A radio-controlled car is a type of model car, driven from a distance by a handset which transmits control information to the car using radio waves. Driving radio-controlled cars is a hobby enjoyed by people of all age groups. There are many different kits and brands available to choose from.

Types of cars

The cars available can be basically split up into two categories; electric powered and nitro powered. Electric cars use small electric motors and multiple battery cells (or a battery pack) to power them, while Nitro cars use small nitromethane engines and special nitromethane/oil mix fuel. The electric cars are generally easier to work with in comparison to nitro, but electric can be equally complex when you get into more complex electronics and better equipment.

In both these categories, there are onroad and offroad vehicles available. The offroad vehicles can be used on various terrain, while onroad cars are strictly limited to smooth onroad surfaces.


Regardless of the category chosen, these hobby-class radio controlled (r/c) cars require regular maintenance for smooth and trouble-free operation, unlike the cheaper toy-grade r/c cars found in department stores. The other difference is many replacement and option parts exist, which allows one to replace, upgrade and modify components of their car - even to the extent of having no original parts remaining on the car. Replaceability means that in the event that parts break or wear out, they can be replaced individually - allowing an almost infinite lifespan for the car.

How to perform regular maintenance on the cars could be an article on its own, so it is strongly reccomended that the external links be used for further information on the topic.


There are tracks and racing clubs around the world for users of these vehicles to get together and race, and there are many levels of difficulty from novice all the way to professional, ensuring that there is a class for people of all skill levels.

Some commonly raced classes are: 1/10 Electric Onroad - Touring cars 1/10 Electric Offroad - 2WD Trucks, 2WD Buggies, 4WD Trucks, 4WD Buggies 1/10 Nitro Onroad - Touring cars 1/10 Nitro Offroad - 2WD Trucks, 4WD Trucks 1/8 Nitro Onroad - Lola-bodied cars 1/8 Nitro Offroad - 4WD Buggies

Not all tracks will race all classes, as terrain and space requirements differ from class to class; meaning that the same track cannot always be used for more than one or two similar classes.

However, if the class you drive in is not raced at your local track, yet is similar to a class that is raced, it is often possible to run with the other cars. This obviously must be discussed with the race coordinator/s prior to the race, and usually depends on the willingness of the coordinators to 'bend' the rules in order to encourage new members to the track/hobby.. The rules set out clearly define that only vehicles of the same class may be run together.

External links

The following manufacturers' sites have info on specific brands of cars. There are a lot more brands available out there, but these are some of the common ones.