Cheap RC Cars Under $50

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Are you interested in radio-controlled cars but not sure where to start? There’s too many choices today. It’s almost impossible for the novice to make informed decisions. You certainly don’t want to spend a lot on your first model just in case you decide it’s not your thing. But nor do you want to by a cheap RC car that fails to deliver an enjoyable first-time experience.

This guide shows you eight affordable radio-controlled cars that offer great value. All the picks in this guide range from a few bucks to no more than $50 max. There should be something for everyone at any age range, from toddlers to teens, up to the adult rookie.

Budget
Best-budget-RC-Cars
Mini RC UN ARMY Car
4.7/5.0
6.3 oz.
Range 16 ft. (5m)
Long running time. Fine-tuning, suspension system.
Check Amazon
Best Value
Best-value-RC-Cars
GoStock 2WD RC Drift Car
4.4/5.0
3.66 lbs.
Range 328 ft. (100m)
Powerful brushed motor and long control range.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
Top-value-RC-Cars
Redcat EPX RC Drift Car
4.6/5.0
6 lbs.
Range 75 ft. (23m)
Powerful brushed motor, forward & reverse transmission.
Check Amazon





Best Cheap RC Cars Comparison Table

Make and ModelTypeScalePrice
HALOFUN Mini Remote Control UN Army Car1/43 ScaleCheck Price
GoStock 2WD Radio-Controlled RC CarDrift Car1/12 ScaleCheck Price
Redcat Metallic Red Racing EPX RC CarDrift Car1/10 ScaleCheck Price
LaFerrari RC Bright Red Racing Car Sports Racer1/24 ScaleCheck Price
Hapinic RC Off Road Crawler4WD Crawler1/18 ScaleCheck Price
WOCKODER Electric High-Speed RC CarSports Racer1/14 ScaleCheck Price
TOZO High Speed 4WD RC Racing Car4WD Racer1/18 ScaleCheck Price
Wltoys 4WD High-Speed Off-Road RC CarOff-Road Racer1/18 ScaleCheck Price

1. Mini Remote Control UN ARMY Car

Mini Remote Control UN ARMY CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The HALOFUN is a mini RC jeep explicitly designed for kids. It’s a fantastic little model for three years and older. The car also has several simulations (sounds/lights) that add to the experience.

  • Best feature 1: Multiple simulations (sounds, lights)
  • Best feature 2: Fast for a toy RC car
  • Plus points: Long running time, fine-tuning, suspension system, perfect for indoors and outside
  • Minus points: Battery confusion

This RC UN Army Jeep is a fun and affordable introduction to radio-controlled cars. It’s about as cheap as these models get, but don’t let the low-price tag put you off. This puppy sells well for good reasons and enjoys lots of positive feedback from users. It’s fast for a toy in its class too. You can expect it to reach speeds of up to 9 mph (15 km/h). And it’s 5M range means it’s not going to run off and get lost.

The running time is an impressive 30 minutes—longer than most models in its category.

It’s possible to fine-tune the jeep if it starts to veer to one side. The big tires have a reasonable grip that ensure this little model remains stable. There’s even a functional suspension system, but it’s not adjustable. For the money, though, it’s an excellent choice for indoor or outdoor fun.

The Not So Good

It would be unfair to nitpick too much with a cheap RC car as it’s worth every cent. You may want to check the battery confusion if you decide to buy it. The model I tested had car—not transmitter batteries—in the box. Some reviewers say the batteries are extras with a new model. Others say that the jeep batteries are in the box and are rechargeable. Contact the seller if in any doubt.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 5 x 3 x 2″
Product Weight: 6.3 oz.
Model scale: 1:43
Range: 16 ft. (5m)
Battery: Transmitter 2xAA, check car batteries (not clear) with the seller
Max running time: 30+ minutes
The Pros
Attractive model
Light & sound simulations
Fast (for a small toy RC car)
Long running time
Fine-tuning
Suspension system
Perfect toy for indoors and out
The Cons
Battery confusion (jeep only)

2. Sporty 2WD Radio-Controlled Drift Car

Sporty 2WD Radio-Controlled Drift CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

This sporty red GoStock is a 2WD radio-controlled drift car. It’s fast, it’s furious, and heaps of fun for older kids to drive. It’s not as cheap as the first pick, but this mini-beast offers plenty of value.

