Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: September 03, 2021
Wise Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Naturally, toys generally used to be considered as a thing for kids only, until recently, when toys like RC cars started gaining prominence. Regardless of your age, the excitement that accompanies playing with a remote-controlled car is just incredible. With designs seeming as if they have just appeared out of your video game, it’s difficult to resist the temptation of RC cars. Due to their sophisticated looks, most people tend to wrongly believe that RC cars are unaffordable. In fact, that is why we have taken it upon ourselves to review the best RC cars under $100 in this article.
Apart from being fun and exciting, playing with an RC car also improves hand-eye coordination because you’ll need to be controlling the car with a remote control while simultaneously watching where it is heading. In our search for the best RC cars under $100, we considered a couple of factors. First, we considered the different types available, such as a rock crawler, racing type, and off-road type. Secondly, we considered the scale, which is the overall size of your car in comparison to its real-world counterpart. Other key factors such as battery life, speed, and frequency were also considered.
After investing tens of hours reading customer reviews and technical specifications of the best RC cars under $100, we identified the top seven of the best RC cars currently available for less than $100. All of our picks are highlighted in the table below, which is followed by thorough reviews of each RC car on our list. We have also included a buying guide section and a FAQs section which contain everything you need to know about choosing the best RC car under 100 dollars for you and your family. In conclusion, we summed up our three most favorite RC cars.
Altair never disappoints with their first-rate affordable products. The RC truck matches up to their impressive line of drones with a ton of edgy features.
The power pro truck comes pre-assembled and ready to use straight from the box. The only things you will need to install are the truck and the transmitter batteries.
Essentially, the power pro packs a punch when it comes to speed. It runs at a whopping 30mph and you can still control it. Plus, it features 2 speed modes; fast and slow, and they are both remarkably easy to control. Kids and beginners would make the most of the slow speed.
The monster truck features 4 large rubber wheels and 4-wheel independent suspension that give it off-road capability. You will be impressed by its capability of climbing and staying upright. Its ability to ride through tough terrains adds dimension to your RC experience.
As with any RC product, battery life is key. The Power pro has an impressive battery life of 30 minutes. While it isn’t the shortest, it isn’t the longest either. Though you are pretty sure it won’t give out before having some fun
What makes it stand out?
The power Pro XL by Altair is a well-made RC truck with plenty of great features. Its speed and rock climbing capabilities are its main stand-out features. With its 2 speed modes, even kids and beginners can enjoy using it.
Featuring a strong and stable 4-wheel drive which includes rear and front motors, you can rest assured that this rock crawler will provide you with incredible off-road performance. It comes with powerful motors that give it a strong torque enabling it to work on practically every type of terrain. Besides, it comes outfitted with an independent suspension system which prevents all sorts of damages caused by vibrations.
Also, the high torque produced by the powerful motors of this remote-controlled car makes movements across every terrain easy with incredible stability. Its radio system also comes with an incredible range of around 260 feet at a frequency of 2.4GHZ. Apart from that, the steering system of the car is highly responsive and extremely ergonomic, thereby providing better handling. The car also features a rechargeable 6 V battery. The battery allows you or your kids to play with the car for around 40 minutes before it will need to be recharged.
Overall, this is a decent RC car. While it is very affordable, it provides great performance. Besides, it is very easy and effortless to use, which makes it perfect for both children and adults.
GPTOYS is one of the leading producers of RC cars in the world, and their new GPTOYS Off-road RC Truck indicates they aren’t likely to be displaced anytime soon. This RC car comes with four-wheel independent suspension springs for optimal performance, and the control range of the car is up to almost 500 feet, which is quite impressive for a budget-friendly RC car. Apart from that, the RC car comes with a high-powered motor which enables you to reach a speed of 22 mph, making it one of the fastest RC cars on this list.
This model is not just an ordinary RC truck. It comes with basically everything to fortify your love for RC cars. With the metal differential gear and ball bearings in the rear and front of the car, you are guaranteed to get the smoothest and slickest driving experience. Its low-friction provides you with a stunning hold on and off the road. Besides, the upper deck and aluminum chassis of the car guarantee maximum durability.
Featuring a next-generation receiver, this model allows you to have an incredible amount of control to perform stunning stunts and tackling all sorts of terrain like a real pro. The ESC/Receiver is also splash-proof, which means driving through muck or a little rain wouldn’t put an end to your fun. The RC car is incredibly easy to use, and it will never let you down.
If you are looking for an RC car that will provide you with the thrill and excitement of a real vehicle, then you can’t go wrong with the SHARKOOL Off Road Remote Car. The car comes fitted with every feature often found in monster trucks, including four-wheel drive, oversized tires, ultra-strong shocks, and stunning crawling technology. Nothing whatsoever is capable of obstructing this monster as it was designed to ride through dirt, grass, pavement, mud, and more, without ever getting stuck.
