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The Best Electric Cars For Kids: Teach Your Children To Drive Young

Nothing sets a kid free like the whine of an electric motor and 12V battery hard at work.

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One of the most cherished memories from many of our childhoods is likely the day we got our first ride-on car. It could have been a Jeep or a toy dump truck, but nothing sets a kid free like the (slow) wind in their hair and an age-appropriate jam on the radio. Today’s ride-on electric cars feature audio systems and realistic working features such as headlights and digital displays.

You could be jealous of the new-fangled toys and avoid buying one, or you can indulge your kid’s inner gearhead with a shiny new ride-on car. We’ve gathered our favorites from around the internet to help get you started down the right path.

Summary List

Our Methodology

Many of The Drive’s editors have kids, and many of us have been through the grinder buying, troubleshooting, and ultimately scrapping cars that don’t work. We scoured the internet to find the electric kiddie cars that offer the best mix of features, value, durability, and fun. Keep in mind that there’s a huge range of prices out there, and you get what you pay for. Our research covered weight and battery capacities, and yours should, too.

If your kids are older than eight, it might be time to consider a more serious toy, such as a small ATV or dirt bike. Just remember to keep your eyes on the action to prevent injury. Check out The Drive’s Gear About page for more information. 

Best Electric Car for Kids: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: McLaren 720S 12V Ride-On Car

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Unless your kids have a very lucrative source of income that you’re not aware of, this electric McLaren 720S is likely as close as you’ll ever get to the real thing. The car is licensed by the automaker, which means it’s a reasonably close facsimile of the $299,000 British supercar. Your kids can get practice yelling at valets at the Hotel Bel-Air through the car’s “billionaire doors,” and the included music connections mean you can jam along to the Encanto soundtrack even when you’re nowhere near a stereo.

One downside here is that the McLaren is more expensive than most of its rivals, which fits with its real-life namesake’s price tag. That said, your kids will enjoy a nicer interior and cool folding doors in the McLaren. It’s also available in five supercar-ready colors that include purple, white, red, orange, and black.

Best Value: Power Wheels Dune Racer

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Remember when you got your first Power Wheels Jeep and immediately got stuck in a small patch of grass near your driveway? If you want to avoid popping a vein in your forehead like your dad did so many years ago, the Power Wheels Dune Racer Extreme Green Ride On may be your ticket. It’s got beefy tires and a traction system designed to get your kids into and out of trouble without much effort from you. It also has two forward speeds of 2.5 and 5 mph, up to 5 mph in reverse, and a secret storage compartment under the hood. The open cockpit design seats two kids with a combined weight of up to 130 pounds, and the steel frame offers side bars for support and grip.

The Power Wheels Dune Racer features bold styling that may be more appealing to some kids. It’s also worth noting that 5 mph sounds like nothing to anyone that has driven a real car, but it can feel like warp speed to a kid whose most intense wheeled experiences came from your half-hearted attempts with the jogging stroller.

Honorable Mention: Licensed Land Rover Ride-On Toy Car

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If you’re staying away from buying a real Land Rover because you think they’re unreliable and too expensive, this kids ride-along toy can get you close to the real thing without much risk to your wallet or dignity—though you won’t be riding in it if you weigh more than 128 pounds. On the upside, your kids can enjoy the ride with seating for two, working LED headlights, an auxiliary audio input, and a working horn. There’s plenty of ground clearance to keep the kiddos from being beached, but the car’s plastic tire design isn’t the most rugged. 

Though it looks like a real-deal off-roader, the Land Rover ride-on car can’t manage terrain. A small rubber strip is all that makes contact with the ground, so the beefy looking tires aren’t functional, and many report that the rubber wears too quickly, leaving just the hard plastic for the Land Rover to roll on.

Honorable Mention: Two-Seater Ride-On Kids Car

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Many of us had electric Jeeps growing up, but this non-licensed “Wrangler” is far better than anything we had as kids. It’s available in several colors and features a weight capacity of up to 100 pounds. There’s LED lights, a horn, an FM stereo, and more. If you’re worried about things getting too rowdy in the ride-on, the vehicle comes with a remote control that lets you take control if the situation goes sideways. The Jeep features nice leather seats and foam rubber tires that let it bite and grip on slick grass and other obstacles your would-be off-roaders will encounter.

Though it can tote up to 100 pounds, the two-seater isn’t the most spacious inside. Many report that only one kid can ride comfortably, and it’s worth noting that some kids may be too tall for the car because of the roll bar over top. The good news is that the interior is nice and the vehicle provides real traction, which is a big bonus. 

Managing Editor Jonathon Klein’s children have this one and he can attest to its fun and efficacy in turning them into car fanatics. That said, the instructions aren’t great and the front bash bar will crack if they repeatedly run into things. 

Honorable Mention: Kid Motorz Two-Seater Fire Engine Ride-On

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Firefighters are near godlike people to young children, and many kids fancy the idea of becoming one when they grow up. In the meantime, you can satisfy their appetite for disaster with this ride-on fire truck. It features a working hose with a 1.5-liter tank that can shoot water up to four feet, and your neighbors will love the flashing lights and working megaphone. The fire truck features two forward speeds and one reverse gear, and can handle up to 130 pounds of combined weight in its two seats. 

The bad news here is that, when your kids wear out the battery shouting about imaginary emergencies through the microphone, it’ll take you at least 12 hours to recharge the truck, and the initial charge can take up to 18 hours to get a good battery level. There’s also the fact that the 1.5-liter tank isn’t up to the task of anything more intense than a one-alarm fire. If you are the sort that gets annoyed with constant assistance requests from your kids, this may not be the toy for you.

