There are two different types of RC vehicles that are available for new potential owners to purchase. The first is RTR (Ready To Run) and Build Your Own kits. Knowing the difference between the two will help a potential owner determine whether or not they should go with a certain kit, and what could be expected of that kit later on down the line. The two different kits will play into a few different factors, such as development time, tuning opportunities, experience level barriers, etc. Without further ado, let’s break down the difference between the two kits.

What is a Ready To Run (RTR) kit?

An RTR (Ready To Run) RC vehicle kit is one that is great for individuals looking to plug and play. This means that after purchasing the RC vehicle, the only extra work that is required is to unpack the box, pull out the RC vehicle, charge it for a full charge, and begin zipping around. Unlike the Build Your Own RC vehicle kits, no extra developmental time is necessary.

These vehicles come tuned out of the box from the developers, and offer additional tuning options, but aren’t as capable of many tuning changes as Build Your Own kits.

NoteSome RTR car need batteries and chargers to be brought separately

What is a Build Your Own RC Vehicle Kit?

Build cars

This type of RC vehicle kit is exactly what it says in the product description, you build your own RC vehicle with the tools, features, and accessories provided. This is usually a tedious process and is rather difficult for individuals with little to no experience, as there are fine measurements and procedures that need to be observed when building an RC vehicle.

Due to the fact that these kits have to be constructed from the ground up, prospective owners get to modify and tune their RC vehicle to their exact usage pattern and specifications, which RTR kits don’t provide.

What Level of Difficulty Does Each Kit Present?

RTR kits are for individuals with any experience level. Beginners tend to go for RTR kits because they would like to purchase their remote controlled vehicle and drive it around without having to worry or spend extra time on the table building the kit to their exact specifications. RTR kits require the least amount of maintenance time, as their components are engineered straight from the manufacturer and don’t require any additional time to piece the parts together for optimal performance. In addition, the tuning has already been done, so owners don’t have to worry about looking up complex algorithms to get the best ride.

Build Your Own kits are recommended for prospective owners who already have some remote controlled vehicle experience. These individuals know their way around an existing RC vehicle and are interested in building their own vehicle, fine tuning it down to the smallest details, and aren’t afraid of putting in a little elbow grease in order to get the most performance out of the RC vehicle.

What Is The Price Difference Between The Two Types of RC Vehicles?


On average, it is typically more expensive to purchase a Build Your Own kit than an RTR RC vehicle kit. While most would think that the opposite is true due to the fact that manufacturer spends the time to piece the vehicle together and that they would factor it into the cost, it is another element that actually separates the two categories in price – modifications. While RTR kits are much cheaper and affordable in comparison to build your own kits, owners end up paying a more expensive premium when they wish to purchase additional accessories to fine tune their RTR kits. Build your own kits have much greater flexibility with the parts and assembly of the RC vehicle that don’t require owners to purchase additional accessories to make fine tuning the RC vehicle a possibility.

In fact, when experienced owners are asked, they often tell beginners to get a build your own kit because of the fact that you typically spend less money having to buy additional modification accessories in the long run.

What Are The Advantages vs Disadvantages for Both Kits?

RTR Ready to run 


  • Get To Use Right Out of the Box
  • Doesn’t Require Additional Work To Get Started
  • More Affordable Option
  • Great For All Experience Levels
  • Less Maintenance Is Required


  • Fine Tuning Options Are Limited
  • Additional Accessories Are Required To Fine Tune
  • Additional Parts Are Needed To Increase Performance
  • Most Companies Advertise Speeds, and Then Say In Fine Print That Speeds Can Only Be Obtained With Additional Tuning
  • Don’t Understand Inner-Workings of RC Vehicle
  • Cannot Do Maintenance Quickly

Built Your Own Kits


  • Understand The Inner Workings of Your RC Vehicle So You Can Do Your Own Maintenance and Repairs
  • Fine Tuning Options Are Unlimited
  • Additional Parts Are Unnecessary To Increase Performance
  • Peak Speeds and Performance Are Capable From Manufacturer’s Marketing


  • More Expensive
  • Caters Towards Experienced Owners
  • Requires Hours of Assembly


As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages to the two different options that a prospective owner will have to consider when deciding to go with a Ready To Run (RTR) or Build Your Own RC vehicle kit. For individuals looking to enjoy their RC vehicle with little experience required, getting an RTR is recommended. For individuals who are willing to spend the extra time assembling, getting to know the parts and inner workings of their RC vehicle, with limitless tuning available, Build Your Own kits are recommended.