Furthermore, the four wheels of the SHARKOOL Off Road Remote Car have independent suspension springs which give the truck more flexibility. The suspension springs also make the body of the truck shockproof, thereby protecting the electronic parts of the truck. The truck also comes with strong rubber tires produced using an adjustable soft PVC material of high quality. The tires have a very strong grasp with an incredible skid resistance.
Adults and kids will fall in love with the beautiful design and performance of this truck, and it is capable of providing hours of excitement. You can make it climb, race, and crash as much as you want. You don’t often find an RC car with high performance while being very affordable, so you’d better not miss the chance to purchase this one.
DEERC is a company that has been responsible for many excellent RC cars in the past, and now they have added this High-Speed Off-Road 4WD Car to their long list of high-performing RC cars, albeit at a more affordable cost. This particular model is a very speedy car that is ideal for kids, teenagers, and even adults who are interested in a high-speed RC car. The car performs its independent suspension spring function excellently. It is also shockproof, thereby protecting its electric components.
Being a high-speed RC car, it is very easy to control. It has a maximum speed of around 25 mph, which is very impressive for such an affordable RC car. The high-speed makes it a great option for little kids as it is easy to maneuver and control. These features are ideal for learning stages. The RC car is outfitted with suspension springs which make it robust against the hard impact of bumpy terrain. The suspension keeps the car from crashing into the ground during races.
Featuring a 1:20 scale design and a frequency of 2.4GHZ with anti-jamming capability, you are sure to get addicted to racing with this car in no time. Besides, it comes with a direction spinner which is capable of automatically adjusting the car when it isn’t going on a straight line.
The Newer Remote Electric Rock Crawler is another affordable RC vehicle from Rabing. But, while the first Rabing product on our list is an off-road car, this one is a bit different. It is an off-road rock crawler, built to drive on different sorts of terrain. With a control frequency of 2.4 GHz, you can’t encounter any issues using this RC car in a region where there are several other RC cars.
Furthermore, the Rabing’s Rock Crawler comes with semi-pneumatic rubber tires that are built to give more flexibility to the car. The tires are made of high-quality PVC material which makes them elastic and soft. The tires have a strong grip, are anti-skid, and can be driven on uneven terrain or slippery roads. The incorporated independent suspension system also protects the electronic components from shocks.
When it comes to remote control, this RC car is also very reliable. It has a control range of 164 feet, which means you can effortlessly drive the car even when you’re 164 feet away – really impressive! Besides, the car comes with direction at the bottom which can automatically adjust when the car isn’t walking straight. This RC car, with all the features it incorporates, will make a perfect birthday gift for any child or adult.
From the smooth aerodynamic profile to the carbon-patterned spoiler and chassis, this RC car is a picture-perfect copy of the iconic Lamborghini Veneno model. This officially licensed RC Lamborghini allows you to drive in style. It features sophisticated taillights and headlights which function exactly like those of the real car. The headlights show white when you are driving forward, and the taillights show red when you are reversing. Do you see? Just like a real car. Driving this car in a dimly-lit room will make you feel like you are racing on city streets at night.
The easy-to-use remote control makes driving this car extremely easy, and the car has a maximum speed of 5 mph, which is quite decent for both kids and adults. The four rubber tires of the car come with a shock suspension system that prevents damages caused by vibrations. Besides, there is a switch located at the base of the RC car which adjusts the car when it’s not walking on a straight path. This RC car is made with non-harmful ABS plastic and it comes with a glossy exterior. It has a very appealing look that is sure to make you or your kid (or both!) fall in love in no time at all.
What makes it special?
Features a shock suspension system
Easy to control
What cons did we find?
So many screws make it difficult to set up
Doesn’t come with batteries
Things to Consider
The best way to choose a high-quality RC car is by reading a series of guides, which is why we have included an extensive guideline in this article. It is very simple, and the objective is to ensure you have an unmistakable mind with regards to getting the desired RC car under $100.
Are there decent RC cars for under $100?
Of course, yes! In most cases, RC cars that are priced less than $100 are decent in terms of performance and quality. This is true especially if they are bought for younger kids who would not be able to use a more expensive model to its full capacity or adult beginners who are looking to practice on a cheaper car.
However, keep in mind that you can’t expect very long play times and neck-breaking speeds with these cars. Remember they cost very little, and you can’t expect high performance from them. In addition to that, you should remember that these cars get their parts broken.
Suspensions and motors are the most likely culprits. They can always be fixed though – order the replacement parts and install them when they arrive. It’s simple as ABC.
Features to Consider While Choosing a Remote Control Car
Selecting a good remote controlled car might be a long tedious process, and you wouldn’t want to end up with a purchase you will later regret. So, what exactly are the things you need to look for?
