If you owned an RC car as a child, you know how much fun they can be indoors or outdoors. Plenty of adults play with remote controlled vehicles these days, as well; some models even gas powered. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for an RC car for yourself, as a gift or for your child; there are hundreds of options to choose from.
As RC car fans, we know that it can be difficult to find a good one when you have a certain budget in mind, so in our list below, we will help you find the best RC car under $100.
The majority of these vehicles are in the hobby class, although we did include a few suitable options for younger children. While there aren’t many actual cars on our list, there is a nice mix of trucks, cars, buggies, and crawlers.
Top 14 RC Cars Under $100 Ultimate Chart
How to Choose the Ultimate RC Car for Under $100
You can’t throw a rock without hitting an RC car in a department store or online shop. When you set a price point, the field narrows but you will have to think about things you normally would not on a cheaper car.
- Scale – It doesn’t matter if you have casually browsed the toy aisle for RC cars or have owned a few over the years, the scale is the first place you’ll want to start; this refers to the overall size of your vehicle in comparison to the size of its real world counterpart. While it may seem an odd route to go for people new to the hobby, it’s standard to have a size on any hobby class car worth its salt. Many toy RC cars have them as well, but it is not a requirement either way.
For our list, the scales run from 1:10 all the way up to 1:32. To make it simple, just remember the lower the number, the larger the car or truck is. An RC buggy that is rated at 1:16 scale would be 1/16th the size of real RC buggy, but you can’t take that literally with all manufacturers. Any vehicles on our table with an “NA” tag means the style negated the scale as they aren’t based on real vehicles.
- Vehicle Type – As mentioned, the old-school remote controlled cars have slowly gone out of style. That means you won’t find many vehicles built for the streets with slicks as off-road is the way to go these days. The best RC car under $100 should have knobby tires that will do wonders in the grass and dirt but work on pavement or hardwood floors, too.
The body styles we chose include hybrid cars with big shocks and tires and trucks. There are a few buggies thrown in to go along with a handful of rock crawlers. Most of the vehicles will have four wheels, but there are a few exotics that aren’t necessarily built to roam on flat terrain. We have also included an indoor set which is perfect for rainy days.
- Age Range – This is a tricky area as most of the cars, trucks, and crawlers we chose can be used by children of a certain age or adults. There is a very fine line between the toy and hobby class, and it can be hard for new buyers to choose something suitable for children. That said, several of our choices are in the “toy” class although none are suited for children under eight years old.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have pure racing RC cars with brushless motors and replaceable parts. Some can even be upgraded or tricked out to excel in certain conditions. With these vehicles, you will want to consider a child’s age and his skill level. Do you want an 11-year old in charge of a mini truck that can go 25-30 mph? Probably not unless you have plenty of spare parts or are wearing shin guards.
14 Best RC Cars Under $100 Reviewed
1. GordVE SJB66 2WD Electric Racing Car
Off-road hybrids are the most popular body style in the RC car world at the moment, and that’s what you’ll get from the GordVE SJB66 RC Car. It has a motocross style body that’s not quite a car, and not quite a buggy but sports a spoiler on the back for increased aerodynamics. It also has big, knobby tires to ensure you’ll get traction on almost any surface.
This car is listed at 1:32 scale, so it’s small enough to be used indoors on a rainy day, something that isn’t always possible with bigger vehicles. The manufacturer says it can go up to 30 km/h, and while you’ll want to take that lightly, the car is very peppy. It can withstand the rigors of the road relatively well due to the body style and big shocks although you will not want to put that to the test.
GordVE’s RC Car runs on the 2.4GHz frequency and sports a 3.7V 240mAh battery under the hood which can be recharged with a USB cable. That is a huge advantage over other cars, but unfortunately, some of that power is wasted as this is only a 2WD vehicle and not a real 4WD RC car. It’s still an outstanding RC vehicle though, and an excellent choice for both children 8 and up as well as adults.
