hobby which could use the practice on a less expensive car.
One thing to note though – you cannot expect neck-breaking speeds and extremely long play times. Remember the price you’ve paid for and don’t expect high-end performance from these little fellas. Additionally, I’d also like to inform you that stuff breaks! Motors and suspensions are the most probable culprits. It’s not the end of the world – order the replacement and install it when it arrives. It’s not nuclear physics!
Are extra batteries worth the money?
We can’t stress this one enough – extra batteries are always a great thing to have. No matter if we’re talking about RC cars, planes, or drones, the answer is always the same – extra batteries are worth every penny. There’s no other way around it…
What good is a cheap rock crawler?
A lot of people are driven off buying affordable RC cars under $100 because the market is saturated with various rock crawlers that aren’t known for their speed. As stated above, rock crawlers take up only a portion of the market – there are many more types of RC cars you can get for $100.
If, however, you’re keen on buying a rock crawler and you’re afraid its speed just won’t be able to cut it, here’s the deal:
Rock crawlers, just as their name suggests, are meant for crawling rocks and overcoming all types of small obstacles. That’s pretty much all the fun they can provide. On plain terrains, such as roads or sidewalks, their lack of speed makes them as dull as they come.
At the end of the day, it’s only a matter of your personal preference. If you’re going to drive your RC car on roads, then go for a buggy or a touring car. If, however, you’re surrounding with rocky areas, dirt, or grass, then rock crawlers are the obvious way to.
That’s about it as far as best RC cars under $100 go. In 2022, there’s a ton of variety on the market. For roughly $100, you can get your hands on virtually any type of an RC car you can think of. Yes, the performance and build quality won’t be at a premium level, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with any of the aforementioned models.
If you’re looking for speed, then the 1/10 HOSIM Spirit model is the one you should be looking for. Not only is it massive, but also possesses a powerful motor that allows upwards of 45km/h. For $100ish, you can’t really expect more than that…
If, however, you’re looking for an all-terrain behemoth, then you’ll be better off with BEZGAR’s RC truck. It’s 4WD, has durable shocks and plenty of ground clearance. Plus, it sports waterproof electronics which ought to help out in sticky (read muddy) situations
All in all, these budget cars are a growing trend in the RC world and it seems as though they’ll only going to keep on rising…