Red RC car closeup on dirt ground

What You Need to Know About RC Car Scale Sizes and How They Work

RC cars make one of the most fun childhood experiences — they are like cheat codes for family bonding during an outdoor game. Get the right one, and you can transform dull, lifeless outdoor activity into a strong family-bonding time between siblings, parents, and other children.

The only problem, though?

If you aren't an experienced RC player, it's difficult to understand the scales used in RC cars and how they affect performance. Understanding RC scales can be an intimidating task. For instance, RC-8 is a 1:8 scale, yet an RC-8 Rock Crawler appears bigger than an RC-8 sonic car. Establishing the relationship between RC scales and RC car size seems to be an excruciating job. 

For that reason, we're going to discuss RC car scales in finer detail to help you make a more informed decision when buying an RC car. Let's start with the basics.

What Are RC Car Scales?

An RC car scale is the size of the radio-controlled car's model compared to the actual vehicle. 

Manufacturers make remote control cars with specific scales to indicate the size of an RC car compared to the actual vehicle in real life.

For instance, the Rango RC Rock Crawler is made by extracting the design of a real Rock Crawler. Then, the manufacturer might create several versions of the RC in different scales. A 1:8 scale means the RC car is eight times smaller than the real Rock Crawler. Similarly, a 1:10 scale means the RC Rock Crawler is ten times smaller than the actual vehicle.

This begs the question:

Why Do RC Cars Have Scales?

Nearly all remote-controlled vehicles come in scale to indicate how small an RC car compares with the actual vehicle. In other words, the manufacturer indicates the scale to let you know about the size of the RC car you want to buy.

RC car scales are integral in determining how small or big an RC car is before purchasing one. For that reason, you can make an informed decision when choosing an RC car that you or your child will enjoy playing with an RC car racing.

How Do Manufacturers Make and Design RC Cars?

Manufacturers make RC cars by creating replicas of real vehicles, both in design and features. If you take a keen look at an RC sonic car, you will notice its features and design are the same as the official Sonic car —  with every small detail.

RC cars are not only smaller in size. The design, features, details, and performance are virtually similar to an actual full-size vehicle. As a result, lots of people — even adults — enjoy the thrill of playing with remote-controlled cars.

What Are the Different RC Scales Available to Choose From?

RC Car Scale Sizes

If you're new to the world of RC vehicles, looking to buy an RC car, it's easy to wonder about the various RC vehicle scales available in the market. You'll note that RC cars come in different scales, such as:

  • 1:6
  • 1:8
  • 1:10
  • 1:12 
  • 1:16
  • 1:18
  • 1:20
  • 1:64

A 1:8 scale RC car means that the RC car is eight times smaller than the real full-size car. Consequently, a 1:8 scale RC vehicle is bigger than a 1:10 scale RC car, which is 10 times smaller than its original model.

One more confusing thing is the difference in sizes in the same scale RC vehicles, but let's clear the clutter right now.

Why Is There a Difference in the Same Scale RC Vehicles?

The size of the vehicle you buy hugely depends on the RC car scale you choose. However, there will be minor variance in the actual size between two RC cars with the same scale because their models are from different vehicles.

Different types of vehicles have different RC vehicle models even when the scale is the same. To understand better, consider a jeep and a car in the real world. The two vehicles differ in size, and so their RC model sizes will differ.

A 1:8 scale RC jeep and a 1:8 RC car will have different dimensions. Similarly, a 1:10 truck is bigger than a 1:10 buggy.  For that reason, two RC vehicles may have different sizes even if they share the same scale.

What Is the Average Size of an RC Car Based on the Scales?

At its core, the size of an RC car depends on its scale. However, many remote-controlled vehicles of the same scale may have slight differences in dimension because of varying car types. In other words, the size of a 1:8 RC Lamborghini may vary slightly from 1:8 Pocket Racer.

However, here are approximate measurements you should expect:

  • 1:8 scale RC Car dimension ranges between 18-24 inches
  • 1:10 Scale RC Car dimension ranges between 19-21 inches
  • 1:12 Scale RC Car dimension ranges between 15 -17 inches
  • 1:16 Scale RC Car dimension ranges between 12-14 inches
  • 1:24 Scale RC Car dimension ranges between 5-8 inches
  • 1:43 Scale RC Car dimension ranges between 2.5 -5 inches
  • 1:64 Scale RC Car dimension ranges between 2-4 inches

While the above sizes of RC cars on their scale give you a rough estimate of the size you'll get, you should check the size dimension before buying. After all, the actual size will stem down to the type of RC car you want.

How Do You Choose a Perfect Size RC Car?

There isn't a one-size-fits-all RC car. Your best shot is with an RC car that meets all your needs and suits the task you're buying it for.

However, if you're just a beginner, the most common size in the world of remote control cars' are 1:8, 1:10, and 1:12. While they're slightly different, you can't go wrong with any of the three sizes.

Don't be limited, though. Manufacturers make various scales and sizes from 1:5 up to 1:64 to suit different preferences, budgets, and requirements.

4 Facts to Remember About RC Car Scales

Manufacturers make RC cars on different scales that compare remote control cars to real cars. Here's a recap of what you should remember:

  • RC cars have scales to check how small or big the remote control car compares to the real one.
  • RC cars are not only miniatures of the real models, but they entail every small detail the real car has.
  • Two RC cars can be on the same scale but differ in size because they are models of different types of cars.
  • The most common scale in the RC car world is 1:8.