Once you buy your first RC car, the next challenge is finding a good place to drive it. Most new drivers don’t stop to ask where they can legally drive their RC car.
Are there any restrictions on RC cars? Are there places where it is always legal to drive an RC car?
Besides dedicated RC racetracks and public parks, you can legally drive your RC car on private property, as long as you have the owner’s permission. Parks, BMX parks, and skate parks are the best options because they include a wide variety of ideal surfaces for RC cars.
Many RC cars can hit speeds of 70 mph or higher. Even lower-powered cars can be challenging for beginners to control. That means you need to carefully choose where you drive your RC car.
This article will help you determine where they can be used safely and legally.
Where Is It Legal To Drive An RC Car?
You used to be able to legally use radio-controlled cars.
Back in the ’80s, when I bought my first RC car, there were no limitations.
But, as these vehicles became bigger and faster, laws were introduced to govern where you could, and couldn’t, use them.
High-powered RC cars are too fast for use on public roads and dangerous around vehicles.
Most schools and malls have banned RC cars from parking lots, and noise restrictions force nitro-powered RC cars out of populated areas.
Most people don’t have a yard large enough to get their RC car up to full speed.
Many RC car owners wonder where they can take their cars out legally and safely with all those restrictions.
The good news is that there are several legal locations for RC cars where there are almost no limitations whatsoever.
Here are some of my favorite places to legally push the limits of your RC car without any repercussions.
The safest place for driving an RC car is on private property, so long as you have permission from the owner. If you own the property yourself, all the better.
As long as you have permission, private property is perfectly legal for driving RC cars. You could even set up a dedicated track area, complete with ramps, jumps, or corners.
Private property includes driveways, parking garages, empty land, dirt tracks, farms, smallholdings, and parking lots.
Even with permission from the landowner, the only issues you may encounter are noise restrictions depending on the area. However, this should only be an issue if you run a Nitro-powered RC car. Electric RC cars are quiet enough to be run in any environment.
Obtaining permission from landowners to drive an RC car is easy. Most people are willing to permit you onto the property so long as you do not cause any damage.
I’ve found that most property-owners would rather have you be upfront and ask for permission rather than trespassing. It doesn’t guarantee they’ll say yes, but your chances are much higher than if you didn’t.
Unfortunately, they’re getting harder to find, but your local RC racetrack is the best place to take an RC car for a spin. Most major cities have at least one RC track available. You can use the track by yourself or even find races to compete against other drivers for a small fee.
These tracks often include several different racing circuits with ramps, jumps, different terrain, and other obstacles so you can safely run your RC car.
The facilities often include open paved areas for drag races, burnouts, and freestyle driving. Many have carpeted drift tracks or smaller scale tracks for MINI-Z cars.
Driving your RC car at an RC track is perfectly legal since that’s what it was designed for.
As long as you adhere to the rules and regulations of the facility, you shouldn’t have any problems. Not even regular noise restrictions apply at RC tracks, so all scales and types of RC cars are welcome here.
However, not every metropolitan or town has an RC track, so this may not be an option depending on where you live. As I mentioned, RC tracks are getting harder and harder to find.
Even though I live in a major city, two of our local RC tracks closed in the last few years. Now, the closest track to me is almost an hour away.
Public parks are ideal for driving an RC car, as long as they haven’t explicitly prohibited RC vehicles.
Unfortunately, some parks don’t allow RC vehicles, while others permit RC cars only within certain hours.
Most large public parks have trails, open areas of land, dirt tracks, and even wooded areas ideal for off-road RC driving. Still, some strict guidelines and restrictions must be adhered to.
It’s crucial to follow the facility’s rules and respect other people. After all, it’s probably not a good idea to drive your RC car through kids playing soccer or couples trying to have a romantic picnic.
Any public parks classified as protected areas or wildlife preserves are off-limits for driving RC cars. Here in Florida, we have many public spaces available, but only if you don’t disturb the ecosystem. Depending on the area, driving your RC car in these areas would probably result in fines or even jail time.
All things considered, the best place to drive your RC car is on private property, as long as you have the owner’s permission. This could include open land, parking facilities, tracks, driveways, wooded areas, or even off-road courses.
Take your time to find an ideal location for driving your RC car and get permission from the property owner. That will give you the space you need to run your vehicle to its limits.
If you can’t find any private locations, you may need to look for a local RC track, even if it’s a bit of a drive to get there.