No matter if you’re a parent or not That A remote control car makes a great gift for Christmas or birthdays.
Check out our selection of the best remote control cars, whether for children, adults, or toddlers.
We tested 22 RC cars, costing between £15 and £165, from big toy retailers such as Smyths, Argos and Hamleys, as well as specialist RC shops including Modelsport and RC Geeks.
Find out how each car ranks in terms of top speed and run time, durability, ease-of-use, and how our testers (ranging from three to 60 years old) rated each car following a drive on a variety different surfaces.
Prices and availability were last updated on 4 August 2022.
Remote control cars that are best for kids
The cars we recommend are fast enough for kids to be fun and not so fast that safety or durability become an issue. All the RC cars that we recommend have an adjustable speed dial. This allows parents to adjust the speed to suit their needs.
Three children aged 6-12 loved each of our top picks. The three parents standing by also loved them.
OnlyWhich? Below, members can view the top RC cars for children. If you aren’t a member, you will only be able to see an alphabetized list the cars we tested.
Bezgar 7 Hobbyist Grade
FTX Tracer Monster Truck
Truggy FTX Tracer
GoStock Remote Control Car
Ralleyz 1:10 4WD Drive Rock Crawler
Ralleyz Monster Offroader 6WD Cross Country
RCG Racing Wind Speed Buggy
Remote Control 1:14 New Bright Baja Buggy
Rock Crawler Monster 1:2 Radio Controlled Truck
RockCrawler 1-8 MEGA-SIZE RC Monster Truck
SZJJX RC Remote Control Vehicle
Discover the. Playing is hard work. Here are our top picks. .
Best remote control cars available for adults
The five cars that we tested in this category were faster and heavier than those suitable for children.
They’re great fun to drive, but they are also more likely than others to break due to the higher impact forces. They can also cause serious damage to property and children if operated by less experienced drivers.
OnlyWhich? Members can view the top RC cars for adults here. You will only see the alphabetised list of cars that we tested if you are not a member.
Maverick Phantom XT
WLTOYS 4WD A979
The best remote control cars for toddlers
Remote control cars for children are simpler than RC cars for older children.
The best RC car for toddlers is easy to drive, durable, and packed with interactive features that will keep them busy for hours
OnlyWhich? Below, members can view the top RC toys for toddlers. If you aren’t a member, you will only see an alphabetised listing of the cars we tested.
Barbie Remote Controlled Car
John Lewis My First Remote Control Police Car
Disney Cars 3 Lightning McQueen
Tippi My First RC Car
You are looking for more ideas for gift inspiration? Get the
How remote control cars were tested
We selected remote control cars sold at major toys retailers such as Argos and Smyths as well RC cars that are very popular on specialized RC and model websites. All of the cars were purchased by us.
To assess the fun of each remote control car and determine its age, we recruited a mixed-aged and mixed-gender testing panel. The panel consisted of three dads, three moms, and four children, ages four through eleven.
We not only tested each car for fun, but also tested durability, build quality, and top speed to help us make our decision.
We attached a GPS tracker at the top of each car to measure its top speed on flat asphalt. The fastest car was able to reach a speed of 36 mph, while others were able to keep up with the pace at less than 5 mph.
Each car was driven five times at maximum speed into a kerb. It was also stepped upon.
Each panel member drove the cars on gravel and tarmac for this test. Each car was then rated according to how much fun they had on each surface.
We also tried our hand at making doughnuts on the asphalt.
Ease in Use
There are many cars that are not as easy to use. You’ll want one your child can operate on their own. We rated each car based on how easy it was to turn on and off, synch up with the controller, and how easy it was to access the battery and recharge it.
The controller’s quality
There was a lot of variation in the quality of each controller. Some felt cheap and plasticky, while others felt comfortable in your hand.
Finally, we measured the battery life while the car was being driven continuously.
What amount do you need for a quality remote control car?
You can spend from £30 to £500 for a remote control car.
We chose to test those costing less than £150 and found that if you’re buying one as a gift for a child, there are some brilliant options around £50.
If you shop in the right place, there are a lot of good options in between £55 and £80.
Based on our testing, however, we recommend staying away from major toy retailers like Argos and Smyths Toys.
These cars were often too expensive, and they did not impress our testing panel. Instead, look for specialist websites that sell hobbyist-grade cars.
We recommend cars for both adults and children that have spare parts that you can easily buy and install yourself. If you are involved in a high-speed collision that causes damage, this is good news.
What age are remote-controlled cars appropriate for?
A remote-controlled car can make a great gift, especially if it’s the right one.
We have tested some cars that are too fast to be used by very young children.
Our reviews will let you know what our mixed-age testing panel (adults and children) thought of each car and which age group the car is suitable for, i.e. toddlers, children, or adults.
Five things to consider when purchasing a remote-control car
1. The speed is amazing
This is a fact that cannot be ignored. Our testers had a lot of fun driving the car. If you’re buying a RC car for a child, there’s no such thing as an RC car that’s too fast. Some cars can go faster than 30mph which is fun for teenagers and adults, but dangerous for children under 6.
2. Broaden your shop
We weren’t impressed with the remote control cars offered by some major toy retailers, some of which cost more than £80 and are underwhelming. But if you shop in the right places, you can get a brilliant car that will delight all ages from as little as £56.
3. Make space
Our recommended remote control cars are very fast. They travel speeds as high as 33mph, with speeds ranging from 17mph to 33mph. You’ll need to have enough space for them to play, such as a large garden or park.
4. Avoid the beach
We took some remote control cars to the beach to test them on sand. This was a great way to have fun with your RC car, but it can also cause permanent damage. Sand can get everywhere inside the car, including the motors and suspension. We don’t recommend taking your remote-controlled car to the beach if you want it lasts a long time.
5. Don’t worry about breakages
We recommend RC cars for kids and adults that have easily accessible parts and spares that can be purchased online. It is easy to find replacement parts for your shell, wheel or suspension online.