2. DeeXop-Babrit F11 Remote Control Trucks
Now for something a little leaner, and a whole lot meaner. While you can’t lay down rubber on the road with the DeeXop-Babrit F11 RC car, it comes pretty darned close. It has a huge FB 390 brushed motor which lets it soar down the road (or through the dirt) at up to 30 mph. That is fairly accurate folks, which means you may want to keep this one away from the kids.
The body style on this one is still what we would consider a hybrid, but it’s lower to the ground than some with a unique suspension that lets you rock crawl with ease. It is waterproof to a degree as well, so you can’t run through a puddle or snow – just don’t throw it in the swimming pool. As much as we like the style and performance of this mean little machine, the power comes at a price.
You will need to charge up the battery for the DeeXop-Babrit for 2 hours to get a full charge which will only last for 10-12 minutes. That’s poor although the type of terrain you are taking on and how hard you’re driving the car does play a part in that number. On the flipside, you can buy a spare battery (or two) to keep the action going.
3. GordVE SJB59 Newer RC Electric Rock Crawler
If you like the size and features the GordVE SJB66 brought to the table, but didn’t fancy the style, you may dig the SJB59. It’s a true buggy crawler with high suspension and big shocks for crawling up inclines and tearing through the dirt outdoors.
Flexible suspensions aside, the manufacturer did a bang up job with the construction on this one as it’s sturdier than it looks. On that note, it is far from the most exciting when it comes to the design. It makes up for that when it comes to performance and battery life however as you can get a full 20 minutes out of this one which is better than average. Charging times are solid as well at only 60 minutes to go from 0 to 100%.
Compared to their car, the buggy is almost as peppy but has better battery life thanks to a larger 500mAh juice box. As it is a glorified smartphone battery, USB charging is an option on this one as well. The only downside for the SJB59 would be the fact it isn’t quite as fast as other cars on our list and the range isn’t the best at 25 meters.
4. DeeXop-Babrit 4WD F9 Fast Race RC Cars
DeeXop-Babrit may not have a moniker that rolls off the tongue with easy, but they sure do know how to make beautiful RC cars. Well, trucks in this case as this is a 1:18 scale version of a monster truck with jacked up tires and a suspension that makes other off-road vehicles green with envy.
While you can race this one indoors on a cloudy day, it is most definitely better suited for outdoor use. Those large rubber tires can tear through sand or grass with ease while the 2.4GHz frequency ensures you can run more than one truck or car at once. Want a fast off-road truck? No problem with a top speed of 50 Km/h which shakes out to around 30 miles per hour. The range is fantastic at 100 meters, so you may actually lose sight of this one before the signal fades.
If you weren’t impressed with the battery life on their car, this one will turn that frown upside down. The truck is rated at 20 minutes of play time on a 60-minute charge, which is outstanding for a vehicle with this much speed and size.
5. Mattel Tyco Terra Climber Radio Control Vehicle
All of the vehicles we have touched on can “crawl” over rocks and hills with relative ease. They cannot do what the Tyco Terra Climber can do however as this one is made for rock piles and other obstacles that many RC cars can’t handle. While it doesn’t look like a toy built for kids, Mom and Dad will have just as much fun with this one.
The Terra Climber is a crawler that can traverse more than rocks. It can actually climb stairs as long as they aren’t over 8 inches in height, which would be interesting in the house, to say the least. Outside is where this one really shines considering it can take on logs, rocks or anything else you put in its path. As you can see from the photo, it also has a tail which is for more than just looks. It gives it a sense of balance and helps it climb, and cannot be removed when attached.
This RC car has a rechargeable battery and solid battery life of up to 30-40 minutes in some cases. It depends on your usage as always including the type of terrain you’re trying to take on. Unfortunately, you will have to remove a battery plate to charge this one up, and it offers up no water resistance, unlike many pure RC cars.
6. JJX-TECH SZJJX 1:10 Remote Control Car
The SZJJX Remote Control Off-Road Racing Toy may not be the prettiest vehicle on our list, but it is the largest. It’s a 1:10 scale jeep sitting on large tires, which makes it an off-road best to contend with. While it is technically a rock crawler, it is not in the same class as many hobby cars.
