Details to Look for When Buying Ride-On Cars for Kids

When my husband was a kid, his absolute favorite toy was a ride on car, and many times he talked about purchasing one for our kids because of all the fond memories he had. If you're considering getting one for your child, perhaps for Christmas, here's some things to look for, that a reader sent me.

Ride-on cars are popular because they’re fun and can help in various aspects of a child’s development. There are even ride-on cars that are modified to be used as power mobility devices for children of different abilities and ages.

However, it’s important to be able to determine what the right car is for your child. Here are details to look for when buying your child a ride-on car:

1. Appropriateness to age

You need to consider the age of your child in determining which car to buy.

  • 0–2 years old – This age group is very vulnerable to falls, as their motor skills are still in its early stages of development. Make sure the toy car has supportive seats and that the motor is low powered. A 2 mph speed is good for this age. Most cars for this age are built for indoor use and have button systems instead of pedals.
  • 3–5 years old – Most children at this age range have already developed their reflexes and motors skills that they ride a more powerful vehicle of up to 6 mph speed. Some can even handle 12 V or 24 V cars, depending on their ability and excitement. Children from this age group also tend to go for toy cars that are more car-like. Ride-on cars for 3–5-year-olds often have foot pedals and sound effects built into the car to make them realistic.
  • 5–8 years old – Starting age 5, children are capable of riding more advanced cars suitable to their coordination skills. They also like toy cars that look like the real ones. There are licensed versions of Fords, Jeeps, Ferraris, etc., which appear to be a favorite for kids this age. There are more features to stimulate their driving experience, and 24 V is manageable to most.

2. Number of motors

Basic ride-on cars have one motor, but the number can go up to four. Ride-on cars with dual motors can achieve the desired speed level for children who weigh 40–55 lbs. For children lighter than 40 lbs, single-motor cars produce enough speed.

3. Battery size and battery life

Battery size differs depending on the size of the car and the design based on the age of the user. Ride-on cars for smaller children usually have a 6 V battery. While the 12 V battery is the ideal size for ride-on cars, there are those that run on a 24 V battery and can drive faster. Ride-on cars with a 24 V battery are usually larger and have two seats instead of one.

Consider the battery life of the toy car as well. If your kids are going to drive around for a couple of hours, they won’t enjoy a car that drains out unreasonably and needs several hours of charging. You can read customer reviews to see what buyers say about the battery.

4. Quality and design

It’s natural to want the best quality of ride-on cars because you don’t want to waste money on toys. While licensed versions of ride on cars for kids may cost more, they have better quality because licensing fees are paid by manufacturers. Licensed ride-on cars are also designed to mimic the real car model.

There’s a lot of ride-on cars for kids available to choose from. Aside from car models, there are those with pedals or those with quads. Choosing something your kid likes will surely make them more ecstatic!

5. Number of seats

Smaller cars are one-seater, and larger ones can have two seats. If you have more than one child of around the same age group, you need to consider the fighting-over-the-driver’s-seat that could happen. Also, some two-seater ride-on cars are not actually big enough for two kids, so this is something you need to look at. If you don’t have enough space in your house or garage, a one-seater car is your option.

6. Remote control inclusion

Most kids’ ride-on cars include a remote control, but some don’t. Having a remote control will enable you to drive the car if your child is too small to do so independently. At the same time, you’ll be able to control the car to avoid bumps, falls, and walls where your child may not have quick reflexes yet.

7. Warranty inclusion

Make sure you purchase a ride-on car that includes a warranty so you have options to return the product in certain conditions or for a particular reason. Considering the amount you’ll spend, a warranty shouldn’t just be neglected.

8. Price

Being a parent means following a budget. This is one way of making sure you’re able to provide for your kids’ needs while giving some of their wants, too. The same should also be said when buying ride on cars for kids. You should come up with a budget and stick to it. The price you’re going to pay for this product is just as important as its functionality and safety. Besides, you don’t want to compromise all your kids’ necessities just because you bought ride on cars, right?

Ride on cars for kids would be a great gift, especially for the holidays. However, don’t forget to diligently check for details to ensure that your child is safe when riding his or her toy.

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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