Should I get a RTR (Ready-to-Run) or Kit RC car?
November 11 2020 – Kenneth Christensen
Starting out in RC can be daunting. Faced with a ton of different options and choices it can seem incredibly complex to choosing the right car for you. We at Blasted RC wants to help you as much as possible, to make your venture into this fantastic hobby as easy as possible.
One of the first choices you have to make is whether to choose a Ready-to-Run (or RTR for short) RC car or choosing a chassis where you can add you parts of choice. Or perhaps you should get a Tamiya RC kit, mixing the two approaches? Let's dig in and find out!
Ready-to-run (RTR) RC cars
A Ready-to-Run (or RTR in short) RC car comes fully assembled and finished, and includes everything you need to get going like motor, ESC, suspension etc. and lets you get going straight out of the box. Most comes with transmitters as well, but it's worth checking to be sure. In most cases you'll only need to purchase the relevant batteries and perhaps a charger, and you're good to go. So basically RTR RC cars are the cars of choice for everyone who enjoys the driving part, more than the construction part, and is looking for the easiest way to get started.
Kit RC cars
Alternatively, you can buy a chassis and combine it with the body, motor, ESC and transmitter that you like, making your dream vehicle without wasting money on parts you don't want on your car. Ideally suited for experienced RC drivers doing competitions, or RC connoisseurs that know exactly which parts they want in their car.
Tamiya RC cars
The third option is a mix between the two - Tamiya RC cars. Tamya RC kits come including motor and ESC, requiring you to add only a transmitter, servo, charger and battery. And of course a few tools and a spraycan of the color you want to paint the car! Because Tamiya RC kits are unlike anything else; being delivered fully disassembled, the kits require you to build the car from scratch, exactly like a LEGO kit. Fantastically good fun and a great way to learn about mechanics, Tamiya kits offer an immersive experience, where construction and upgrading the car are just as much fun as actually driving it. Building a car from scratch might sound scary, but don't be discouraged, they are no more difficult to do than a LEGO Technics kit. They are also a fantastic father/son project to do together.
Choosing what's right for you
So what should you choose? If you are new to this, we would not recommend an empty chassis. If you you are looking for out-of-the-box fun, the best starting point is an RTR car as you can get going without knowing too much about what goes well together and how to install it. If you like mechanics and would like to upgrade you car down the road, or just understand how RC cars work and how to repair them, we highly recommend Tamiya RC cars. Most of them are designed to work well for beginners, so if you want to learn the technical side of it, they are a good way to go. The plus side is that if you want more speed, grip or want to personalize the appearance of the car, they provide a ton of different options to upgrade them down the road, ensuring that you get the most fun from your RC car, even in the long term.
Remember that you can always sort our RC cars on whether we recommend them for beginners, intermediate or advanced drivers, so use this feature if you need help finding beginner-friendly kits or RTR's.