How to Buy a Used Petrol Radio-Controlled Car

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How to Buy a Used Petrol Radio-Controlled Car

eBay is a fantastic place to buy a used petrol radio-controlled car online as there are cars to suit everyone, from amateur to enthusiast. Radio-controlled (or R/C) cars are self-powered models that can be controlled from great distances using a specialised transmitter.

Radio-controlled car racing has become an increasingly popular hobby amongst all ages so the demand for a good used petrol radio-controlled car is high- whether it’s to be used leisurely or in competitive racing. Fortunately this high demand is appropriately met with a healthy online market of used petrol radio-controlled cars in all different makes, models, shapes and sizes to suit everyone.

The aim of this guide is to inform the reader about used petrol radio-controlled cars and explain the best manner in which to purchase one from eBay.

Radio-Controlled Cars

Radio-controlled cars are high-spec remote-controlled cars that are available in three different powered types:

  • Electric powered
  • Petrol powered
  • Nitrous (or Nitro) powered

These popular hobby products came into production in the 1990s following the introduction of remote control technology in electronic toys.. Radio-controlled cars are replicas of original car models that are controlled by radio signals. Each car possesses a radio receiver which has an individual frequency set to correspond with the remote control when the wheel, the two sticks (vertical for accelerate/reverse and horizontal for steering) or the trigger on it is moved in a direction.

Thanks to the incredible power generated by these cars matched with their precision steering and great agility radio-controlled cars (especially petrol and nitrous) are capable of many more manoeuvres and more accurate technical driving than some supercars.

Why Buy a Petrol Radio-Controlled Car?

Each type of R/C car has their benefits and their concerns; however petrol R/C cars are generally the most advantageous. Here are some of the pros and cons of buying each R/C car type:


Electric Powered

Petrol/Nitrous Powered






Cleaner and safer (no exhaust fumes) so can be used inside or outside

Easy to start

High top speeds

Quick acceleration

Can be used on long runs with only a little  amount of fuel

Larger size generally means more versatility so can be used on more surfaces than smaller electric R/C cars



Less visible/recognisable to others

Slower top speeds

Slower acceleration

Limited run time (even with multiple batteries)

Noisy (bad for neighbours but good for alerting people to be careful of the R/C car)

Exhaust fumes prohibit indoor use

More difficult to start (with engine starter)

Petrol Radio-Controlled Cars

For anyone new to buying a used petrol radio-controlled car,, there are a couple of products that must be present in order to get the most out of the new purchase. Whether these items were included in the R/C car kit when purchased or need to be bought separately, these products are essential in guaranteeing that the R/C car works efficiently and the most satisfaction is gained from it:






Firstly of course is the remote. This is how to steer and control the radio-controlled car so it will always come included in the R/C car package. It works by a radio signal being transmitted from a receiver in the car to a receiver in the remote.

There are two main styles of remote including steer wheel (a gun-shaped remote with a trigger and steering wheel on the side) and stick (the traditional square remote with two levers instead of a steering wheel).




Next, there must be fuel- and the right one (unleaded) - for the R/C car to work. Petrol radio-controlled cars of course run on petrol however they also need two-stroke oil in order to work effectively and for the longevity of the car’s engine and its component’s.

Two stroke-oil can be purchased on eBay or can be found at any petrol station along with regular unleaded petrol.








Fuel Mixing Bottle


This is a must-have as attempting to mix petrol and two-stroke oil is dangerous and can have harmful consequences to both people and the R/C car. The size should be no more than a couple of hundred millilitres as the fuel being mixed will only a small amount.

Most can be softly squeezed and come with fine nozzles to accurate place the mixed fuel into the cars petrol tank.

Each mixing bottle comes equipped with two markers on the side indicating the fill-level of each fuel.

To mix the fuels, simply pour petrol in up to the first line of the bottle and then pour two-stroke oil in secondly up to the second line, shake thoroughly and then pour into the cars fuel tank.