  • Best feature 1: Long control range
  • Best feature 2: Fast top speed
  • Plus points: Powerful motor, built-in shock absorbers, heavy-duty tires, 4-wheel suspension
  • Minus points: Too fast for some users, shortish running time

The 328 feet (100m) control range gives users plenty of distance to race this off-road drift car. And with a top speed of around 24 mph (38km/h), there’s no time to rest on your laurels. Just make sure you allow the powerful brush 390-motor to cooldown between battery swaps. Durability-wise the car comes equipped with a built-in shock absorption system and tough heavy-duty rubber tires.

This 2-speed, fully operational drift car is a model racer’s dream. You can take it across multiple terrains with ease including loose dirt and gravel. The impressive performance is thanks to a combination of things, including the 4-wheel independent suspension system.

The Not So Good

One of the attractions of this sporty 2WD RC Drift Car is its speed. Alas, even with dual speed control it can still prove uncontrollable for the younger novice. It’s something to consider if you’re looking for a first model. The next disadvantage is the maximum running time on a fully-charged battery.

You can expect around 10–15 minutes max with the stock battery. My advice is to buy one or two spares, but remember to allow the motor to cool down between battery swaps.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 15.1 x 11.1 x 6.6″
Product Weight: 3.66 lbs.
Model scale: 1:12
Motor type: 390 brush motor
Range: 328 ft. (100m)
Battery: 9.6v 700mah rechargeable Lithium-iron (included)
Max running time: 10–15 minutes
The Pros
Striking design, decent build
Long control range
Fast top speed
Two-speed control
Powerful brushed motor
Built-in shock absorbers
Independent metal differential
Heavy-duty rubber tires
4-wheel suspension system
The Cons
Too fast for novice users
Short maximum running time

3. Metallic Red Racing EPX RC Drift Car

Metallic Red Racing EPX RC Drift CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

My top pick is also the most expensive of all the RC brand cars on this page. It’s still an affordable model—in its class—and has that ‘wow factor’ that a lot of enthusiasts look for.

  • Best feature 1: Glowing polycarbonate shell
  • Best feature 2: Powerful electric brushed motor
  • Plus points: Aluminum capped oil-filled shocks, forward & reverse transmission, drift tires
  • Minus points: Needs upgrades for ultimate performance, price tag

Meet the Lightning EPX RC Sports Drift Car. It’s easy to fall in love with this beauty right out of the box. The glowing polycarbonate shell is a real eye-catcher for one. The vivid design also helps to keep the vehicle in sight as it races. The powerful brushed motor takes it to a top speed of around 30+ mph (50 km/h). Moreover, the 15–20-minute running time is a high average for a car in its class.

There are a few other features that help to justify its cost aside from the powerful brushed motor. The car sports aluminum-capped oil-filled shocks and forward & reverse transmission. The included RC racing drift tires help to keep the vehicle stable. Another likable thing about this model is that you can customize it to your taste and style of driving. That includes different sorts of tires.

The Not So Good

Redcat Racing EPX Drift Car is ready to run (RTR) right out of its box. I’d say the stock setup is perfect for the novice user. A more experienced operator needs to upgrade certain parts to get the ultimate performance though. Upgrades typically include the receiver, battery, and a brushless motor. Another recommendation is to swap some plastic components with aluminum accessories.

