How to choose a radio-controlled car?

First, look at four key points:

  • Type of chassis;
  • Class;
  • Scale;
  • Manufacturer.

All other details can be sorted out later, when the list of suitable options is reduced from hundreds of cars to several specific models. And we are starting to narrow the search for the perfect radio-controlled car with …


The chassis is the basis of the model, it depends on it how the car will move and what conditions it is designed for. The classification of cars by chassis looks like this:

Drift. Flat flat platform, lightweight and durable. The center of gravity is often shifted anteriorly (for example, moving the engine there), so that it is easier to send the car into a skid;

Road models. They look like drifters with a low landing and flat geometry, but the suspension is stiffer and the weight is evenly distributed;

SUVs. Classical “basin” with high clearance, best rc crawlers have a rigid and reliable design.

The chassis sets the general properties of the model, but to clarify the task of choosing the right car, look at the…


Cars on the radio control copy real cars – naturally, the choice of classes for models is as impressive as for full-sized ones:

Drift. Distinguished by hard rubber and the fact that they more or less accurately copy real cars (unlike the next class, where conventions and assumptions are a common thing);

Road cars. High-speed models (up to 100 km / h or more) for roads with good coverage. Divided into two sub-classes:

Formula. Open wheels, aerodynamic body, rubber without tread – classic cars;

Touring. A copy of a car with a traditional body on a stiffer suspension and with a low-profile rubber.

Buggy. Like the full-size prototype, they have a very narrow scope: specially prepared off-road tracks. Take it if you plan to participate in specific competitions… or just if you like buggies;

Monster truck. Cool jump, good chase, impressive look. The same thing as in the case of buggy: if you like bigfoot, you have to take it;

Truggy. Hybrid of buggy and monster truck: pickup truck with an extended chassis and huge wheels. It looks stylish, but has problems of both classes – it races well only on prepared tracks;

Trophy. Exact – or practically accurate – copy of jeeps or pickups designed for rugged terrain. Usually packaged with a cool body kit: bumper guard, chandelier, snorkel and other trophy bells and whistles;

Crawlers. Trophy that is elevated to the absolute: VERY long suspension travel, VERY high clearance and readiness for VERY serious trials;

Short course truck. Off-road pickups for competitions, they jump perfectly and look spectacular.

The classes are really different, so there are usually no problems with the choice. You look at one of them and you understand: this one’s mine! It remains to determine the size.


In fact, the scale of the radio-controlled car is rather arbitrary. All models are different, some of them do not have real prototypes at all, so 1:10 is 1:10 from the abstract “average car”. 


  • 1: 5. The largest models: from 700 mm in length, from 10 kilograms in weight. A full-fledged gasoline engine or a powerful electric motor is put into such cars, and driving such a baby is a big pleasure;
  • 1: 8. Standard for SUVs, 450-600 mm in length, average weight is 3.5-5 kg. In this category there are radio-controlled cars with electric motors and internal combustion engines, although there are still fewer models of second type;
  • 1:10. The most common scale, it is in it that the majority of road cars, buggies, truggies, monsters, trophies, crawlers are produced. Dimensions are close to 1:8 (400-600 mm and 2.5-4.5 kg), models still feel great outdoors, but they are not so bulky. If in doubt about the choice of sizes, take 1:10;
  • 1:18. Indoor models: 250-300 mm, 350-550 grams. No ICE in this size class, only electric motors. If you choose a budget car, then most likely you will find it only in a scale of 1:18;
  • 1:24. These babies are 165 mm long and weigh about 160 grams. Very demanding, but easy to carry and store. Managed no worse than larger models.

Have you decided on the scale? Let’s pass onto the last point before choosing a specific model.

The brand

There are two good options: either TRAXXAS, which are incredibly good, or HPI Racing, which are insanely good. Both companies produce excellent RC models in all genres, both give excellent quality, both are proud of their reputation.


In general, feel free to take any model from these two brands. And in no case do not take some Chinese no-name or strange fakes in obscure stores. Believe me, it’s not worth it at all.