Reviewed & Fact Checked by Rebecca Carlock
For a lot of people, remote controlled cars are the toys that brought them countless hours of fun as a child. However, these neat little RC gadgets can’t only be enjoyed by kids, adults can have plenty of fun with them too!
To take your RC car hobby to the next level, you’ll definitely want to look at some kits that allow you to assemble the car yourself, pretty much from scratch.
This gives you full control over how the car turns out and, if you have the technical ability, allows you to upgrade and modify it however you like.
If you’re looking for something to spur on your RC car hobby or looking for a gift for someone who loves them, this list of the top 10 RC car kits is the perfect place to look!
You should bear in mind that a lot of the cars we’re looking at in this list are marketed for children of certain ages but that doesn’t mean they can only be used by children, this is often just a guideline set out by the company to ensure especially young children don’t get given the kit and have no idea how to use it.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at our top picks:
OUR TOP PICK
The first RC car kit we’re looking at is a great way to start out if you’ve never assembled a model before.
The blocks are very easy to use and instructions are set out clearly to ensure there won’t be any issues with assembly.
The bodywork of the car uses lego-like blocks which are satisfying to put together and at the end of all your hard work, you’ll be left with a cool and colorful machine you can drive around.
In terms of assembly, this set will definitely take some time, with 335 pieces to put together.
However, it’s the sort of thing you can easily work on over a few days and not have to worry too much about it.
The motor in the car is battery powered, as is the remote control.
Batteries aren’t included and it will require a combination of AA and AAA to have it functioning fully.
Once it’s up and running, the car won’t break any land speed records, but it will be super fun to drive around.
- Easy to assemble
- Can be constructed as a truck or a race car
- ABS plastic material is harmless to children
- Batteries not included
Now, you’d be forgiven for being surprised at the notion of a 16-in-1 RC car kit but it actually makes this set way more versatile than most.
The 16-in-1 simply refers to the number of different configurations you can construct the pieces into.
Not only can you build your own race car, but you can even turn the set into a robot, tank or even a miniature crane.
To make this set even more versatile, the pieces are also all compatible with Lego, meaning you can customize it in pretty much any way you want with enough Lego bricks.
The Qmecha set is a great gift for kids who love playing with these kinds of toys as it will leave them sufficiently entertained for hours and they’ll never run out of cool things to do with it.
Alternatively, it can be great for adults who want to push the boundaries of these simple mechanisms and customize them with other Lego blocks and contraptions.
- Compatible with Lego
- 16 different configurations
- Very child friendly
- Some customers complained that the mechanisms stopped working after a while
While this set might not have the same level of customization as the previous one we looked at, it does provide you with a seriously impressive race car at the end of the build.
This 457 piece kit will definitely take some time to assemble but that effort will be worth it when you see the finished result.
It’s a black and white super car with a great visual aesthetic that’s sure to turn some heads.
The set uses precise components that need to be assembled carefully to produce the highest quality car possible.
The car features shock absorbers and a powerful motor system to make it that little bit better than the average kids toy.
Interestingly, this car can even be charged via USB, though the remote control does require AAA batteries.
There is also an option for controlling the car through a smartphone, but this method is somewhat less reliable than the standard controller
- High quality car
- USB charging
- Great for adults and older kids
- Younger children might find it difficult to assemble
There are plenty of great Lego RC car kits available online and we’ve selected two for our list.
This first one is less race car oriented and more of an off road vehicle, characterized by the large tracks on each set of wheels.
However, this is another 2-in-1 set that can be built into a large off road vehicle or a slightly lower off road racer.
When you buy a Lego RC car kit, you know you’re going to have a reliable product that won’t fall apart or break easily (unless you crash it yourself!), so it’s always a good brand to go for.
Of course, it’s also compatible with all other Lego blocks, meaning you can easily customize or adapt the vehicle to suit your style.
With 324 individual pieces to assemble, you’ll need to spend at least a few hours putting everything together but at the end of it all, you’ll have a robust RC car that’s super fun to drive around.
- Reliable Lego brand
- 2-in-1 race car or off road vehicle
- Compatible with all Lego blocks
- The motor inside the vehicle is not very powerful
This is the second Lego product on our list and the second from their Technic series. This model has some key differences from the previous one.
Mainly, the fact that this is not a 2-in-1 kit and will only assemble into one off road buggy when assembled following the instructions.
Similarly, this RC car uses four wheels to get around, rather than two sets of tracks.
The wheels are rough and knobbly to make them better at going over tougher terrains like grass and mud but will also be faster than the tracks on a road or concrete.
However, what really sets this car apart from the competition is how advanced it is. There’s no controller included in the kit as you have to use a smartphone or other smart device to control it.
Also, the car uses dual suspension to allow it to perform tricks and maintain speed over bumpy terrain.
This really is the perfect RC car kit for all ages!
- Compatible with Lego blocks
- Off road wheels
- Dual suspension
- App controlled
- Batteries not included
This is another multi-functional kit that you can assemble into a car, tank or robot. It has two tracks on either side that allow it to move over pretty much any terrain.
Whilst this feature does improve the vehicle’s maneuverability, it does make the whole thing slightly slower than some other RC car kits.