This one is more geared towards the kids, so it is dialed down a bit when it comes to speed. It isn’t what we would call slow, but it certainly won’t hang with the big boys. Other kid-friendly features include a light/sound function and an unusual remote control with a little LED screen in the middle. The battery is listed as a 9.6-volt Nickel-Cadmium battery and provides around 30 minutes of run time. That’s solid, but the charging time is not as you’ll need between 2-6 hours to charge it back up.
If you want to impress your child with an RC car, this one should do the trick as kids love “big” toys and this one is quite large. It’s slow enough not to cause any real damage and durable enough to withstand some abuse as well.
7. Carrera 7 Mario 2.4 Ghz Servo Tronic Kart
If we made our rankings based on coolness, this one would be number one with a bullet in our book. Carrera has produced the RC car every Mario Kart fan has dreamed of with the Carrera 7 Servo Tronic Mario Kart. It’s a 2.4GHz system with a 1:16 scale kart racer complete with Mario sitting in the driver’s seat.
One of the more interesting things about this little racer is the tilting action. Mario actually tilts when you corner, and corner you will as this one is perfect for the track. It can hit speeds of up to 12 mph and run for a whopping 40 minutes. That’s amazing, and the same can be said for the servo-based steering as you can turn them on a dime. It’s about the closest thing you’ll get to a real Mario Kart experience, and that isn’t even the best part.
Carrera makes various versions of this car, each with a different character in the driver’s seat. We chose Mario, but Donkey Kong, Bowser, and even Yoshi are available. The setup allows you to run up to 16 of these at once on a track, which amounts to endless amounts of fun until it’s time to give them a charge. We highly recommend this one for children and adults!
8. Hot Wheels Ai Intelligent Race System
This is the only “kit” to make our best RC car under $100 list, and it’s the only one built for two. It is a high-tech version of the classic Hot Wheels cars complete with an intelligent race track that brings something unique to the table. The track actually helps your cars “stick” to it in a sense and opens the doors to some wild possibilities as you’ll get 20 pieces which allow for 40 configurations.
As cool as it is to have a smart race track, you can also use these cars without the track in case you want to go off-road or just get lazy. They don’t have a proper scale when it comes to size but are scaled in the speed department with a “scale” speed of 180 mph. Due to the high-tech nature of this one, you will get multiple gameplay modes and will have to contend with virtual hazards. You can launch those at your opponent but will have to deal with them as well.
Perhaps the coolest part of this RC car kit is the fact it actually lives up to its name. If you don’t have a friend to play with, the artificial intelligence will take over and race against you. You can also watch simulated races from the comfort of the couch. The kit comes with two cars and controllers along with the aforementioned smart track but is expandable through additional track and car sets.
9. TOZO C1025 RC CAR High Speed 4WD
This 1:18 car is small but mighty as TOZO makes some of the quickest RC cars around. This C1025 is arguably the fastest model in this class by the company and possibly on our best RC car under $100 list in general. In other words, take the ratings lightly as this car will absolutely fly and can be upgraded with better parts if you really want to dive into the hobby.
The TOZO C1025 is a 4WD RC car with a stretched car body and a massive spoiler. The shocks are stout and allow you to take bumps with ease while the tires work just as well indoors as out. If you are outdoors and have any trouble with traction, let the tires heat up a bit first, and you’ll be good to go – it is too quick for its own good on some surfaces.
Other features of interest on this model include an explosion-proof PVC shell, independent 4-wheel suspension, and an engine with a top speed of 32 mph. The range Is around 100 meters, but the battery is only good for around 12-15 minutes of hard driving.
10. Original WLtoys A959 2.4G Speed Stunt
WLtoys makes some of the best RC cars on the market, and you are going to get some options with this pick. Our personal favorite is the WLtoys A959 which is widely regarded as top of the class for this price range. It can go toe-to-toe with the best around when it comes to speed and is relatively small at 1:18 scale. If you think it looks a lot like the TOZO C1025, you would not be mistaken, but there are some differences.
