Here's the scenario: Your 11 year old went to the RC races with a buddy and his dad who are really into radio controlled vehicles. Now your child is clamoring for a new RC. And he doesn't want some little truck that you pick up at Walmart for $30 or so that can maybe
make it over the curb at the edge of your yard. No, no, no. He wants one of those $500 monster trucks that can jump huge mounds of dirt in your backyard, run faster than all your cats and dogs (and maybe even keep up with your family vehicle on the highway), and that makes a lot more noise than your lawnmower. You know nothing about RC vehicles so he'd be the one putting it together, operating it, and taking care of it. Is he old enough?
How young is too young to own, operate, and care for a hobby-grade RC?
It goes without saying -- but I'm saying it anyway -- that a lot depends on the individual child. Some 8 year olds may be a lot more mature and responsible than some 17 year olds. But, if the interest is there then the child will tend to be more inclined to be a capable RC owner. And if there's already an RC owner in the family and very strong interest then the age could be much, much younger. However, in general, how young is too young to own, operate, and care for a hobby-grade RC all on their own?
View RC Age Poll Results
You'll notice that in one answer I suggested different ageas for electric and nitro. The care and maintenance of an electric RC is much less complicated than for a nitro. If the child has some experience with electric RC toys, buying a hobby-grade electric RC is a good next step if they have shown a strong interest in radio controlled vehicles. Owning a nitro RC really should be for older teens and adults (although I'll admit to knowing some adults that should stick with toy electrics).
Share your own thoughts on RC ownership.