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What Does RTR Mean in RC Cars?

If you are researching RC Cars, no doubt you have come across many acronyms, such as RTR. In the beginning this can be confusing. Let me focus on answering that question for you today.


What Does RTR Mean When People Talk about RC Cars? RTR means one simple thing – “Ready to Run.” If you buy an RTR car out the box, that means that it is ready to be used immediately after taking it out of the box, or at least, it is almost ready to use after its unboxing.

Sometimes these types of cars can require batteries, customization, a charging period, or a few other small things, but for the most part, these types of cars are pretty much good to go after you purchase and open them.

So, now that you know what an RTR car is, keep on reading to find out the answers to more of your burning RC car questions. This blog post will tell you everything you need to know, such as the difference between an RTR car and a kit car, where you can race your favorite RC cars, what types of engines are found in RC cars, and much, much more. So keep on reading for some more great RC car info!

What is a Kit Car?

A kit car is quite a bit different from an RTR (Ready to Run) car. Kit cars are RC cars that you make yourself pretty much from scratch. You can go into the store and buy the kit, of course, and the kit has everything you need in it, but none of the parts have been pre-assembled. You have to assemble each and every piece of the car by hand yourself.

Many dedicated hobbyists and RC car enthusiasts prefer to purchase kit cars because it gives them control over every step of readying and running their RC cars. Plus, kits cars give you the added advantage of being able to fix your RC car if something in it stops working properly. Because you, yourself, built the car, you are familiar with its inner workings and will have no trouble pinpointing what is wrong if your car stops running.


When deciding whether or not to purchase an RTR or kit car, it is important to look at all of the pros and cons of both and compare that to exactly what you are looking for out of your new RC car.

What is the Benefit of an RTR Car?

There is one huge benefit to RTR cars over kit cars, and that is that they are always Ready to Run. This means, as has already been mentioned, that once you buy and open these cars, with the exception of maybe some batteries or some optional customization, these cars are ready to be used and enjoyed straight out of the box.

They also do not require much in the way of expertise because you don’t have to put together or build anything. You pretty much just need to know how to put in some batteries and operate the remote control, which makes them a great option for beginner RC enthusiasts or young children.

In General, What is More Expensive – an RTR or Kit Car?

In short, depending on the particular RC car and all its complexities, either an RTR or a kit car can be more expensive. However, if you have two cars of comparable make, build, and specs, then the RTR is usually going to be a little more expensive.

This is because with kit cars, there are a lot of extra individual items that you may have to purchase, such as paint, tools and connectors, etc., thereby lowering the price of the original kit. RTR cars come pre-made with all of the parts included, so they generally cost a little more.

What Types of Engines are Available for RTR Cars?

There are two main types of engines for RTR cars. Those two types are nitro engines and electric engines. Electric engines can be broken down even further into the two most common types of electric engines, which are brushless motors and lithium polymer batteries. The benefits of both nitro and electric engines are highlighted below.

What is the Benefit of a Nitro Engine?

One of the things people seem to love most about nitro engines is that they sound amazing. They have a really loud, full-bodied roar that sounds like a miniature version of a real car.

Because they run on fuel, they also actually let exhaust fumes out like a real car, as well. Furthermore, because nitro engines are fuel-based engines, they also have longer run times. Finally, nitro engines allow you to tinker with them, which is something true hobbyists really enjoy doing.

What is the Benefit of an Electric Engine?

Electric engines are fantastic for beginners because they are super easy to use. They don’t take lots of time or tinkering to get them set up for use.

All they need are some batteries and a simple charge, which most people over the age of three are capable of doing. They are also super durable, and these days, they are often waterproof, as well.

They are cheaper to use on a regular basis than Nitro cars because they are battery powered and don’t require fuel; this also means that they are cleaner and less noisy, as well.

Both engines have their benefits and disadvantages. Again, when deciding between engine types, it is best for you to look at the particular characteristics of both and compare them to how you plan to use your RC car and what you want from it. That will help you better decide which engine type is best for you.

What is an Off-Road Car and Why Should I Bother with It?

Off-road RC cars are simply RC cars, but they are RC cars that are specifically designed to be driven off-road and over rough terrain.

They are built like tiny ATVs or rugged trucks; they have fully functional off-road suspensions and tires that are spaced widely apart so that they don’t overturn as easily as regular remote controlled cars.

You should definitely invest in one because they are so much fun. They go practically anywhere and over any terrain. They are rugged and durable, and they are almost impossible to destroy, so they are especially great for kids.

Furthermore, regular RC cars are great for indoor floors, paved roads and driveways, and other easy, smooth surfaces. However, for any other surfaces, including popular options like grass, rocks, back yards, dirt, and mud, you will definitely need an off-road RC car.

What is an On-Road Car and Why Should I Bother with It?

On-road RC cars are the basic, everyday RC cars that you see practically everywhere. These cars are usually the more sporty and smaller cars. They are often faster than their off-road counterparts, as well.

And while this is not always the case, you can often find them at cheaper prices as well. Always do your research on on-road versus off-road RC vehicles before picking out your new RC car.

For instance, if you are purchasing an RC car for a young child who is mostly going to play with it indoors on smooth floors, then you will be fine purchasing the less expensive on-road cars.

Where Can You Buy RTR and Car Kits?

You can buy RTR and car kits practically anywhere these days. You can find them at mass merchandisers such as Target or Walmart. You can also get them online at sites such as Amazon or Ebay. They are not particularly hard items to find.

However, if you want to find the best selection of RC cars, you will want to go to your local hobby shop. Stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby will have a pretty decent selection of RC cars, but oftentimes, local, non-chain hobby shops will have even better and wider ranges of models to choose from than craft stores. A quick Google search will also help you find some dedicated sites for buying RC cars.

Where Can You Race RC Cars?

Because RC cars are generally small, they can be raced practically anywhere that has good terrain and is out of the way of real cars and pedestrian foot traffic. Creating your own RC track is easy to do.

However, if you are looking to race your RC cars in a more formal setting, research your area online. See where the tracks nearest to you are located. Again, a quick Google search can take you to all kinds of different sites used for locating tracks dedicated exclusively to racing remote controlled cars.