• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Compare Factory

The Blog for the Indecisive

Nitro vs Petrol vs Electric Powered Radio-Controlled Vehicles

rc car

Radio-controlled vehicles, including cars, trucks, planes and boats, have a special place in the hearts of kids of all ages, from toy-grade cars for toddlers, to scaled models for adults, to vintage planes and cars that get the grandparents talking about past ventures. Fun isn’t tied to any age. The vehicles available today come in a huge range, not just the variety on show, but the sheer technology that goes in all models. You can have just as much fun as something simple and cheap, or go full throttle with the larger upscale models and even participate in some serious racing.

electric-powered RC car

Buying your first RC vehicle can be a daunting task. There’s so much choice. What kind of vehicle do you go for? Which brand is best? Most people choose cars and trucks since driving is something you can master with some practice. But you can also go for planes and boats if that’s your thing. A quick trip to the rc race shop should make choosing a little easier. There, you’ll see what’s on offer and staff will help you make the right choice.

Buying Considerations

There are a few things to consider when buying a car or truck. Where do you intend to drive it? Different vehicles will be suited to different types of terrain. If it’s the pavement or the driveway, you can opt for almost any vehicle, but the most fun and speed will be from on-road racing cars. If you want to dig in the dirt, then a buggy or rock crawler should bring a smile to your face. And if the backyard is your track, a monster truck with bigger wheels will make light work of the grass. This is just a general guide though, as any vehicle will do in any terrain.

Rc off road cars

Next on your list is how you plan to drive. Are you interested in racing with your mates at the weekend? Or even running in competitions. Race models are lightweight and fast, take corners nimbly, and are easily maneuverable around a track. There are pre-assembled ready-to-race kits, you’ll just need a few bodies from all the bashing that takes place in a race. If you get serious about racing, you can enter organised competitions on prepared tracks, some even offering prizes.

Engine Types

Then, there’s the motor. There are two motor types – electric and nitro in smaller vehicles, while bigger cars and trucks will have petrol-powered engines. Cheaper electric motors are the old, ‘brushed’ type, while more expensive radio-controlled cars have ‘brushless’ motors. These are generally faster, more efficient and should last longer. Most racing models feature brushless motors, but you can always upgrade your brushed vehicle in the long run.


Alternatively, if you want the real deal, including the smoke, real engine sound, and feel of a real racer, nitro or petrol car or truck will be the thing you’re after. They will have more things that can go wrong, and you’ll need a little more mechanical know-how to keep them in working order. You can also choose between 2WD or 4WD drivetrains, depending on where and how you’ll be driving.

These are RC models that are known as ready-to-run, meaning you just need to charge the batteries for the radio controller and you’re off. However, you can build your own car or truck from scratch. Shops have all the necessary parts including chassis, engine parts, wheels, suspension and drivetrain parts that you can mix and match in the car you want. These parts are also used when you’re upgrading your ready-to-run car or truck, like changing wheels and suspension for more challenging terrain. If your RC vehicle gets damaged or dirty, there are maintenance tools, like pliers and cutters and various tapes, glues and paint that you can use to get your car or truck back in mint condition.

RC Brands

The last thing to consider is the brand. Some brands specialise in particular types of vehicles, like nitro cars, while others will offer a whole lineup of different cars and engines. Good brands to go for are Traxxas, Axial, Kyosho, Tamiya, HPI, Team Associated and others. Particular examples include the Traxxas Rustler 4×4, either with a brushed or brushless motor, the Axial SMT 10 Grave Digger Monster truck and the HPI Nitro Trophy Buggy, among a whole range of vehicles. But in the end, it’s you who decides what to spend your hard-earned cash on.

RC race shops don’t just sell RC vehicles. Just as you can find RC models built to scale, you can also find different types of planes, boats and trains. You can even build rockets with a few basic parts. Or go for the grandfathers of RC vehicles, the slot cars and build tracks of your choice. In the end, it’s about what makes you smile and gets the kids interested in modern technology while building their motor skills. RC cars and trucks will ultimately provide you with the most fun. They’re fast, can be driven in varying settings, and will bring hours of family fun. Dedicated stores selling RC vehicles, and any hobby requiring an engine stock all types of cars, trucks, planes and boats, while catering to your inner child. Just set your budget, and you’ll be addicted sooner than you think.

By Anthony Hendriks

The life of the party, Anthony is always up for spending some time with family and friends, when not blogging of course! Ever since a child, his love for books of mystery, race cars and travelling keeps on growing so it's difficult for him to single out that one all-time favourite hobby. If there's one thing he hates, though, it's having pictures taken but you already guessed that from his choice of plant photo for the blog.