The kit does support USB charging for the motor in the vehicle but will still need 3 AAA batteries for the controller.
In general, this is a very good set to get for a child who gets bored of their toys easily.
Because you can assemble the kit into three different vehicles, anybody should be able to play with it for a very long time before wanting to move onto something else.
- 3-in-1 configuration
- Off road suitability
- Slower than most RC car kits
This kit from Wiseplay is definitely something that would be more appropriate for children than adults, largely due to its simplicity.
It does contain 380 pieces to assemble, meaning there will still be some complex construction required.
However, this can easily be done by a child as young as 8.
When the full car is assembled, it doesn’t exactly look like a regular RC car, rather a construction project with some gaps in panels that give it an almost robotic look.
The red color scheme is very cool, though and makes the whole thing look almost like a Ferrari.
The producers of this kit clearly had younger constructors in mind as they emphasize the benefits of using it to develop communication, teamwork and basic mechanical skills in children.
It is true that this kit would be great for younger children but adults would probably find that it isn’t challenging enough to be enjoyable.
- Easy to assemble
- Great for kids to learn teamwork and mechanical skills
- Not great for adults
Yet another multi-configuration RC car kit, this one features some interesting vehicles. It has the same car/tank/robot options as some other kits we’ve looked at, but goes about it in a slightly different way.
For example, the tank operates using sets of square square tracks on either side which are larger than the rest of the vehicle itself.
What this means is that the tank can not be flipped over and stop working under any conditions. It’s pretty much the perfect off road, all purpose vehicle you can build yourself.
The same is also true of the other configurations, as they both use tracks to improve the vehicle’s stability and off road ability.
This kit utilizes two powerful motors to make it a lot faster than the average RC vehicle construction kit.
These motors can also be recharged, though the controller requires additional batteries which are not included.
It’s entirely possible that both kids and adults could enjoy this kit as there is a pretty wide range of possible ways to play with it.
- 3-in-1 configuration
- Square tracks for tank make it impossible to flip over
- Great off road ability
- Powerful double motor
- Will likely be slower than the average RC car on a concrete surface
Another kit from Morwant, this one represents a much more race car oriented design. The previous Morwant kit we looked at was a 3-in-1 configuration that could transform a car into a robot.
Well, with this kit, the only two configurations are a race car or a slightly larger truck.
Depending on your own style, this could be a benefit or a negative feature. Either way, the race car and truck definitely present a pretty cool aesthetic.
The best features of this kit are definitely to do with convenience and its build quality. You can recharge the motor via USB, though the controller does require 3 AAA batteries.
All of the pieces and components in the kit are made with a strong, child safe ABS plastic material.
This means they’ll easily withstand the conditions that children can put them in and be able to hold up on rough terrains.
The customer reviews on this product can’t speak highly enough of it. With only 326 pieces, it’s one of the easiest kits to assemble and the quality of materials speak for themselves.
- Easy to assemble
- 2-in-1 configuration
- USB charging
- May not be as enjoyable for adults
RC Car Kits For Kids And Adults Buying Guide
If you haven’t found something you like the look of on our list, there are still plenty of other options available online or in toy stores.
However, there are a few things you should consider before deciding which kit to purchase.
How Old Is Your Kid?
If you’re buying an RC car kit for a child, you should consider their age when deciding what to get for them. For a child under the age of 6, it’s unlikely that there are any suitable RC car kits because they will be too complex.
Children aged 6-9 should be able to handle some of the more basic RC car kits that don’t contain too many individual pieces.
For a child in this age bracket, look for a kit with 300-400 pieces and they should have no problem putting it together.
Kits For Adults
Of course, if you’re an adult or looking to buy a kit for an adult, you’ll want to go for something more advanced to provide a more interesting challenge.
The best part of assembling these kits is the feeling of satisfaction after having worked hard on it. That feeling will be completely absent if the kit is too easy for an adult to put together.
There aren’t really any RC car kits that are too complex for adults so look for anything with over 450 pieces to have enough of a challenge present.
Battery Powered Vs Rechargeable
All of the kits we’ve looked at in this article either use replaceable batteries or a USB rechargeable battery.
There will be no difference between these two in the performance of the RC car and the battery power will be the same, regardless.
However, it is much more cost effective and environmentally friendly to get a rechargeable battery-powered RC car.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Build My Own RC Car?
It is entirely possible to build your own RC car. With enough technical, mechanical knowledge, you can assemble a pretty powerful RC car from scratch.
However, this will require a lot of searching for parts and access to enough tools and a workshop to build it all in.
That’s why it’s much easier to get an RC car kit, which provides all of the components and instructions for you. That way, all you need to worry about is enjoying putting it all together.
Can You Build A Gas Powered RC Car?
Gas powered RC cars are a big step up from a regular, electrically powered RC car. It is possible to build them yourself, though it will take a lot more mechanical know-how to assemble it properly and safely.
Like we said at the start, racing RC cars around your backyard on the driveway is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have as a child.
That fun doesn’t just need to be reserved for kids though, anybody can enjoy it!
If you’re looking for a step up from simply racing RC cars around, building your own is the next logical step and you’ll find an easy way to learn from any of the kits on our list.
Whether you’re buying a one for yourself or as a gift, you really can’t go wrong with an RC car kit!