RC Car tips and guide to remote control cars and radio controlled trucks.

Radio Control RC Cars Buyer's Guide

RC Cars Radio Control Guide


Hello and welcome to RCCarTips.com. Your free online guide to radio control r/c cars and trucks. This is the RC Cars page and is a basic introduction into the hobby. Then feel free to browse the over 400+ pages of tutorials, reviews, photos, videos and shops on remote controlled cars, trucks and buggies.

Each month there is an RC Car Tips free online magazine providing updates on new models, racing events, rc car reviews, interesting videos and how-to. If you would like to be notified of site updates, join the RC Car Tips facebook page.

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Joel M.

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Nitro, Gas or Electric Powered RC Cars

First is to decide whether you want a nitro, gasoline or electric powered model. Let's summarize the pros and cons of each.

Nitro Powered RC Cars

Good Things

  • Realistic sound and smell of nitro engines
  • Fast speeds out of the box (e.g. 40mph)
  • Found in most scales (e.g. 1/12th - 1/8th)

Need Consideration

  • Nitro fuel is special and expensive
  • Sound and smoke might be an issue
  • Nitro engines need constant tuning

Gas Powered RC Car

Good Things

  • Cheap fuel (runs on regular pump gasoline)
  • Long runtimes (e.g. 30 minutes per tank)
  • Typically big scale (e.g. 1/5th or 1/8)

Need Consideration

  • Big size requires a big track or space
  • Too big for most tracks
  • Sound might be a problem for neighbors

Electric Powered RC Cars

Good Things

  • Easy to run and maintain
  • Powerful motor and battery give fast speeds
  • Found in all sizes (1/36th - 1/5th scale)

Need Consideration

  • Watch the motor temperature
  • Avoid electrical shorts or overcharging battery
  • Short runtime compared to gasoline models

For beginners I would recommend buying an electric powered rc car. Less hassle, simply charge the batteries and run. If still undecided, read the gas vs electric rc cars guide.

On-Road RC Cars or Off-Road RC Trucks

Next would be to decide whether you want an on-road rc car or an off-road rc truck or buggy.

On-Road RC Cars


  • Run only on pavement
  • Nice realistic car or F1 bodies
  • RC cars are clean after running
  • Grip or drift rc cars
  • Touring, drift, F1, mini and pan cars


  • Can run on both dirt and pavement
  • Typically truck and rally bodies
  • RC trucks typically dirty after running
  • Kicking dirt and jumps are fun
  • Baja, buggy, crawler, trucks and truggy

Off-Road RC Trucks

For beginners, my recommendation is to buy an off-road radio control stadium or short course truck. You can run it almost everywhere. You can do jumps and kick dirt which is part of the fun. But if realistic cars is what you like, then an on-road touring car is for you.

Video of Various RC Cars

Models of R/C Cars

The most popular models are Touring Cars, Formula 1 (F1), Mini's, Drift and Buggies. All have entry level kits all the way up to high quality competition racing machines. These can either be powered by electric, nitro or gas/petrol. Common scale sizes are 1/36, 1/28, 1/24, 1/16, 1/12, 1/10, 1/8 and 1/5. Popular are 1/12, 1/10, and 1/8.

If you're just getting started, the cheapest rc cars can be bought for less than $100 USD. These are typically rc car toys such as Jada and Nikko.

Below is my price comparison database to help you make a buying decision.

Cheapest RC Cars (Below $100)

Beginner RC Cars ($100 - $200)

Fast RC Cars ($200 - $300)

Ultra Fast RC Models (Over $300)

Here you will find the fastest 1/10 and 1/8 scale gas rc cars capable of speeds in excess of 50+ miles per hour. These are some of the biggest and fastest rc cars in the rc hobby!

Tamiya R/C Cars Guide by Moko Chan

Here is an easy to understand guide from Tamiya. These are old but the tips and ideas are still mostly applicable today. If you are a beginner, please read these guides. The cartoon character and illustration makes learning fun.

RC Car Driving Techniques

Part 1: Electric Powered R/C Model Cars

Part 2: Off-Road R/C Cars

Part 3: R/C Car Preparation and Maintenance

Part 4: Electric R/C Car Races

Part 5: Tamiya R/C Guide Book

Part 6: Tamiya Ni-Cad Battery

Part 7: Radio Control Car Safety

Part 8: Assembling a Radio Control Model Vehicle

Part 9: R/C Cars Spare Parts

Part 10: Painting R/C Cars

Part 11: Radio Control Equipment

Part 12: R/C Car Bodies

Part 13: R/C Car Driving Techniques

Part 14: Tamiya R/C Motors

Part 15: Radio Control System Check

Part 16: Trouble Shooting Electric R/C Cars

And here are my rc tips and newsletters from 2003 to 2012.

Where to Buy Cheap Electric RC Cars

At your local hobby shop or try the rc store page.

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RC Radio Control Cars

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Where you can buy rc cars on sale. On-road and off-road. Nitro, electric and gas powered models.


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