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Which Kind of RC Vehicle Should I Purchase?

RC Vehicle

This is quite an interesting question, with quite a long, interesting, and detail-filled answer. Generally, the kind of RC vehicle you should buy depends on your needs in terms of speed, power, range, and so on. Moreover, you will have to consider the type of terrain you’re driving on. As pointed out, it’s quite a long and informative answer, which is why this article is all about answering the question; “which kind of RC vehicle should I purchase?”

RC vehicles, even once purchased, might need a few tweaks to meet all your needs, especially aesthetically. Nonetheless, there is always something on the market that can meet most, and at times, all your needs. All you have to do is consider the right factors and have a flexible budget. 

With that in mind, let’s delve into the factors that will result in you choosing the best RC vehicle.


The first question you should ask yourself is, where are you going to drive your RC car? The kind of surface you use it on will determine the type of RC car that’s most suitable for you. Typically, RC cars are built for off-road and on-road utilization. 

Nevertheless, the type of terrain you’ll be driving on will significantly affect the choice of RC car. There are a handful of surfaces that you can drive on, including concrete, asphalt, sand, grass, dirt tracks, and so many more tough surfaces. 

So, when looking for an RC car, be sure to consider these surfaces. To dodge buyer’s remorse, here is a brief overview of these surfaces, and the most suitable types of RC vehicles to drive on each one of them.


This is perhaps one of the most popular surfaces that RC car drivers use. Prevalently grass is quite different from typical dirt tracks and rough terrains, though it provides increased resistance when driving, precisely tall or dense grass. 

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Best RC vehicles for Driving on Grass:

  • Monster truck 
  • Short course truck 
  • RC rock crawler 
  • Stadium truck 


If you intend to use your RC vehicle on pavement, then you can invest in almost any RC car. However, I wouldn’t recommend an RC rock crawler. These surfaces offer reduced friction, which is why the number of suitable RC cars is huge. 

Unfortunately, they do not deliver a lot of traction, therefore, if you want to drive at high speeds, you have to focus on the speed regulation settings. 

What’s more, if you want to dip your toes into a bit of off-roading, the best RC vehicle might be an RC buggy. These types of cars have bigger tires than average RC vehicles and are constructed to deal with the additional weight. 

Best RC Vehicles for Driving on Pavement:

  • Monster Truck 
  • RC Buggy
  • Stadium truck 
  • Short Course Truck


Driving your RC car on sandy terrain is as interesting as it is challenging. Dunes are quite common terrains for RC drivers, as they let them drive their cars in areas where they won’t get stuck. For this reason, they are ideal for newbie drivers who are still learning the ropes. 

Still, dunes aren’t ideal for all kinds of RC vehicles since not all of them are constructed to handle the sand’s additional weight. Hence, if you intend to drive on such terrain, I recommend purchasing an RC buggy. 

Best RC Vehicles for Driving on Sand Dunes

  • RC Rock Crawler
  • Monster Truck
  • RC Buggy
  • Short Course Truck
  • Stadium Truck
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Gravel / Dirt 

Gravel and dirt roads are one of the most common terrains RC enthusiasts love to drive on. This is thanks to how these terrains provide an incredible sense of control. Moreover, they absorb vibration and shock from the RC car wheels. This simply means your car will have more control when driving through bumps. 

Often, most RC cars perform best on these two surfaces, though there are several expectations. Some RC vehicles are designed to handle smoother terrain like asphalt; hence might not adequately deal with dips and bumps. 

Best RC Vehicles for Driving on Dirt & Gravel

  • Short course truck
  • RC buggy 
  • Monster truck
  • Stadium truck 
  • RC Rock Crawler 


So, which battery will best suit your needs? This will depend on a couple of things, including how often and how you use your RC car. 

When it comes to RC vehicle batteries, some are rechargeable. However, this category includes two main battery types; NiMH, and LiPo batteries. The latter is more expensive than the former, though more efficient. 

Similarly, LiPo batteries last longer than NiMH batteries, so the choice you make will depend on your needs and budget. Regarding budget, the NiMH batteries are cheaper than their counterparts. 

2WD Vs. 4WD RC Vehicles 

Similar to full-size vehicles, all RC vehicles are available in 4WD or 2WD options. This describes the number of wheels linked to the drivetrain, and revolve when speeding up. When you look at the RC car’s exterior, you might not notice any differences, but the 2WD and 4WD RC cars are rather different in terms of operation. 

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2WD vehicles are more popular than their counterparts, and oftentimes, they are back-wheel driven, meaning only the wheels at the back are connected to the drivetrain. 

On the other hand, 4WD cars are the best options for off-roaders, as they deliver improved traction and work excellently if you’re driving on gravel, loose sand, and dirt. If you prefer off-road driving, the 4WD cars are the most suitable option. 

Electric Vs. Nitro RC vehicles 

The key difference between nitro-powered and electric RC vehicles is the power output. Electric-powered RC cars are equipped with an electric engine, which requires a battery to operate. On the other hand, Nitro cars use Nitro-methane-based fuel. 

Generally, electric motors are categorized into two major types;

  • Brushless motors
  • Brushed motors 

Generally brushed motors are fitted in toy-grade RC cars, though some hobby-grade vehicles are equipped with them too. However, brushless motors are more potent and are found in more high-end RC vehicles. 

As for nitro engines, utilize gasoline as opposed to batteries. Similar to a full-size gas engine, this option features a clutch, air filter, carburetor, piston crankshaft, and glow plug. Plus, there is also an exhaust and fuel tank. 


By now I’m certain you have decided the type of RC vehicle you should purchase. The only thing that might be an issue is the brand and scale of the RC vehicle. As for brands, I recommend choosing among the best ones in the industry; those with a reputation for quality products and after-service. 

As for scale, you can go for the 1/8 or 1/10 scale cars if you want a large RC car, or the smaller mini crawlers of 1/18, or 1/24 scale. 

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