Difference between Ready to Run and Build Your Own RC Cars

There are two basic types of RC cars available on the market. The first one is called as Ready to Run (RTR) while the other one is called Build Your Own RC Cars Kits. If you are familiar with the differences and characteristics of the two types, you will be able to figure out if you should go for one type or the other and what you should expect from that kit in the future. The two types of kits have different development times associated with them. Similarly, they offer varying level of tuning opportunities and cater to disparate level of driver expertise. Let’s not waste any more time and explore the main differences between the two types.

Ready to Run (RTR) Kit

If you are one of those who likes to take his or her vehicle out for a ride out of the box, then the Ready to Run kit has been designed for you. This implies that once you have bought the vehicle and brought it home, all you need to do is to take it out of its original packaging, get its batteries charged completely, insert them into the RC car and off you go. In contrast to the Build Your Own RC Cars kits, the RTR kits do not require any developing time and are simple plug and play devices.

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These vehicles are tuned by the engineers and come with default configurations. However, they also offer options to the users to reconfigure the settings as and when required. Having said that, they are not equipped with as many tuning features as those available in the Build Your Own Cars Kits.

There is an important thing that you need to keep in mind. There are some RC cars that do not come with batteries and charger. You need to buy these accessories separately in order to get the car zipping around in the neighborhood.

Build Your Own RC Cars Kit

This type of vehicle kit is exactly the same as is mentioned in the product description. The kit lets the users build their car with the tools, features and add-ons. This is generally a cumbersome process and can be rather frustrating if you are a novice with no prior experience since subtle measurements and processes need to be followed while building your own RC car from scratch.

Since the RC car kits have to be built from scratch so this opens new vistas of opportunities for the potential owners to customize the RC cars in accordance with their requirements and preferences. They can tweak the handling, maneuvering, turning and traction characteristics of the device based on the terrains on which they intend to drive the car, the frequency with which they will be using the car and plenty of other factors.

What is the level of difficulty associated with each kit?

Ready to Run kits are designed to cater for users of all experience levels. Novices tend to prefer the RTR kits since they take a fancy to taking their car out of the original packaging and start zipping it around without having to be anxious about putting it all together or spending more time than is allowed by their hectic schedules. RTR kits do not require a lot of repairs and maintenance and do not require any additional time to assemble different parts for performance enhancement.

Moreover, since the tuning is done according to factory settings so users do not have to go through complex algorithms to get the most of their vehicle.

Build your own RC cars kits, on the other hand, are designed for drivers who have attained some experience in the realm of RC cars. These experienced veterans are familiar with their ins and outs of RC cars and take a fancy to building their own vehicles from scratch. Moreover, fine tuning the car and repairing and maintaining it to ensure optimum performance is also what they always crave.

Difference between the two types of vehicles

In reality, Build Your Own RC cars kits tend to be expensive while the RTR is affordable. There is a false belief that RTR vehicles tend to be costly since the manufacturer has to work hard on them in putting them together and tuning them appropriately. RTR kits are a lot more affordable but when the owners are forced to buy additional accessories, they end up paying more. Build your own RC cars kits tend to provide you more leverage with regard to parts and their assembly and do not require a lot of add-ons.

In fact, the experienced folk always recommend the novices to get a build your own RC cars kit since it costs less and they do not have to buy the accessories in the future that are expensive in reality.

Ready to Run Kits


  • Use them right out of the box
  • No assembly required
  • Affordable
  • Cater to all experience levels
  • Low maintenance required


  • Less customization options
  • Additional auxiliary parts are required in the long run for customization
  • Additional auxiliary parts are required for performance enhancement
  • Most manufacturers claim speed and then diverge while saying that speeds can be enhanced with accessories and fine tuning
  • User does not get to understand the internal workings of RC cars
  • Maintenance cannot be done immediately

Build Your Own RC Cars Kits


  • User gets to understand the internal workings of RC cars
  • Customization options are numerous
  • Additional parts are not needed for performance enhancement
  • Peak speeds and performance are possible


  • Expensive
  • Designed for experienced users
  • Requires hours of assembly

The Bottom Line

As is evident from the above discussion, there are advantages as well as disadvantages associated with both Ready to Run as well as Build Your Own RC cars kits. If you have little experience and enjoy the plug an play version, then go for the RTR kits. For those who are willing to spend time building their own car from ground up and getting to know the various parts and the inner working of the RC car, with unfathomable customization options, then build your own kits are the way to go.

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