Although the Lightning EPX RC Drift Sports Car is suitable at the entry-level, it’s not an entry-level price. A beginner might want to learn on cheaper models before moving up to the faster league.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 14.2 x 8 x 4.5″
Product Weight: 6 lbs.
Model scale: 1:10
Motor type: Brushed
Range: 75 ft. (23m)
Battery: 7.2v 2000mAh NiMh (included)
Max running time: 20 minutes
The Pros
Fully assembled (RTR) model
Choice of two colors; vivid polycarbonate body
Powerful electric brushed motor
Aluminum capped oil-filled shocks
Forward & reverse transmission
Drift tires
The Cons
Needs upgrades for ultimate performance
Price tag

4. LaFerrari RC Bright Red Sports Racing Car

LaFerrari RC Bright Red Sports Racing CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Okay, we’re now back to the list of cheaper RC cars. This model is the bright red LaFerrari RC racing car. It’s another perfect beginner sports vehicle for around 20 dollars at the time of writing.

  • Best feature 1: Full function RC model
  • Best feature 2: Realistic design
  • Plus points: Easy to control, nippy, stands up to a few knocks, the perfect gift
  • Minus points: Not good onuneven surfaces, no LED lights

There’s not much to report on this tiny toy other than it performs as advertised. I’d say the ideal age range is between 4-7 years. Older kids probably want something with a bit more oomph. For the under-7s, though, it’s a nippy 6mph (10 km/h) toy with an appealing design. It also has full functional moves, i.e., forward, and back, turn Left, and turn right. It can stand up to a few mild knocks too.

The remote distance of 98 ft. (30m+) is about right for a 7.5” model. This car is one of those gifts that grandparents love to buy for grandchildren. It’s a striking, inexpensive, fully-functional RC car guaranteed to light up the eyes of any kid. Around 85% of users would recommend it to others.

The Not So Good

You won’t be disappointed with the LaFerrari if you don’t expect too much power. It runs perfectly well on smooth, flat surfaces. However, it won’t run over grass, carpet, or other uneven surfaces. The final gripe is that there are no LED lights. It has light fittings for show only, but they don’t illuminate.

amazon

Tech Specs
Dimensions: 10.3 x 5.3 x 3.9”
Product Weight: 9.6 oz.
Model scale: 1:24
Range: 98+ ft. (30+ m)
Battery: 3 x AA for the car, 2 x AA for the controller (not included)
Max running time: Not specified but reports are favorable
The Pros
Striking colors, realistic design
Full function RC model car
Easy to control for the over-4s
Nippy for a toy in its class
Stands up to a few mild knocks
The perfect gift
The Cons
Doesn’t run on uneven surfaces
No LED lights or sound effects

5. Hapinic RC Off Road 4WD Crawler Car

Hapinic RC Off Road 4WD Crawler CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

At number five is a different type of RC car. This is the Hapinic brand 4WD Off-Road RC Crawler—a kind of mini-monster truck. It’s also another good seller and a model that ranks well among users.

  • Best feature 1: Shockproof suspension system
  • Best feature 2: Rides over multiple terrains
  • Plus points: Striking graffiti shell, fast, Hi-Q anti-skid rubber wheels, good average play time
  • Minus points: Slow speed complaints, plastic quality,battery life

This is a favorite toy-grade RC car that a lot of folks buy as a gift for kids. Youngsters between 4–7 years love it, but the model’s a tad underpowered for the over-8s. I’ll get to the mild gripes shortly. The Hapinic 4WD Off-Road RC Crawler does what it says on the box. It has an effective shockproof suspension system (for a toy) and crawls over multiple terrains with minimal effort.

Kids love the striking graffiti shell and the large Hi-Q anti-skid rubber wheels on this car. The playing time is also pleasing at around 30 minutes on a fully charged battery. Better still is the spare battery that comes with this impressive 4WD crawler to extend the fun. The fast 60+ minutes charging time is another welcome feature and much faster than many other models.

