Our Tips for Buying RC Cars Online

By Steve George

July 2, 2024Toys

The joy of speed and precision control collide in the thrilling world of remote-controlled (RC) cars. This hobby brings a lot of fun and friendly competition for both thrill-seeking kids and kid-at-heart adults. It isn’t just about cars – it’s about the adrenaline rush, the mechanical tinkering, and the sheer satisfaction of mastering a new skill. Read on to discover the top tips for navigating the online RC car market, so you can make the best purchase to fuel your passion. 

Reputable Store

rc hobby shop
Source: facebook.com/Rchobbyland

When looking to buy an RC car, the first thing you should prioritise is finding a reputable hobby shop online. A reputable shop will offer detailed and clear specifications, and genuine customer reviews, helping you make an informed decision. These stores often stock products from well-known brands that have a track record of performance and durability, which ensures that you get the best value for your money. Whether you’re looking for a beginner-friendly model or a high-speed racing beast, these stores have something for everyone. Their user-friendly website makes it easy to browse and compare different models and find exactly what you’re looking for.

Additionally, a reputable hobby shop will have knowledgeable staff who are passionate about the hobby. They can provide expert advice and answer any questions you might have, guiding you to the right choice whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hobbyist. Reliable retailers also offer excellent after-sales support, including warranties, easy returns, and repair services, giving you peace of mind with your purchase.


When shopping from an RC hobby shop, another crucial consideration is the brand you choose. Here are some of the biggest and most popular brands that you might want to consider: 

  • Traxxas: These cars are renowned for their speed, durability, and high quality. They rarely need part replacements due to their robust build. However, they come with a higher price tag and often don’t include a battery pack and charger; 
  • Exceed If you’re looking for budget-friendly options, Exceed cars are the cheapest among the popular brands. While they generally have good quality parts, they require frequent maintenance and spare parts, which can add up, especially with shipping costs; 
  • HPI: These vehicles don’t have the same level of popularity as Traxxas, but they boast good quality parts that seldom need replacements; 
  • Tamiya: This is a classic name in the RC car industry, with over 30 years of history. Their cars, like the iconic Grasshopper, are known for their durability; 

Types of Cars

rc car
Source: facebook.com/Rchobbyland

Another crucial consideration when buying from a hobby shop online is the type of car you’re interested in. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s essential to choose one that matches your intended use, so here’s a quick rundown of the main types: 

  • Street cars: These are your typical on-road vehicles, designed for speed on paved, flat surfaces. They’re the fastest type of RC cars, ideal for racing on streets or smooth tracks. However, they’re not suitable for rough terrains or backyard adventures. If you’re looking for pure speed and plan to drive on smooth surfaces, these are your best bet; 
  • Drift cars: These are similar to street cars but come with slick tires that let you slide around corners. They can achieve speeds nearly as high as street cars but add the fun challenge of drifting. If regular driving gets boring and you enjoy the thrill of making sharp, controlled slides, drift cars are a great choice. Just keep in mind that drifting takes practice to master; 
  • Buggies: Buggies are versatile vehicles that perform reasonably well on on-road and off-road tracks. They’re the second fastest on paved roads but tend to be slower off-road due to their lower wheelbase. Buggies are ideal for those who want a bit of both worlds and can’t decide between an on-road or off-road vehicle;
  • Truggies: These are hybrids like buggies but lean more towards off-road use. They combine the frame of a buggy with the large, rugged tires of a monster truck. Truggies are the third fastest on-road but excel off-road, making them a great choice if you want to tackle rough terrains without sacrificing too much speed; 
  • Trucks: Monster trucks are built for off-road adventures. They’re excellent for driving on grass, dirt, and rough terrains but are very slow on paved surfaces. They can handle jumps and bumps with ease but tend to flip over when taking high-speed turns on-road. Choose a truck if you plan to spend most of your time driving in the woods, fields, or other off-road areas. 

Electric vs Nitro

So, what’s better, nitro or electric? This choice is crucial as it significantly impacts your overall experience. Many hobby stores online offer electric RC cars that are generally cheaper and “cleaner,” meaning they produce no exhaust and are quieter. They’re easier to maintain and are particularly suited for at-home use, making them ideal for beginners or those who prefer a hassle-free experience. One of their major benefits is their faster acceleration. However, they come with limited run times and require hours to recharge the batteries, which can be a drawback. Additionally, while electric cars are less expensive overall, models with brushless motors can be quite pricey. 
On the other hand, nitro cars offer the advantage of longer run times, providing more extended play sessions. They produce a nice, realistic engine sound that many enthusiasts enjoy. However, they require buying nitro fuel, which is an added expense, and some people find the smell unpleasant. Nitro cars are typically a bit more expensive upfront and are more complex, meaning there’s a greater potential for mechanical issues. This complexity can be appealing for hobbyists who enjoy tinkering but may be daunting for newcomers.