Honorable Mention: Power Wheels Barbie Jeep

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The one, the only, the original. The Power Wheels Jeep comes in many flavors, and is so ubiquitous in the world of ride-on toys that grown-ups have gotten into racing them. Before you go yanking your kids’ toy apart, remember that you spend a few hundred dollars on it, and taking it away will likely cause more than a few hundred therapy dollars worth of damage to your relationship with your kids. In any case, Power Wheels built in two forward speeds and a reverse gear here, and there’s a useful storage spot behind the seats for your kids to stash gear on the go. Up to 130 pounds of kid can ride in the Jeep, though its hard tires may struggle to find grip when it’s fully loaded.

If your child isn’t into Barbie or wants a different color, it’s easy to find the Jeep in different colors or with different character themes. There have been G.I. Joe Jeeps, Frozen (the Disney movie) Jeeps, and more. They function the same and feature most of the same specs.

Honorable Mention: Tobbi-Toys 12V Electric Ride-On Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster

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You and I had bedroom posters to foster our unhealthy desire for cars we’ll never afford, but your kids can have a real, moving electric toy to do the same thing. This car, based on the Mercedes-AMG GT, has a modest weight capacity of 88 pounds, but its two-seater configuration is comfy for most 3-6 year-old kids. The car offers two forward speeds of up to 3.73 mph and a reverse gear. There’s also a soft-start function that will keep your lead-footed kids out of the burnout zone, and several music inputs will help keep everyone entertained. The car features a handle for easy carrying, and its light weight makes it a breeze to move from one place to another.

This car’s weight limit makes it ideal for single kids, though it’s possible to squeeze two into the 88-pound capacity. It’s also important to note that even smaller kids can have trouble using the doors on this Mercedes, because they are small and sometimes difficult to open.

Our Verdict on the Best Electric Cars for Kids

It’s possible to find a kids’ electric car shaped like almost any vehicle you can think of, but we think the licensed products are the best way to go if your kid desires a faux-supercar or off-roader. That’s why we settled on the McLaren 720S 12V Ride-On Car as our top pick. 

At the same time, brands like Power Wheels offer high-quality ride-on cars with innovative features that make them less frustrating for parents and more fun for kids. The Power Wheels Dune Racer is a great example of quality and usability, as it’s capable of rolling off a paved surface and moving under its own power. No more chasing the kids around in the grass when they get stuck.  

What to Consider When Buying Electric Cars for Kids

Electric Cars for Kids Key Features

Buying a car for your kid is a lot less complicated than buying one for yourself. That said, there are still plenty of things you need to be aware of, some of which will help you as much as they will make the experience more enjoyable for your kids. You don’t want to be fixing or charging the car every few hours and your children will be happier if they can ride without your help, so remember these things when shopping for an electric car for your kids.

Battery Life

We’re not talking about range or anything related to the talking points on road-going EVs here. We’re talking about how long your kid can putz around in their electric car before you have to calmly try to explain how electricity works while they have a meltdown over the car not working any more. Most kids ride-on cars provide at least a solid hour of riding before the battery drains, but on the other hand, most also take at least 12 hours or so to recharge. You can buy spare batteries and keep them on hand for longer riding sessions, but plan ahead to charge.

Drive Capability and Features 

We’re assuming you’re not buying the electric car to train your kids on rally driving or serious off-roading, but you’ll still want to find a car that offers at least a little off-pavement capability. 

Rubber tires or knobby wheels/tires can help your kids pilot the car back onto a paved surface when they inevitably roll off the driveway, and will prevent you needing to play tow truck every time.

Seating and Capacity

Two seats are a good idea if you have more than one kid or if there are kids in the neighborhood. Everyone wants to drive, but nobody wants to do it alone. Weight capacity is important here, too, because two seats are meaningless if the car can’t hold your kids’ combined weight.

Kids Electric Car Pricing 

It’s easy to find several cheap electric kids ride-on cars, but like almost everything else, you get what you pay for. Cheap cars in the $100-$150 range may not offer the best weight and battery capacities and likely skip out on niceties such as grippy tires and wheels or comfy seats. The $300-$400 range seems to be the sweet spot, and is the price point where you’ll find licensed cars and name-brand manufacturers such as Power Wheels.


You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!

Q: What’s a good age to get my kid an electric ride-on?

A: Manufacturers give a good age range for their products, but it doesn’t mean much if your child isn’t ready to pilot the thing. Your daughter or son needs to be able to follow verbal directions and understand commands such as “stop,” “turn,” and “brake.”

Q: Are any ride-on cars made for older kids?

A: Sure there are, but at a certain point your thoughts should be turning to a beginner-level ATV or bike. Electric ride-on cars for older kids are more expensive and more complicated, and may require more involvement and supervision from you, the parent, to prevent injury or property damage.

Q: Are battery-powered cars safe for kids?

A: Safety depends on a lot of factors, including you as the supervising adult. That said, most electric ride-on cars are limited to extremely low speeds to prevent severe collisions. Rollovers and the risk of someone falling out are always a possibility, but good supervision goes a long way toward preventing such accidents.


Chris Teague


After working in the technology and software industry for several years, Chris Teague began writing as a way to help people outside of that world understand the sometimes very technical work that goes on behind the scenes. With a lifelong love of all things automotive, he turned his attention to writing new vehicle reviews, detailing industry trends, and breaking news. Along the way, he earned an MBA with a focus on data analysis that has helped him gain a strong understanding of why the auto industry’s biggest companies make the decisions they do.