So you want a Radio controlled model but dont know what to get, here is my guide to getting the right car for your needs and some tips on general running
What car is right for you?
Do you want to join a local club, If so go to the club and find out what they race. I myself made the mistake of buying a car before finding out that my local club raced comething completely different.
Nitro,Electric and Petrol
Electric (Battery) Powered cars generaly have a fast accelleration and a reasnoble to high top speed, this can be adjusted using different gears called Pinions on the motor or a different motor. Maintenance on these cars is fairly straight forward and pretty easy. Although making sure your electric motor is running perfectly is a little hard but can be mastered in time, as they need to be cleaned and serviced regularly!
suitable for novice to intermediate
Nitro (engine) Powered cars are slighty more technical than electric cars and need to be carefully set up engine wise. The chassis of the car is going to be fairly easy to maintan as with the electric cars, but the engine has to be looked after otherwise it will not last, These cars also produce a good turn of speed aswell as good acceleration although slightly slower of the mark than an electric car. these cars are also quite messy and produce noise as they have an engine instead of a motor
intermediate to advance (recomended to have adult supervision with younger ages, not suitable for under 12's)
Petrol Cars are by far the biggest out of the 3 types of power sources. these cars run off normal unleaded petrol mixed with 2 stroke oil, I know little about these as i dont own one, what i do know is that these cars can also gain some seroiusely high speeds but can also be adjusted wither different gearing and suspension setups.
suitable for advanced users
Onroad or Off Road.
Now comes the next big question, now that you have decided on your power source, Do you want to run on or off road
with On Road it means just that, running your car on paved or tarmac'd areas like carparks, these cars can reach speeds as high as 60 miles per hours so large spaces are essential especially if you are learning, Kerbs are also a hazard as hitting these at speed will seriousely damage your car.Remember these cars can only be used on paved areas as they have a low ground clearance and so wont go through grass.
Offroad cars have the capability to go "offroad" on grass areas on bumpy ground and the likes. these cars have a high ground clearance and big suspension to cope with the terrain, these cars can also go pretty fast and can be jumped and thumped around. These cars are built tough so can take the knocks.
Types of car to choose
you have chosen your power and your class (on or offroad) now comes the car to go with it.
Onroad - Electric Touring car E.g Team Associated TC4
Nitro Touring car E.g HPI RS4 3 RTR
Petrol Trouring car E.G FG Sportline 04
Offroad - Electric Buggy E.g Team Associated B4
Electric truck E.g Team Associated T4
Electric Monster TRuck E.g Traxxas E Max
Nitro Monster Truck E.g HPI Savage 25 RTR
Petrol Monster truck E.g FG monster truck
Nitro buggy (rallycross) E.g Hobao Hyper 8
Nitro Truck E.g Hpi Nitro Rush RTR
Remember also that these cars are grouped into sizes 1/12th, 1/10th, 1/8th, 1/6th and 1/5th and that not all types of car are in the same sizes
When you have deciced on the car you want, consider the extra items you may need to run it,
If you buy a Kit version on the car you may need tools to build it with and then comes the electronics and motor (Electric cars require - batteries, Electronic Speed controller,Servo, motor, Receiver,transmitter and charger)(Nitro Cars Require - Engine, receiver, servos, battery,transmitter and charger)
if you Buy an RTR (Ready to Run) you will still require some small things to get you up and running. most things are included in the box(e.g engine/motor, servos and radio gear) but you may need batteries and a charger for your electric car, or batteries,fuel and glowstarter for you nitro car.
Nitro engines need to be carefully run as per the instructions when they are new!
Nitro engines need to be treated with After run oil after every days usage as rust can build up inside the engine causing it to break down.
When buying used cars beware. If it looks abused dont buy it, it may be more trouble than its worth. Also assume that the engine hasnt been run in properly, since you dont know its history
Check for spares availability on the model you choose. if you cant get parts (from anywhere) dont buy it. it means if u break it u cant fix it.
Remember that these cars are not Toys and should be treated as such. as they can reach high speeds and seriously hurt some one! So run your car at a dedicated track or in large open spaces
Nitro engines can get hot so be carefull around them esepcially while the engine is running
Dont Smoke while refueling your car (nitro fuel is 5x more flamable than petrol.)
Use a Failsafe when using nitro or petrol cars (these prevent costly run aways)
if you are unsure about your car ask a local club member or on an internet forum
It is also a good idea to Join the British Radio Car Association (BRCA) this then covers you in case of an accident as you get third party insurance.