Every parent’s desire is to put a smile on their kid’s face. For a five year old, this means a remote control car. In their eyes, it means the whole world. However, for such a costly toy, it takes a year of good discipline and a letter to Santa for one to land on their Christmas list.
Luckily, parents do not need to be a bargain hunter or wait for a yard-sale to get cheap RC cars for their kids. By shopping online you have unlimited access to cheap options, as low as $50. But before pressing the ‘add to cart’ button, it is wise to do some research. This way, you get the right RC car that will not only blow your kid's mind but also stick to a moderate budget.
Here are some RC cars features you might want to consider before settling on one. These features will give you clear guidelines on what kind of RC car best suits your boy or girl. We have factored in price as our main theme. Our RC car list comprises of toy cars less than fifty dollars. Let’s dig in!
A List Of The Best RC Cars For Under $50
Off-road action RC truck
Toy Grade RC monster truck
Speed of 8mph
Sports car look for on-road adventure
Solid build and sharp design look and feel
Hobby grade rugged built RC car
Made of high grade materials with glossy finish exterior.
Rubber tires for fine grip.
Solid plastic exterior cover fastened with dozens of screws.
Features strong motors with suspension system
If these models are a hint tame for you, we have an article that might be right up your street - Best RC Trucks
We also have something for those who have the NEED FOR SPEED! - Fastest RC Cars and Fastest RC Trucks
Different Parts Of The RC Car
RC Cars Usually Comprise Of Four Main Parts:
Transmitter: This is usually the controller that directs the toy car’s movement. It uses radio frequencies to relay control signals and commands to the receiver. The transmitter is mostly powered by 9 volt batteries.
Receiver: Picks up the signals sent by the transmitter and relays them to the needed components of the vehicle.
Motor(s): This is usually the heart of the RC car and is the most important part of building your RC vehicle.
Power Source: Runs the overall functioning of the RC car. RC cars can either be electric or nitro powered.
Things To Consider Before Buying An RC Car
Hobby Grade Or Toy Grade RC Car
RC cars are generally classified under two categories: toy-grade and hobby grade.
Toy grade: Toy grade RC cars feature easy controls with few features for the five to twelve-year-old mind to comprehend. They generally cost less compared to their counterparts. These RC cars usually are factory assembled for a plug and play fit. Most require minimal maintenance. Ideally, these RC cars are designed for kids below ten-years. When buying one, consider a brand that has clear instructions and is electrically controlled.
Hobby grade: These RC cars are usually a great investment as they feature loads of functionalities that adults can’t comprehend. They usually cost more due to the detailed ingenuity. Hobby grade RC trucks require greater skill and maintenance than toy-grade RC cars. These toy trucks also require installation when bought. They may feature spare-parts in case you break or lose a component. Its best to buy one for kids aged twelve and above or when you feel your child is able to grasp the functionalities easily enough.
Power type: Electric or Nitro?
For running purposes, your RC car needed to be powered. Generally, RC vehicles are either electric powered or nitro powered.
Electric RC cars are great for beginners due to their simplicity. They offer less maintenance with cleaner and quitter genuine racing experience for an easy learning curve. The vehicles rely on a rechargeable battery packs to power their steering and motor components. Depending on your engine type, these batteries usually run for a maximum of 10-15 minutes and require a recharge of 30minutes. It’s wise to have at least two batteries if planning to enjoy your race car experience.
Most electric RC cars come as factory assembled with few exceptions for DIYs. Their instructions are less complex compared to the Nitro powered RC cars. However, for starters, it is best to stick with a ready-made model that is straight for use when out of the pack.
Electric RC cars generally cost less compared to Nitro powered vehicles. However, when you calculate the running power together with the initial cost of buying the batteries, charger and other related accessories they pretty much end up costing the same as Nitro RC cars. Furthermore, the battery type need for your electric RC car also determines its actual running cost. However, with quality batteries and charger, you can cut down the operational expense.
In terms of speed and performance, electric powered RC cars have a great deal of pickup, but not as much as nitro cars. This is mainly due to their power source.
In the case of Nitro RC cars they are famed for their powerful kick that outmatches that of electric RC toy vehicles. Though not ideal for freshmen, they are perfect if speed and performance is what you want. These vehicles offer uttermost realism in terms of design- they feature exciting sights, sounds and fine finish that resemble the real deal.