Here’s what’s in the box of a new product:

  • 1 x transmitter
  • 1 x model RC car
  • 2 x 4.8V 700 mAh rechargeable batteries
  • 1 x battery charger
  • 1 x user manual
  • 1x screwdriver

At less than $35 (at the time of writing) this is a great value RC Crawler. Over 80% of user feedback for the Hapinic Off-Road 4WD Crawler is positive.At less than $35 (at the time of writing) this is a great value RC Crawler. Over 80% of user feedback for the Hapinic Off-Road 4WD Crawler is positive.

The Not So Good

I’m usually neutral reporting any cons—I’m going to make an exception with this model. This is a toy and a good one at that. A few shared complaints tend to be from folks who have unrealistic expectations. It’s likely their first RC car, and as such, they don’t have anything to compare it to.

One complaint is that the truck was slower than expected. To be fair, crawlers are more about torque than they are speed. This one climbs well over multiple terrains. Another complaint is the plastic build. Well, it’s a plastic toy and doesn’t pretend to be otherwise. Furthermore, the plastic used and the electronic elements are 100% harmless. The complaints about battery life are also unjustified.

Experienced RC users know that 30 minutes is a decent running time on a fully charged battery. The bonus battery is also a welcome rarity.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 10.4 x 4.7 x 6.2″
Product Weight: 1.98 lbs.
Model scale: 1:18
Range: 262 ft. (80+ m)
Battery: 4.8V 700mah rechargeable (includes two in the box)
Max running time: 30 minutes
The Pros
Striking graffiti, mini crawler
Shockproof suspension system
Rides over multiple terrains
Fast for a crawler in its class
Hi-Q anti-skid rubber wheels
Good average play time
The Cons
Slow speed complaints
Plastic build
Battery life

6. WOCKODER RC Electric High-Speed Racing Car

WOCKODER RC Electric High-Speed Racing CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Here’s another affordable drift car. This one’s a company best-seller with a price tag of around 50 dollars. It comes with a sporty detachable car shell that’s both novel and practical.

  • Best feature 1: Detachable car shell
  • Best feature 2: Fast top speed
  • Plus points: 4WD, full function, realistic driving experience, strong motor, USB battery charging
  • Minus points: Average running time, long recharging time

This Rapid Drift RC Car looks the part and is ready-to-run (RTR) out of its box. It a functional 4WD vehicle with a fast 15+ mph (25 km/h) top speed. Users can drive the car forward, back, left, right, and drift with ease after a little practice. The drive and drift experience are surprisingly realistic for a 1/14 scale model. There’s even calibration trim control to perfect the car’s performance further.

The control distance is around 164 ft. (50m), which is ideal for a model of this size. You can expect an average 15 minutes of driving on a fully charged battery under perfect race conditions. And the USB charging means you can charge the battery anywhere at any time. The recharging time is about 3-hours depending on the power source. So yes, it’s a good idea to invest in one or two spare batteries.

The Not So Good

The only gripes with this capable drift car are power-related. The running time—on a fully charged battery—is just 15 minutes. Some models run for half that time, but it’s still an unimpressive average. Worse than the low maximum running time is the longish 3-hour battery recharging time.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 13 x 5.5 x 3.9″
Product Weight: 2.5 lbs.
Model scale: 1:14
Range: 50–100m
Battery: 7.4v 500mAh Li-oin
Max running time: 15+ minutes
The Pros
Good looking RC drift car
Detachable car shell
Fast top speed
4-Wheel Drive
Full function driving
Realistic driving experience
Powerful, robust motor
USB battery charging
The Cons
Average running time
Long recharging time

7. TOZO High-Speed 4WD RC Racing Car

TOZO High-Speed 4WD RC Racing CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5

The ultimate pick is this incredible RC Off-Road Roadster RC Car. This competent little model is for anyone who loves a stunt buggy style racer.

