The 8 Best Toy Cars for Kids to Buy in 2018

These fun vehicles offer hours of entertainment

Cute little boy, playing with toy cars at home
Tatyana Tomsickova Photography / Getty Images

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When it comes to things that go vroom, there are a ton of toy cars for kids to race, crash, smash and rebuild. They’re a hit with all ages from the earliest years when they push them on hands and knees to more sophisticated models for tweens and teens.

Whether they’re eco-friendly, ones that kids can build themselves or even those designed just for girls, there are a variety of choices to drive home the fun for anyone on your list.  For the best things on four wheels, here are eight great toy cars and trucks for kids.

  • 01 of 08

    Best for Toddlers: Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Stand 'n Play Playset

    On your mark, get set, toddlers will go, go, go with this fun racing set from Fisher-Price. Not only does it come with two Wheelies vehicles —a sports car and a race car — which are a lot of fun on their own, but it comes with a rampway for tons of twisting, turning racing adventures. Standing just over two feet tall, it’s the perfect size for toddlers (recommended for ages 18 months to 6 years) to stand and play and for older kids to sit and race.

    To further fuel the action there are tunnels, a moveable elevator and a car lift. Honking, cheering, gas-guzzling sounds set the scene, and they’re off! A bonus DVD, “Eddie and the Mystery Driver” is also included with this set to offer even more inspiration.

  • 02 of 08

    Best for Girls: Jada Toys GIRLMAZING Big Foot Jeep R/C Vehicle (1:16 Scale)

    Jada Toys GirlMazing 1/16 Scale Remote Control Pink Jeep
    Courtesy of Walmart

    For a little girl power behind the wheel, this stylish, pink, radio-control Jeep from GirlMazing is perfect. It sports big wheels, an open top and many realistic details of areal 2014 Jeep Wrangler. While the pink is pretty, this ride is full of power too. It can go forward, backward, left and right, and give dolls and action figures a zippy little ride.

    It comes with 20 stickers so kids can deck it out according to their own desire. It runs on four AA batteries and one 9V battery, which aren’t included. Recommended for ages six and up, girls will give boys a run for their money in this vehicle. Heck, the boys just may want to take a turn in the driver’s seat of this sweet ride as well.

  • 03 of 08

    Best Build Your Own Younger: Take Apart Toy Racing Car Kit For Kids Set

    The only thing more fun than racing cars may be taking them apart and building them again. This car kit lets kids do it all. It includes 30 parts, as well as a drill, screws and even the required batteries, so the fun can begin right out of the box. The car has working lights and makes realistic sounds for lots of racing fun when it’s together. When they’re ready to get to work, kids can take it apart and rebuild as many times as they want.

    Recommended for ages three and up, little mechanics can be just like daddy (or mommy!), tinkering with their own car. It’s great not only for pretend play, but also for building important motor and problem-solving skills.

  • 04 of 08

    Best Build Your Own Car for Older Kids: Meccano 4x4 Off-Road Truck Building Set

    For older kids, this off-road truck model building set offers a bigger mechanical challenge. With 443 parts, it lets kids build one of 25 vehicles for which directions are given, or they can chart their own course and build one of their own creative concoctions. They can then take them apart and build them again over and over.

    These aren’t just vehicles you build to sit on a shelf either. Instead, they’re real, working vehicles with motorized, four-wheel drive rotating wheels and doors and that open. The set includes real tools and a motor, but you will have to purchase four AA batteries separately. Designed for kids ages 9 to 11, this set is as fun as it is educational as they learn important STEM skills while they play.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Classic: Hot Wheels Basic Car 50-Pack

    No kid’s car collection would be complete without some Hot Wheels. These zippy little cars have been a staple of racing fun for decades, and this set comes with 50 — yep, count ‘em, 50 — Hot Wheels vehicles in one pack. There are classic models, new versions and every type of vehicle from roaders to racecars. Traffic alert!

    It’s a great way to start a collection for a kid or absolutely blow away someone who has already started theirs. Designed for kids ages three and up, each car is also individually wrapped in case you want to split the haul between more than one kid or dole them out over time.

  • 06 of 08

    Pullback Cars: Pull Back Vehicles

    Pull-back vehicles add a whole new element to the racing scene, and this 12-pack of them pulls no punches when it comes to fun. You simply pull them back, and off they go for a zipping, smashing, crashing a good time.

    There are six cars as well as six construction vehicles in the set, including bulldozers and dump trucks with working parts. Each is made of brightly colored plastic and is about 2.5" long, just the perfect size for little fingers. They’re great for playdates, parties and anytime the need for speed sets in. Designed for kids ages three and up, they can be used indoors or out for fun no matter what.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Monster Trucks: Joyin Toy 6 Pack Monster Truck Vehicles Playset

    When big fun is in order, it’s time to call in the monsters — monster trucks, that is. This pack of six monster trucks is rough, tough and ready to rumble. Not only do they each come with the requisite oversized tires, but they also look like real monsters. There’s Shark, Python, Crocodile, Skeleton, Monkey and Wild Horse. Who will win the race? Kids will have a blast finding out which is most ferocious on the race course.

    Each truck is about 5.5"long, and ready to roll. They’re friction-powered too, meaning a small push forward will send them soaring across the ground. Recommended for kids ages three and up, these monsters are tough, but they don’t bite.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Bumper Cars: Little Tikes® RC Bumper Cars Set of 2

    Little Tikes® RC Bumper Cars Set of 2
    Courtesy of Target

    For all the crashing, smashing fun, nothing beats bumper cars. You’re actually supposed to crash them into one another. What can be better than that? This set from Little Tikes comes with two cars — one red and one blue — as well as matching remote controls and drivers. Even better, each set is equipped with an ejector button that launches the driver out of the car when the car is hit. Whoever sends the other driver soaring through the air first is the winner!

    Designed for kids ages three and up, the remotes are easy-to-steer and designed for little hands. The cars do require 10 AAA batteries in all (three for each car and two for each remote), so you may want to buy them in bulk.