The main four defining features of a Nitro RC car are the special nitro fuel, high horse power nitro engine replaceable, realistic air filter, and lastly the tuned exhaust pipe.
Nitro RC trucks rely on two power source: batteries for the steering and gas for the car’s engine. There are two types of motor engines: 4-stroke and 2-stroke each with its own special features.
Type of RC car: Drift or Rally?
When buying an RC car, consider if you want a rally or drifting car. Each RC car type has its own strengths and weaknesses. Take for instance rally RC cars, they are solid built to endure hard-hits or smashes when driven at full speed. They usually have a rugged look and extraordinary hydraulics. Most are four-wheel-drive with monster truck wheels that offer uttermost resistance for fine grip. These toy vehicles are suited off-road outdoor adventure. However, they usually cost more since most are hobby grade trucks with expensive components.
Drifting RC cars are usually designed for on-road action. They tend to have flashy exteriors that are replicas of real vehicle models. These RC cars usually cost less and are pre-built ready for use.
Bottomline when it comes to the activity involved, your child’s preferences should matter most.
Ready To Run Or Build Your Own?
RC cars can either be pre-built or require DIY. However, it is advisable to go for factory assembled RC cars as they require zero installation knowledge. They are also great for younger kids who can ingest the tiny car part. But when dealing with a much older kid, you may consider settling for a DIY installation RC car. You may benefit from the extra bonding time as you try to fit the pieces together.
You have to factor in the concept of size before buying a RC car for your five-year-old. Remember, small children have a tendency of ingesting minute items. For this reason, it’s best to settle for a relatively large RC car.
Top Five Reviews
The sheer amount of brands, specs and varieties of RC cars can be overwhelming especially if this is not your everyday kind of trade. Having to compare and evaluate price ranges as well as other aspects makes the process more technical. Well, we have spared you the time, with our top five reviews of some of the best RC cars under $50. Let’s continue reading to find out more!
Bring out the inner child in you with the Maisto RC Rock Crawler best suited for rugged off-road adventures. This model features two motors with low gearing for easy off-road action. Its well-articulated front and back suspension help power over tough obstacles.
The 12.5inch RC car is a replica of a real monster truck with TPE tires for super grip. Its tri-channel transmitter sends out clear signals and allows simultaneous play of a maximum of three each with their own Maisto RC vehicle. For operation, 6AA batteries are needed for the truck and 2AAA for the controller all non-inclusive of the package. Overall, it is a fun toy for both you and the kids to enjoy.
- Front and back suspensions for easier obstacle navigation
- Features three motors (one for steering and two for driving) with low gearing
- Off-road action RC truck
- Tri-channel transmitter that allows simultaneous play of a maximum of three people each with their own Maisto RC vehicle
- Toy Grade RC monster truck
- Dimension: 12.5 x 7 x 8 inches
- Weight: 2.9 pounds
- It’s a toy grade product meaning it is designed specifically for kids
- Resembles a real-life monster truck
- Ready made with zero installation of different car components
- Fun for both adults and children
- Features easy controller
- The TPE tires offer super grip
- Suited for off-road terrain
- Highly durable
- Batteries for the vehicle and controller are not included
- Not for children below three years
If you are looking for speed and class, then the 1/18 Scale RC Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Radio Control Sport Racing car is all that you need. This toy car is professionally crafted with the finest materials for an overall sport car look.
It features adjustable front wheel alignments with detailed rims and tires for a smooth on road ride. With speed it can reverse, move forward or turn right and left in direction. This glossy red exterior RC toy car covers a speed of 8mphs. It comes straight out of the box ready to run. All you need for its operation is 4AA batteries for the vehicle and 9volts batteries for the controller.
- Special rims and tires
- Glossy red exterior finish
- Sports car look for on-road adventure
- Toy-grade product
- Ready to run straight out of the package
- Speed of 8mph
- Features reverse, forward, right and left moves
- Requires a 9volts batteries for controller and 4AA for the car
- Dimension: 10 x 5 x 3”
- Easy to operate controller
- Suited for young kids with a taste for sports cars
- Quite speedy
- Requires on installation when opening the package
- Features beautiful exterior that is appealing to the eye.
