Beginner Series: RTR vs Kits

Welcome back to the beginner series! Today's topic is comparing Ready to Run RC Cars and Kits. 

Goal:  Determine what is the best fit for you! 

RC Lingo:

  • RTR- Ready to Run


Recommendations: Racing- Slash 4x4 There are other monster truck and vehicles people use for fun here. 

These are cars that essentially have everything you need to immediately start running the car. No building required. 


  1. Ready to go right out of the box. The most you might need to do is charge the battery.  It has everything you need. Note: The Chargers and things that come with these may not be amazing, but will get the job done. You can upgrade anything at anytime. 
  2. You don't need to worry about purchasing a lot of extra equipment to support your car. 


  1. You don't get to learn all the ins and outs about what makes your vehicle run. If something breaks you'll have to learn how to replace it. Where as RC Car Kits force you to build the entire car from the ground up, allowing you to get familiar with each part. 
  2. There occasionally could be a factory production error, that would cause something to break within the first few minutes using your car. While every part can be replaced, it is disappointing when your brand new car stops working in the first 2 minutes. However, this is very unlikely. 



Kits are a box full of parts that you are required to put together. You are building your car from the ground up.



  1. You get the satisfaction of building your car from the ground up. Nothing makes you more proud of yourself then successfully building your car. 
  2. You become more emotionally attached, and learn to appreciate the car more.
  3. There is more opportunity to customize how your car is built. After all, you are the one touching every screw and bolt. You can choose how you want to mount certain things and you can choose to put better parts in the car straight from the beginning.
  4. You know the car from the inside out. When something breaks or isn't adjusted properly, you will have more confidence to fix it. Even if you don't remember every step of the build, you will be familiar. 


  1. These cars can take 4+ hours to build especially if it's your first time. Each kit comes with a step by step manual that guides you through it, but patience is the name of the game. 
  2. "If you have particularly unsteady hands or low confidence in your mechanical aptitude, it may be best to start with something prebuilt and slowly get your hands wet with repairs & maintenance."
  3. You will have to buy additional items in order to make it work. Most kits don't include electronics like motors, batteries, tires, body paint, charger, etc. 


Overall, we typically recommend that first time users buy a RTR car.  If you really are committed to the hobby then go for the kit. Patience is key. Most high quality racing cars are kits but RTR are good for beginners. Some kits are more expensive then RTR because they are higher quality. What are your opinions and tips when deciding between kits and RTR? 

Feel free to come in to our shop if you would like further assistance! 

Sources: "Hobby Level: Kit or RTR?" Beginning RC.



  • RC Lover Lover of Rc

    Remote Controlled Cars are amazing things for kids and even to someone like me an adult, it is a playing game for me.
    I love to have the experience I do have while on real cars while playing with remote controlled cars.

  • Kaan

    Ready to run kits tend to be pretty durable, which will allow you to spend more time developing your skills (practicing at home and at the track). What you will sacrifice is some performance and suspension tune-ability for racing. As you start to commit to racing, you’ll want to start looking at a potential “new” dedicated race vehicle. The other option is to sink money into your RTR vehicle to enhance its performance and suspension tuning capability.

    No matter which direction you go, practicing will provide the best overall drop in lap times… buy your RTR or your kit and get out there!

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