  • Best feature 1: Strong and durable
  • Best feature 2: Helical high resilience spring
  • Plus points: Fast, shockproof suspension system, responsive controls, Hi-Q rubber wheels
  • Minus points: All-plastic build, takes some getting used to, too fast for indoor use

There’s a lot to love about this affordable RC car if buggy racers are your thing. It does look a bit plasticky at close quarters, but it’s a lot more durable than it appears. The Helical high-resilience spring helps the 4W independent suspension to keep the car steady at higher speeds. The throttle and steering controls are ultra-responsive, perhaps a bit too reactive at times.

The Hi-Q rubber wheels with anti-skid performance add further to the buggy’s stability. And this puppy doesn’t fail to impress if you need speed. The sheer power and 32+ mph speed of this models get a lot of mention in user’s reviews. The car also comes with a handy current overload protection. That’s an invaluable feature as it helps to prolong the life of the powerful motor.

Upgrades and Repairs Made Easy

The TOZO High-Speed 4WD RC Racing Buggy is easy to maintain. All you need is a tiny screwdriver (included) to assemble and disassemble each part. All the model’s components have a unique parts number which makes them quick to identify and easy to order spares.

The Not So Good

There are a few complaints about the all-plastic build. The good news is that the model is a lot tougher than it looks. There are very few reports of parts breaking when used as suggested. The fast speed is also one of the buggy’s disadvantages for novice users. There’s not a lot of speed control, and that makes it difficult to master at the entry level. It’s also too fast for most indoor environments.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 13.5 x 11 x 4.5”
Product Weight: 2.95 lbs.
Model scale: 1:18
Range: 328 ft. (100m)
Battery: 7.4V 1100mAh Li-ion
Max running time: 20 minutes
The Pros
Mean looking buggy
Strong and durable (stands up to mild crashes and collisions)
Helical high resilience spring
Fast and furious
Shockproof suspension system
Responsive controls
Hi-Q rubber wheels
The Cons
All-plastic construction
Takes skill to control
Too fast for small indoor spaces

8. Wltoys 4WD High-Speed Off-Road RC Car

Wltoys 4WD High-Speed Off-Road RC CarView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

Here is my final pick in this guide of cheaper RC cars. The Wltoys 4WD High-Speed Off-Roader is another fast and furious 4×4 model. It has a striking design and impressive performance to boot.

  • Best feature 1: Easy to control at any level over 14 years
  • Best feature 2: High average playing time
  • Plus points: Bonus battery, impressive off-road features, semi-waterproof
  • Minus points: Long charging time

This RC buggy is not a toy like some of the other models on this page. The makers recommend it for users 14 years and older, at any skill level. I agree—it’s easy to control for patient types. But speed is speed, and the 30mph can still pose problems for novice users. Just don’t try to get too ambitious too soon, enjoy the fast but save the furious for later.

The maximum playing time is around 25 minutes in ideal race conditions. That’s considerably more than a lot of cheaper RC cars. The vehicle comes with a bonus battery too.

Off-Road Capability

This radio-controlled monster truck buggy has some impressive off-road features. There are the large, anti-skid tires that are as stretchy as they are strong. The super grip takes this beast across multiple rugged terrains with ease. That includes surfaces like small rocks, sand, and mud, etc.

The solid frame chassis, tough composite plastic, and high-quality ABS material help to make the car as crash-resistant as it can be for a model. It has semi-waterproof protection as well.

The Not So Good

The shared complaint with this RC car is the short running time and lengthy charging time. The battery life is a good average despite what some users say. The 2-3 hours charging (waiting) time most likely make the play time feel much shorter. There are some complaints of batteries taking longer than a maximum of three hours. There is a bonus battery, but it’s probably wise to invest in one or two more.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.8 x 4.3″
Product Weight: 3.5 lbs.
Model scale: 1:18
Range: 260 ft. (80m)
Battery: 7.4V 1100MAH Lithium-ion (includes bonus battery)
Max running time: 15-25 minutes
The Pros
Eye-catching monster truck buggy with striking graphics
Easy to control at any level
High average playing time
Bonus battery included
Impressive off-road features
Semi-waterproof protection
The Cons
Long 2–3+ hour charging time