Petrol Radio-Controlled Car Parts Buying Guide

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Petrol Radio-Controlled Car Parts Buying Guide

Petrol radio-controlled cars are very much designed with experts of the radio-controlled “hobby” car world in mind. Available to purchase on eBay, these vehicles are powered by an unleaded petrol and oil mix and at the pinnacle of the radio-controlled car market.

The following buying guide explains what comprises a Petrol Radio-Controlled Car, the easiest way to find one and how to obtain one from eBay safely and securely. At the end of the guide, it is hoped the buyer will have the confidence to purchase the ideal parts for a petrol radio-controlled car.

Where Do Petrol Radio-Controlled Cars Come From?

  • Petrol-RC cars are generally larger than other RC-cars. They were born out of a desire for radio-controlled car enthusiasts to get even closer to the real thing.
  • The name comes from the fact they run on normal unleaded petrol that is mixed with 2-stroke oil.
  • Most, if not all, Petrol-RC cars come as a 1:5 scale model of their real-world counterparts.
  • The initial outlay involved when buying a Petrol-RC car far outstrips anything else in the RC-car market. Running costs, though, are a lot lower in comparison.
  • A battery is used to power the throttle, brakes and helps to steer the vehicle. The rest of the power comes entirely from the petrol.
  • Like others in its class the Petrol-RC cars, once purchased, can be modified extensively, and are as lifelike as you can get in the radio-controlled car sector.
  • Engines found in Petrol-RC vehicles are regularly compared to those found in lawnmowers, as they are similar in size and performance.
  • When purchasing your first Petrol-RC car there are some big questions to be answered and the following guide will look to answer those that are most important.

Pricing of the Car Parts

  • When buying a Petrol-RC car on eBay it’s imperative to check every minute detail. The recommended retail price on these cars can run into thousands of pounds and anything that looks in the affordable price range should be analysed meticulously.
  • Recently a number of more affordable models have come on the market. It’s important to check those starting at around £300 are newer models and not simply older ones that have been refurbished.
  • The problem with buying an older model is that it may be damaged and will be more susceptible to disrepair than a newer edition.

On-Road or Off-Road

Prior to buying a Petrol-RC car it’s essential to work out where the vehicle will be burning most of its fuel – on-road or off-road. Both types of car are designed for vastly differing terrains and below is a quick description of where to use each type of car:


The body of the car is lower to the ground and cannot handle bumpy terrain. Tyres are slicker and a lot less chunky with suspension suited to road/racetrack use. Can reach higher speeds.


Suited to rugged terrain and referred to as buggies by many sellers. Performance is good on any terrain and larger shock absorbers prevent damage on difficult terrain. Speed is generally slightly slower than on-road cars.

RTR or Kit?

Buying a Petrol-RC car can be tricky when met with the amount of options available. One of the easiest ways to narrow it down is between Ready to Run (RTR) and “Kit” versions. The table below explains what each term means:



Ready to Run (RTR)

Can be run straight from the box with the user having to add little more than the right amount of petrol.


Require a great deal of assembly before they can be used. Enthusiasts will enjoy this and they will be able to make their own little tweaks along the way.

Does size matter?

  • When it comes to Petrol-RC cars, they come in a far fewer number of sizes when compared to Nitro-RC and Electric-RC cars.
  • The standard size of a Petrol-RC car is a ratio of 1:5 and as such they are very large when up against other types of radio-controlled car.
  • Engine size is the main reason for the increase in size with a larger petrol tank included as well. It provides them an advantage in the reliability stakes and a longer running time because of the large petrol tank.


  • Petrol-RCs run on a completely different fuel composition to any other radio-controlled car.
  • The mixture of unleaded petrol and two-stroke oil is very easy to get your hands on and cheaper than the specialist nitro methane fuel required for other fuel-powered radio-controlled cars.
  • Petrol has the advantage that it lasts for a lot longer and makes your vehicle a very reliable proposition.


Being able to tune your Petrol-RC car is undoubtedly one of the biggest draws of owning one. The vehicles behave very similarly to their car and buggy fathers of the real world and the table below looks at some of the different modifications that can be made to Petrol-RC cars:




Are measured by CC in a similar way to a normal engine. Can be big variations in CC size.

Engine Starters

Most use a pull start mechanism in a similar way to lawnmower engines.


Come in different shapes and sizes, all depending on the car in question. Widely available and reasonably cheap.

Air Filters

Will result in better performance for your car and there is a varied choice available to buy on eBay.


These are fairly standard and don’t tend to differ across models. Cheap and always good to keep some at hand.

How to Buy Petrol Radio Controlled-Cars on eBay

  • There is a vast selection of Petrol-RC cars to buy on eBay with both new and used cars from some of the biggest names in radio-controlled vehicles only a click away.
  • The most competitively priced versions will be on eBay and everyone selling a vehicle is reliable whilst at the same time being experienced enough to guide you through the process of buying your first Petrol-RC car.
  • To find Petrol-RC cars on eBay, first visit the Toy & Games category. Then it’s a case of scrolling down to the Radio-Controlled sub-category and choosing Cars. When the browser has moved onto the next page select Petrol under the Power Source list on the left and it will give you every Petrol-RC car item available to buy on eBay.
  • To narrow down your search even further you will find a number of other tick box lists similar to the Power Source category. Using these will enable you to find exactly the right item and is something that is of utmost importance to radio-controlled car enthusiasts.
  • Whilst clicking through the selection of cars available, be mindful to continually check each item meticulously and that all the information you need is at hand.
  • To find out any extra information that isn’t on the item page, don’t hesitate to Ask the Seller a question to find out more. A visit to the Buying Tips page will provide even more valuable information to find the best Petrol-RC cars available.
  • Once prepared to Buy, place a Bid, click the Buy it Now button or place your Best Offer. Using PayPal will make sure the transaction is secure and goes through as smoothly as possible.

Safety Considerations When Buying

  • It’s important to take note of a number of things when buying from an eBay seller. Looking at a persons transaction history is extremely important with items of this nature and any negative feedback should be meticulously examined. Almost all eBay sellers have a feedback history and it must be checked before finalising a purchase.
  • If the seller has listed a Petrol-RC car for the first time it’s even more important to check their history. Find similar items and check to see what feedback has been left in the past.
  • Don’t be afraid to Ask the Seller as many questions as you deem appropriate and if unsure about anything make sure to use this feature.
  • Lastly be sure to read through the conditions of sale a number of times and again Ask the Seller if there’s anything that is difficult to understand.


Petrol-RC cars are the closest you can come controlling a real car with a hand-held radio-control. The vehicles are the largest in their class and are cheap to run given the fuel they use is available at any garage forecourt. With off-road and on-road versions available they are accessible to most hobby radio-controlled car enthusiasts. When finalising your purchase it’s important to consider the following:

  • Does the car price look too good to be true?
  • Will it be used off-road or on-road?
  • Have you checked to see if the item is RTR or needs a lot of assembly?

Once you know the answer to those two questions and anything else you might have to ask, eBay is one of the best places to find a Petrol Radio-Controlled Car on the Internet.

Places to find a better deal are few and far between and using PayPal to pay for the transaction adds that extra layer of safety that makes sure everything goes through smoothly.

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