- The rubber wheels offer super grip.
- Can move in four different directions
- The remote control range covers up to 30ft
- Recommended for kids aged 10 and above.
- Non-inclusive of required batteries
For fast, low-budget Radio controlled toy truck, the Lutema Cosmic Rocket 4CH is a great fit. By far this road monster is the most steady toy truck of its size. The 6inch RC car features the 4-channel technology that allows easy maneuverability in all four directions.
Its sleek minute remote controller is designed for your kid’s hands. The Lutema Cosmic Rocket 4CH is fully equipped with shock absorbing suspension and tires for stability and a cruise ride on any surface. For a hobby grade RC car with endurance and powerful performance, this vehicle is exceptionally cheap. 4AA batteries required for performance.
- Solid build and sharp design look and feel
- Multi-directional control (Forward/reverse or Left/right)
- Hobby grade rugged built RC car
- 4-channel technology for easy maneuverability
- Shock absorbing suspension and tires for a steady cruise
- Features unique traction tires with adjustable wheel alignment
- Requires 4AA batteries for running.
- Inclusive of a rechargeable set with charger.
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Size: 6 x 4 x 4 inches
- Available in different shades.
- Multi-directional directional remote control.
- Smooth ride on different terrains.
- Quite speedy
- The miniature controller is suited for kids
- Cheap hobby grade toy truck below $50
- High performer with exceptional stability.
- Ready to plug and play thanks to the zero installation
- Easy to drive thanks to the simple controller features.
- Availability of replacement parts when needed
- Comes with a 30day money back guarantee in case you don’t fancy the product.
- Non-inclusive of required batteries
When it comes to speed, the Lamborghini Reventon is a true definition of on-road madness. Though small in stature, the RC car is a true replica of the Lamborghini right from its glossy exterior finish to the rims and tires. Radio controlled and fully functioning, the vehicle easily maneuvers corners like the real thing.
The toy car also features multi-directional controls that allow easy forward or reverse moves as well as left and right. No installation need as it comes factory assembled. The RC car requires 4AA batteries and 9volts battery for the controller. All are non-inclusive. This toy car flies to a speed of 8mph and can be remotely controlled from a distance of 30ft. You can keep your wheels in perfect alignment thanks to the adjustable front wheel alignment.
- Made of high grade materials with glossy finish exterior.
- Rubber tires for fine grip.
- Toy grade RC car
- Adjustable front alignment
- Factory assembled with zero installation involved when opening the package
- Multi-directional control with stunning corner zips
- Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Dimension: 10 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches
- Superfast for a toy-grade RC car
- The RC car can be controlled from a distance of 30ft
- Smooth on-road ride
- Easy controls
- Available in different shades
- Realistic: Resembles the real Lamborghini in every aspect of design
- Not suitable for three years and below due to the checkable minute parts
The Metakoo Crawler is a four-wheel-drive off road RC monster truck that offers exceptional performance. This hobbyist RC car is designed for outdoor enjoyment. It can easily maneuver the toughest terrain thanks to its suspension system and monster truck tires.
The high elastic rubber wheels offer the highest friction as a counter measure for slip and slide on slippery grounds. This vehicle is crash-proof thanks to the solid plastic exterior fastened with loads of screws. The Metakoo Crawler covers a speed of 15km/h and can move in all directions.
- Solid plastic exterior cover fastened with dozens of screws.
- Hobby grade truck suited for outdoor driving
- Features strong motors with suspension system
- Can move in all four directions
- Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.1 x 5.2 inches
- Crash proof
- Steady and stylish shell
- Slip and slide proof thanks to the super-grip monster wheels
- Unmatched shock absorbing systems
- High performer in terms of speed
- Easily maneuvers hard terrains
- Remote control with minimum interference
- When fully charged allows only a maximum of 20 minutes play time.
- Requires plenty of charge time (usually 2-3 hours)
RC cars are amazing at keeping your child’s mind fully engage and charged with excitement. But before investing in one, it is best to consider the different varieties available and what sets them apart. We hope with the given tips, you can now make a solid decision when it comes to buying RC cars for your kids. Feel free to choose any of the reviews items as your final option.