Choosing an age appropriate ride-on car for your child is a pivotal decision. To maximise the fun levels and provide a safe experience, parents must consider their child’s size, skill level and age, as well as the car’s power levels and features. This guide provides parents with all they need to know to make the right purchase decision.
What’s in this guide
Can a 1-2-Year-Old Child Drive an Electric Car?
Although some electrically powered cars are suitable for children aged one and two-year-olds, we recommend that parents of kids in this age range opt for a push-along foot-to-floor car.
One and two-year-olds are generally yet to develop a proper sense of balance and fine motor skills, meaning an electrically powered car might be challenging to control. Introducing them to a push-along vehicle allows them to build both confidence and ability, adequately preparing them for a battery-powered ride-on.
Which Ride-On Cars are Suitable for 3-6-Year Old Children?
Most battery-powered ride-on toys are suitable for children aged three to six years old. For children around three years old, we would recommend 6v cars, which are less powerful, giving them a lower max speed, smaller and more manageable for younger children.
They are only suitable for indoor operation on generally flat surfaces, providing a safer environment for your three-year-old to develop their driving skills. 6-volt cars are also a little kinder on your wallet; in the unlikely event your child doesn’t enjoy the driving experience, your initial investment is a little less than it would have been if you opted for a 12-volt vehicle.
When your child reaches the age of four onwards, it’s time to upgrade to a 12v ride-on. The twelve-volt battery is the most common on the market. It provides a good balance of power, so it’s not so powerful that your little one can’t control it, but powerful enough to provide a fun driving experience and smooth ride for the average 4-6-year old.
12v cars also allow children to put their driving skills to the test outdoors, as most cars in this power bracket can provide a suitable driving adventure on relatively flat surfaces.
Is there a Ride-On Car for 6-10-Year-Old Kids?
It’s time to put the pedal to the metal! If you’re looking for a car for a child over the age of six, you need to be giving serious consideration to a 24-volt vehicle. These ride-on monsters are driven by not one but two energy-efficient 12v batteries, boast a more powerful electric motor and are larger than their 12-volt counterparts.
24v cars come in all shapes and sizes, including SUVs, 4x4s, jeeps and supercars; they generally consist of two seats (or a bigger single seat), meaning your little one can bring a friend along for double the driving pleasure. These cars generally have a higher maximum weight capacity, making them suitable for bigger kids.
6-10-year olds will generally have good motor skills, a sense of coordination, and a bit more common sense than younger children. This means they will be better suited for the higher speeds and challenging terrains provided by a 24-volt riding experience.
For parents with a competitive streak, it’s worth remembering that the fastest kid’s electric ride-on is a 24v car! So if you are looking for a vehicle that ramps up the excitement levels for you and your little one, cars within this power bracket tick all the boxes.
When your child reaches the age of 10 and above, they may outgrow their 24-volt ride-on. If they want to continue their driving career, it may be time to consider a petrol ride-on car, quad bike or motorbike.
In short, for children aged between one and two, you should consider starting their driving career with a manual push-along car. Once they reach three years old, it’s time to look at a 6-volt electric car. 12v cars are the next step and are suitable for kids aged between four and six. After that, it’s time to upgrade; 24-volt ride-on cars provide kids aged between six and ten with the perfect amount of fun, thrills and speed. If your little one still has a thirst for the ride-on experience after ten, give some serious thought to a petrol-powered vehicle.