Jerry Can


As you will be pouring petrol into a small mixing bottle which is no use at a petrol station, a jerry can is a must have container for taking petrol from the pump. The can doesn’t need to be large as only small quantities of petrol is needed- a 5 litre jerry can is sufficient.

Which Size Petrol Radio-Controlled Car?

Like all radio-controlled cars no matter the type, they are available in many different shapes and sizes. Radio-controlled cars typically range from scale sizes 1/18th (being the smallest) up to 1/5th (being the largest). In the petrol R/C car arena, 1/5th scale is the most popular and widely available. These large-scaled models are usually up to 1 metre in length and can be quite weighty which increases their durability and versatility.

Most petrol R/C cars run on chainsaw-type engines that are of up to 25cc in power capacity. Regardless of the reason for purchase an on or off-road petrol R/C car, 1/5th is the most popular size and will certainly be ample for all racing needs- professionally or as a hobbyist.

Customising a Petrol Radio-Controlled Car

One of the many great things about owning a petrol radio-controlled car is that they are just like real cars in that they are full of components that can be interchanged and decor that can be altered quickly and easily.

Each R/C car comes with a reinforced plastic body (or shell) to protect the electrical body and its components underneath. The great thing about these shells is that they are widely interchangeable. If the R/C car came equipped with a truck body shell when purchased, this can be easily exchanged for a Ferrari or Subaru- providing the shell is of the equivalent scale-size. Each shell usually comes in clear plastic allowing the owner to customise it as desired. Each shell can then be coloured at the discretion of the owner with a can of normal spray paint. Then decals and stickers can be applied to the painted shell for a racing finish effect.

Internally, a petrol radio-controlled car can be altered to modify the performance of the vehicle. This includes removing and replacing of the R/C’s important components such as engine, air filter, brakes, petrol tank, exhaust system, chassis and roll cage, servos, differentials, shocks and much more. All of these products are widely available especially in the online radio-controlled marketplace on websites like eBay.

How to Buy a Used Petrol Radio-Controlled Car on eBay

eBay is a truly fantastic resource for any radio-controlled car enthusiast no matter the power type. Whether the buyer is looking for decals or stickers for decorative purposes, a new exhaust system to improve a cars performance or a new radio-controlled car entirely, eBay stocks everything an R/C enthusiast could ever want. Here are some helpful tips of purchasing your used petrol radio-controlled car:

With flexible payment options,, competitive pricing and excellent customer service, eBay is the best place to buy a used petrol radio-controlled car.

Auction format websites like eBay stock a wealth of used petrol radio-controlled cars and equipment. eBay offers the customer the opportunity to: purchase an item immediately through the ‘Buy Now’ function or to bid in an auction style format. Whatever your buying preference is eBay is the right place to buy a used petrol radio-controlled car.

With the help of the search function, finding the product you are looking for has never been simpler. Merely type in the desired R/C manufacturer or product name (along with any other important terms specific to the required product) and look through the results until the product appears. From here the buyer will be greeted with a page of information relating to the product in question. The information included usually consists of: a detailed product analysis, a detailed specification, photographs and comments about the products condition.

As such an authoritative name amongst the online marketplace eBay also provides detailed information about the seller including their location, selling history and ratings to match. With the aid of the seller’s location, the buyer can establish whether they would prefer to meet the seller at their location if it is local to them or to pay for the delivery of the item (listed next to the products price).

Once the petrol radio-controlled car has been found and the buyer is satisfied with the information provided, they can begin purchasing. This can be done in two ways on eBay; by bidding in an auction or buying immediately with the ‘Buy Now&’ function. All payments on eBay are made safe and secure thanks to third party payment authority PayPal to give the buyer peace of mind.


There are many factors to take into consideration when buying a used petrol radio-controlled car. However with the fantastic support provided by eBay and its trading members coupled with the information and recommendations outlined in this guide, buying a used petrol radio-controlled car is easy.

A good used petrol R/C car suited to the owners needs will provide them with a fantastic product to enjoy as a hobby for years to come.

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