How to Select Your First RC Car

When it comes to the radio controlled hobby, what is really exciting is the wide variety of vehicles that one can enjoy. But how do you really choose the truck or car that really suits your aspirations? Well, the choice is yours to make!

Important Questions to Ask Yourself

When buying a RC car, truck or buggy for yourself, there are three important questions that you need to ask yourself: whether the car is nitro powered or electric powered; Whether it is a kit or a ready to run unit; And whether it supports off-road driving or on-road driving. Let’s try and find answers to each one of these questions one by one.

Nitro powered or Electric RC car

We suggest you to begin by purchasing an electric RC car or truck. They are cheaper, produce little to no noise, user-friendly and need less maintenance in contrast to nitro powered RC cars. But if you are more inclined towards buying a car with a real engine, then nitro is the way to go. It is the most popular genre of RC vehicles out there and you can find numerous nitro powered RC vehicles that are designed specifically for novices. The choice between a nitro powered or electric RC car will eventually go on to influence your decision whether you should be looking for a kit or a ready to run unit.

Kit or Ready to Run Unit?

No one can really say which one is the better option since it all boils down to your personal preference. If you are into building things, toying with them, tinkering and tweaking mechanical components, then you should get a kit. By building a RC car right from scratch, you will get to know all the minute details about your vehicle. But if you happen to be allergic to hand tools and extensive user’s manuals, then you should get your hands on the ready to run unit without any shred of doubt. If you are inclined towards buying a nitro powered RC car but still do not want to embroil yourself in all the technicalities involved, then the ready to run unit is the best option here. The car will come in pre-assembled condition and you will not have to spend time tuning it up and configuring it from scratch.

On-road or Off-road?

A car designed to tackle off-road challenges can be driven on flat sidewalks and pavements but a car designed to operate on-road cannot be driven on rocky terrains, muddy landscapes and snowy tracks. If you take fancy to on-road car driving where speed and drifting are your biggest motivations, then going for an on-road RC car is an obvious choice. But think hard before you make this decision. Are you really not interested in tackling sandy beaches and muddy marshes? If you are, then off-road RC trucks and buggies are your ultimate dream.

Few things to consider

Now that you have decided about nitro powered or electric vehicles, kit or ready to run units and on-road or off-road devices, now comes another dilemma: which one do you choose for yourself. Here are a few things that you need to consider:

  • Financial constraints: In addition to buying a RC car, you will also have to buy the auxiliary equipment with it. You have to ensure that you calculate the total cost of the car in addition to the accessories that you will be needing to run your car. For some ready to run units, you might be needing AA batteries for the radio controller and fuel to top up the fuel tank. However, if you are buying a DIY kit, then you will have to purchase a radio system, paint, battery or fuel and charger.
  • What is available at the local hobby store? Even if you decide to place an order online for your RC car or truck, do keep in mind what is available at the local hobby store. Otherwise you will have to wait to get your accessories and spare parts every time for your mail to arrive. Moreover, you will also be able to get valuable advice and expertise from the local hobby store in relation to your device.
  • What do your friends own? If your friends drive the RC truck and you are the only one in your group who owns a RC car, then you would regret why you did not buy the truck in place of the car. You might even crave to buying the truck of the same make and model as your friends. If everyone in your vicinity owns a vehicle that is better and faster than yours, it could be quite a quagmire for you.

Type of car that suits you

  • 4WD Touring car: If you want to enjoy yourself in the local park or in your backyard, a touring car or Sedan is a tremendous gizmo and can be had in either nitro version or the electric one. If you are in need for some speed, then a nitro powered RC car would be the way to go. However, keep in mind that Sedans are meant to be driven on-road only.
  • 1/10 Scale 2WD Buggy: Tenth scale buggies are dedicated for electric models only and can be your best bet when looking to tackle off-road challenges. They are also super-cool to drive on sidewalks and pavements. However, when driven on-road, the tires could wear out rather too quickly.
  • 1/10 Scale 2WD Stadium Truck: These are slightly bigger in size as compared with buggies. They are broader in frame and more stable than buggies. They can be used for both on-road and off-road driving. Stadium trucks are a great machine to have in your armory in the nitro powered versions.
  • 1/8 Scale 4WD Buggy: These buggies are generally nitro powered and perform admirably in dirt and mud. If you love your car to jump around, then these are your ultimate choice. They can be a bit expensive but on the whole, they are a pretty good device.
  • 4WD Monster Truck: Monster trucks can be purchased in different shapes and sizes. They can be electric rock crawlers or dual engine nitro powered beasts. 1/8 scale ready to run vehicles are the most preferred model in this category. They can trample anything that comes in their way and can be rather expensive.
  • Mini: More often than not, minis are 1/18 scale but you will also find 1/24 and 1/28 scale models available on the market. You can get both the on-road and off-road options. Despite the popularity of electric powered variations in this class, nitro powered versions are also gaining traction among consumers. Racing minis can be as costly as driving large sized RC cars. But most of the enthusiasts prefer to choose the low cost ready to run units. Minis are suited to both indoor and outdoor adventures.
  • Motorcycle: Yes, you can own a two wheeler too! They are not really a beginner’s best friend, particularly the nitro powered models! But they can offer lots of entertainment. Keep in mind that these motorcycles are suited only for on-road excursions.
  • Dragsters: You can get both electric as well as nitro powered dragsters. They are tremendous for racing but when it comes to bashing around, you will not find them great. Engineered for extreme speed and acceleration, the RC dragsters are not reliable. They are only about speed.
  • Tanks and haulers: Tamiya are the entrenched market leaders in building tanks and 18 wheelers that boast intensive detail. You will get real world clones of working lights and sound effects. They are highly priced and sold only as super-complicated kits. They can be a great jewel in your collection and offer plenty of fun and and entertainment to the users.

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