What Are The Types of RC Cars? – Details Guide

Mark start research and blogging about five years ago beside his successful business about RC cars, ride-on toys, power wheels, etc. Although he is a...Read more

Over the years we’ve seen kids enjoying racing with remote control or radio controlled cars. But adults also enjoy racing them too and they take it as a serious sport. In this article, I will look into two different grades of RC cars.

If you’re a beginner or a pro at RC cars looking to buy a remote control car, then you’re at the right place.

Here, I will discuss different types of RC cars, their sizes, and the pros and cons of the power source of these cars.

I know it can be a bit confusing when buying RC cars since they differ in many ways including the cost. Keep reading to find a better understanding of RC cars.

What Do Radio-Control (RC) Cars Mean?

Radio-control car means the cars use radio transmitters that send waves and help control the car. Radio-control signals can work at long distances with very minimal lag.

RC Cars

In the past, almost all RC cars used AM and FM signals to send waves and control the model. However, that has changed with most RC cars using the 2.4GHz broadcast signal to send waves and control the car.

It’s a signal that allows different people to control cars without any interference.

Categories of RC cars

Before I look at the different types of RC cars, let’s see the six categories of RC cars. These include:

On-Road Cars: These are RC cars designed for smooth surfaces. They look similar to full-size cars and offer top speeds. The cars don’t ride well on dips and bumps.

Off-Road Cars: These are tough RC cars suited for rough terrains. The cars are extremely durable and a great choice for beginners.

Ready-to-Run Cars: These are cars that come ready to run out of the box. They come with necessary accessories like radio gear and other electronics. The cars feature manuals with instructions on how to disassemble and assemble. However, some may lack batteries and charges.

Kit Cars: Kit cars come in components. They give the user the ability to understand how the car works. You’ll have to build all the components yourself from the suspension to transmission.

Rollers: Rollers come ready to use with drive systems, electronics, and radio gear. They are recommended for experienced users.

Toy Cars: These are basic toy cars just as the name suggests. They lack top speeds and power.

Difference Between toy-grade RC cars and hobby-grade RC cars

Hobby-grade RC cars-: these cars are made with more features than toy-grade cars since they are used by professional adults in RC racing competitions.

These cars can be customized and upgraded. These cars are built to be faster, more durable, and have good control. As stated, these cars are used for competitions, hence the requirements.

Toy-grade RC cars-:  These cars are good for kids since the steering is limited to three positions which are straight, full left, and full right.

The main priority as to why these cars are made for kids is the affordability and design of the car. In as much as these cars are made for kids, grown-ups find them interesting too.

5 Types of RC cars

I’ve discussed the different categories of RC cars. Now, let’s look at the five types of RC cars.

Types of RC Cars

1. RC crawler

As the name suggests, RC crawlers move at a low speed and are designed to handle challenging situations found off-road.

RC crawler

RC crawlers are built to move on all kinds of rugged terrains, mountains, and rocky places that no other RC car could move on.

2. RC Buggy

The RC buggy is a car that is fit for on-road and off-road terrains, making it an ideal choice for newbies who have not found the specific type of RC car they want.

RC Buggy

Unlike monster trucks, RC buggy tires are narrower and the car has a long shock absorber. Due to their narrow tires, these cars are slow off-road and are the second fastest on-road RC vehicles.

3. RC Truck

If you wish to run your RC car on woody or grassy terrains, or you love challenging competitions, then RC trucks are made for you. We have two categories of RC trucks, which are short course trucks and monster trucks.

RC Monster Trucks

Monster trucks are one of the coolest-looking and most popular RC trucks on the market. These trucks are known for their durability, and heavy-duty, and they are high-powered trucks.

RC Monster trucks

Monster trucks require lipo batteries that have the highest energy density, and high discharge rate, and are of the highest quality. Since these trucks are meant to run on rough terrains such as sands, puddles, and grass.

If you want to do some amazing stunts, then a monster truck is the right RC car for you. These trucks can do a standing backflip and some dirt jumping.

RC Short Course Truck

The shock absorber of short course trucks are shorter, they also have four wheels which are protected by the shell, and the bumpers of the car give the frame more strength.

RC short course truck

Short course trucks can run on-road and off-road situations. These trucks are also powerful, durable, and flexible.

If you’re looking for an off-road truck that is customizable, I’ll suggest picking a short-course truck.

4. RC touring car

If you’re looking for a car that is suitable for running on concrete, carpet, or asphalt, then RC touring is the car that you should get. Just like the original cars that have four wheels, touring RC cars are also four-wheeled.  RC touring cars have independent suspension which is the lower arm and upper control arm.

RC touring car

In order to avoid the chassis from flexing, RC touring cars feature an upper deck and a lower deck for assistance. The most common preferred tires by hobbyists are rubber tires, but you can also choose foam tires if you like them. The scale is 1:10 for RC touring cars.

It is advisable not to run the car on off-road terrains such as rocks, sand heaps, and grass. Since the frame is designed for straightforward acceleration and to run on flat surfaces.

5. RC Truggy

RC Truggy is built to be more suitable for off-road competitions since these cars are almost like RC buggy cars. Just like RC buggy cars, RC Truggy is the second slowest off-road and third fastest on-road vehicle.

RC Truggy

The frame of RC Truggy is built with that of RC buggy cars, but the tires are made from monster trucks.

Different sizes of Remote Control Cars

Before choosing the best RC car, it is important to know about the sizes of these cars. The sizes of RC cars are compared to the real cars, therefore, measured in ratio. The most common sizes are 1:6, 1:8, 1:10, and 1:12.

The most common RC car size used is 1:10, since the spare parts of this size are widely available.

You May Also Read: RC Car Parts List

Pros and cons of Electric and Nitro RC cars

The RC power source can be confusing to anyone purchasing RC cars because they don’t know whether to get nitro or electric cars. Here we are going to look into both nitro and electric cars and the pros and cons of each power source.

Electric cars-: Electric cars use rechargeable batteries, and are cheap to maintain. Electric car parts are made of plastic, but you can upgrade to more durable and high performers parts that are metal.

Electric RC cars run well if you want something quiet and indoors. They offer a much smoother riding experience than nitro RC cars.

Pros of electric cars
  • Excellent run times
  • Cheap
  • Zero cost of maintenance
  • Quiet operations
  • Fast
  • Better for indoor use
Cons of electric cars
  • Recharging the batteries may take a long time.
  • For the car to be stable you’ll need a significant amount of upgrades

Nitro cars:  These RC cars are powered by fuel, this nitro fuel is a combination of methanol, oil, and nitromethane. These cars are easy to break, generally heavy, and require high maintenance.

Unlike electric cars, nitro cars are noisy and therefore can be a bit uncomfortable when running them indoors.

Pros of nitro cars
  • Extremely fast
  • Longer runtime
  • Its sound is that of a real car
  • Smells good to some people
Cons of nitro cars
  • It’s expensive
  • Fuel cars need high maintenance


As we’ve read in this article, it is important to identify the types of RC cars and factors to consider before purchasing an RC car. Knowing the different types of RC cars makes it quite easier to decide on one.

Even though RC car racing can be a bit challenging for newbies, once you get to know the sport, the experience will be worthwhile. RC car racing is an extremely fun sport.

Any hobbyist all around the world would guarantee you the fun and enjoyment that comes with racing RC cars.

Mark start research and blogging about five years ago beside his successful business about RC cars, ride-on toys, power wheels, etc. Although he is a full-time businessman, he has a passion for research and blogging about the things he is good at. The “Toyscout24” is the result of that. He creates this site to assist people looking for RC cars and ride-on toys who don’t have proper knowledge about these toys.

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