Kids toys easily get in the way, so choose ones that can stand up to the mess and stay put.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Toy Cars

From its size and weight to its safety features, choosing a toy car is a matter of considering several factors. The following section looks at these in detail.

Type

Toy cars are available in a range of different styles, sizes, weights, and drive types. They can be as simple as lightweight models that dont exceed inch in width and height or as complex as full-size vehicles with multiple decks, doors, and seats.

  • Lightweight models are the most popular type. These smaller, lightweight toys usually weigh between 1 and 3 pounds. Theyre easy to store, and their small size means they’re faster to react to an emergency.
  • Mid-size cars typically come in two parts, the front and the rear, and can vary considerably in weight from 5 to 15 pounds. They may feature a variety of interior compartments, such as a trunk or a seat for the little ones. Rear-engine cars are particularly common, which offers more protection for the back side of the vehicle.
  • Full-size cars often exceed 10 pounds in weight, so it might take a while to find one that fits in a small storage shed or garage. However, they can accommodate lots of passengers, and some have quite a bit of storage space, including large trunks, hatches, and even built-in shelving. Some also feature cupholders, which are great for keeping drinks cold.
  • Motorized toy cars offer the advantage of speed and power. Powered by either gas or electric engines, they can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour (mph).

Size and Weight

The average toy car doesnt have much of a motor, so its primarily powered by gravity. As a result, its weight tends to be a significant factor. Full-size vehicles can weigh well over 100 pounds, making them difficult to lift and move. Even lightweight models can be challenging to maneuver, especially for those without experience driving a manual transmission.

Its important to consider where the toy car will be stored and used before buying. If it will live in a garage or a shed, a lightweight model may work best. For use on a busy playground or in the driveway, a heavier vehicle could prove more stable and safer.

Interior Features

When selecting a toy car, its important to think about what kind of storage space you’ll need inside. Lightweight models tend to have the least amount of interior space, but they often feature the most storage options, including deep trunks, large hatches, and built-in shelving.

Built-in shelving is particularly useful for storing snacks, drinks, and toys. Large cupholders are another great feature to consider, as they’re often located in the center of the vehicle and can hold plenty of liquid.

Some larger toy cars also feature built-in portable battery banks for charging mobile devices. These arent always included, but if there is one, its a convenient addition.

Safety

As mentioned above, toy cars dont have to be just fun and games. In fact, some can be pretty dangerous. According to the CDC, thousands of children under age five lose their lives each year in accidents involving motorized toys.

To minimize the risks, its important to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Supervision is key. No matter how safe a toy appears, parents should never leave a child in charge of a motorized toy.
  • Be prepared. Keep the keys to your toy car(s) and any additional charges for batteries and accessories in a secure location away from the vehicle.
  • Let it brake. Apply the brakes immediately after stopping the vehicle to prevent excessive motion when restarting the engine.
  • Keep it level. Level the vehicle when possible to reduce the risk of accidental tip-overs.
  • Check it regularly. Look over the vehicle every time the driver lets go of the steering wheel to ensure it stays in good working order.

Additional Features

Many manufacturers incorporate additional features into their toy cars to make them safer and more appealing to kids. One of the most common is a reverse parking sensor, which gives the driver an audible alarm if the vehicle backs up against a wall or a solid object.

Another helpful feature is a cruise control system, which allows the user to set a specific speed and maintain that same pace regardless of whether other vehicles are passing or slowing down.