Type of Car
To put it simple, we would divide all the RC cars into two categories – on-road and off-road. If you’re looking to drive your RC car on smooth and even surfaces you should consider going for an on-road (racing) RC car since it can handle smooth surfaces superbly. Besides, on-road RC cars are perfect to slide around corners in style – for more on this, check out our selection of the top rc drift cars.
Off-road RC cars, on the other hand, are more suited to rocky and concrete terrains. If you are looking to drive on these sorts of terrains, then go for an off-road RC car. Rock crawlers can also be referred to this category. They offer you the versatility required for jumps and stunts on the small rocks, although you’ll be giving up on the vehicle’s performance.
Scale and Dimensions
The scale usually determines the size of the RC car. For instance, a 1/10 scale means the remote-controlled car is a 10th in size of its real-life equivalent. Another way to understand this is to think of the vehicle it is modeled after is ten times larger than the remote-controlled car.
The biggest car types begin at 1/4 and 1/5 scale. These usually have higher operating costs and require a method of conveyance to the aimed area. Their more expensive operating costs is due to the fact that their replacement parts are costlier and they have higher fuel costs.
The smallest remote controlled cars, on the other hand, come at the scale of 1/24. Normally, the cost of an RC car is dictated by the scale. Thus, the 1/24 remote controlled cars usually have the lowest price points.
When it comes to RC cars, drops and knocks are just inescapable. That is why it is important to consider durability when choosing one. The RC car you’ll choose must have a very strong and durable structure.
Regardless of the track or terrain, you select, there is always a chance that your remote controlled car will run into obstacles. Therefore, it is vital that it will be completely strong and durable enough to deal with bumps and hits. RC cars to be handled and used by children ought to be extra sturdy.
You should also take the highest speed of the RC car into consideration. If you only drive your RC cars for leisure, then it is not necessary to choose an extremely speedy model. The beginners also don’t need a really speedy model. Besides, faster RC cars tend towards being more expensive. However, if you are getting an RC car to be involved in a racing competition or something like that, then you need to go for the highest speed.
While it is often overlooked, the remote’s frequency channel is a very important factor you should always take into consideration when shopping for an RC car. If you intend to use your RC car in a region where there are other remotes, you will have to ensure that the frequency level of your remote is capable of handling it.
Another major factor you need to take into consideration is the control distance of the remote. Some off-road and high-speed RC cars have a control range of more than 300 feet, while kids’ models were designed to remain within the same room.
You also need to consider how long you intend to be using your RC car in-between charges. If you need only 10 to 20 minutes of playing time and fun to quench your desires, the most RC cars can easily fulfill that simple requirement. If you, however, want to spend about one hour or longer playing with your RC car, you will have to ensure your RC car has an extended battery life and a fast charge time.
You also need to consider if your RC car comes with extra features such as functional lights, horns, and some other fancy extras. Of course, the fancy extras usually attract additional costs, so you might need to keep that in mind. If you do want more features, you may want to extend your budget and consider some of the best RC cars under $200. Also, you might need to consider the materials used to construct your toy and its design as well. Although, more beautiful designs usually come at more expensive costs as well.
As already suggested by their name, the primary task of rock crawlers is to be really great on rocky terrains. Whether we are talking about mountain peaks, hill-rides, rocky beaches or some gravel roads – rock crawlers are built to handle everything.
While there are many fast RC cars on the list, the fastest of them all is the ALTAIR Power Pro XL RC Truck. With its ability to reach 30 miles per hour, you can count on this RC car for your racing competitions.
You can use the car on such surfaces, but it should be done with extreme caution. Sand particles can get into the bushings, gears, suspension, and other tiny parts causing a lot of wear and tear. Anyone using their RC on the beach or in sandy conditions will lose some lifespan from their vehicle.
Whether you are looking for a perfect birthday gift for your child or something to engage you and your kids during weekends, you can’t go wrong with an RC car. And contrary to what many people believe, you don’t necessarily need to spend big before you can own a decent RC car, which is why we have reviewed the best remote control cars under $100 in this guide.
Our top pick is the ALTAIR Power Pro XL RC Truck. Featuring a high-speed of 30 mph, two speed modes, a highly responsive steering and the ability to ride through tough terrains, this RC car is our top choice with good reason.
Our second pick is the Double E Monster Truck 4WD. Featuring a strong and stable 4-wheel drive which includes rear and front motors, you can rest assured that this rock crawler will provide you with incredible off-road performance. It also has the longest battery life among the cars on this list.
The GPTOYS Off-road RC Truck also deserves mentioning. Despite being a budget-friendly option, it comes with an advanced splash-proof remote control, which allows you to keep driving the car in a little rain. The low friction of motion gives you superior control of the car.