This car is rated with a top speed of 32 mph, which we will say is accurate. The tires have outstanding grip on all types of terrain, and the battery life is better than average for around 15-18 minutes on a full charge. Charging times are around an 1 1/2 hours which not too shabby, and you can swap out almost anything on this one including the batteries so you can play for hours on end.
If you don’t fancy this model, nine other options in this range vary from trucks and buggies to an actual RC motorcycle complete with a rider. All have similar tech under the hood and motors with the body style, size and price being the key differences for the most part.
11. HOSIM RC Car S912, Radio Controlled Vehicle
As the name implies, the HOSIM S912 is a hobby grade RC car that is built to work on all types of terrain. While we cannot attest to its prowess in the snow, we know it rolls like a champ on grass, pavement, hardwood or carpet. Dirt is not an issue either although you won’t want to stand behind it when taking off at full blast unless you want a face full of dust.
Speaking of speed, there is horsepower to spare on the S912 thanks to the popular 390 brush motor. It is capable of reaching speeds up to 33 mph with a maximum range of 260 feet or so depending on your line of sight. It uses the 2.4GHz wavelength, so you’re ready to go against other cars and will not have any problem when it comes to durability either.
The company claims the HOSIM S912 can support the full weight of an adult. We do not advise you put that strength to the test, but there is a 12-month warranty if you want to see how that pans out. On the downside, the battery life is less than stellar at only 12 minutes or so with a charging time of over 2 hours.
12. TOZO C1151 RC CAR HURRICRNE
TOZO’s second entry is far more interesting than their first. You are looking at a remote controlled ATV that has been shrunken down to 1:24 scale for your convenience. As you might suspect, it is a 4WD vehicle but a whole lot faster than many cars in this class considering it can top out at around 30 mph if you can keep it steady on a level surface.
Any good ATV needs a solid set of wheels, including tiny ones you control with a remote. We’re pleased to say you will get them on this RC buggy as there is plenty of tread and there are anti-skid for increased traction across the board. The charging time is a little longer than we would like between 100 to 150 minutes although the playing time is better than most at 35 to 40 minutes.
We feel you can’t go wrong with the TOZO C1151 Hurricane, but there are two other options available in the same class. The TOZO Peakedness C1132 is a 1:24 scale bright Yellow truck while the TOZO Sommon Swift is a mean cross-country machine.
13. Novcolxya Model RC Electric Racing Car
Looking for an RC car that you can break down and upgrade on a whim? Novcolxya’s RC Car fits that bill, and it’s a 1:18 scale wonder that can burn up the track as well. It sports a GP brushed 380 motor under its plastic chassis and can reach speeds of around 30 mph.
Whether you want to rip down the road at to speed or tear through the trails and take on some jumps, this one can handle whatever you throw its way. Well, almost anything as it’s not waterproof but can resist a splash or two and a light rain safely at the most. Mud shouldn’t be an issue either although the tread on the tires does not look nearly knobby enough for snow.
This car has a Baja frame with a spare tire up top for easy access and working lights up top and in the front. You will have to install the light bar yourself, but it snaps on in an instant and is a nice additional touch. The run time and charging times are both standard, with the former clocking in at around 20 minutes and the latter taking up to two hours.
14. Goolsky Rock Crawler Powerful Electric Monster
As mentioned, most of the RC cars on our list aren’t actually cars at all. Off-roaders have taken over the landscape, so we’re going to take another look at a truck. This one is from the folks at Goolsky, and while it doesn’t have a proper name, it does have a high powered 380 motor capable of speeds up to 24 miles per hour.
This 1:18 scale four-wheeled wonder gets traction on all of its wheels that makes it great for kids (or adults) that want to rock crawling outdoors. Those wheels are made from high-quality materials, and the body is built to withstand more than a casual bump against the wall. Throw in an enhanced arm system and independent suspension, and you’ve got yourself a rock crawling RC truck that can leave others in the dust.
When it comes to the battery life, this one is towards the back of the pack. While it depends on your usage, you are likely to only get between 12-15 minutes of play time before having to head to the wall charger. That will take around 2 – 2 1/2 hours unless you happen to have a spare battery on hand.