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Which is the best 12V ride-on toy?

Twelve-volt ride-on toys are battery-powered miniature versions of full-size vehicles for kids to ride on. They have metal frames and plastic bodies and are offered in your choice of luxury cars, off road vehicles, ATVs, quads, trucks, Jeeps, tractors and more. Most 12V ride-on toys are made for one, but some are built for a driver and passenger to ride side-by-side.

If you are looking for a side-by-side ride-on toy with a 130-pound carrying capacity, take a look at the Peg Perego Polaris RZR 900 Camo. Parents love the top speed lockout that limits the vehicle’s speed until kids have learned to operate it safely.

What to know before you buy a 12V ride-on toy

The V stands for volts, a measure of a battery’s electric power. Batteries drive the motors in kids’ ride-on cars and come in one of three strengths. The greater the number of volts, the faster the electric car will go and the longer the battery will hold a charge. 


6V batteries are able to drive kids’ ride-on vehicles at speeds of 2-3 miles per hour. Ride-on toys powered by 6V batteries do not have enough power to handle hills and slopes and so are best for use indoors by children ages 1-3.

12V batteries have more power and are able to propel ride-on toys at speeds of 4 or 5 mph. Cars powered by 12V batteries are excellent choices for outdoor use and well suited for kids from 3-6 years old.

24V batteries are the largest that come in kids’ ride-on toys. With their greater power and higher speeds, 24V ride-on toys are the choice for kids ages 6 or older.

Run time

Manufacturers will tell you how long your ride-on toy can run on a single battery charge. A fully charged 12V battery will power your ride-on toy for anywhere from one to two hours, depending on the quality of your battery and how you use your ride-on toy. That time, called the operating range, is affected by how much power you use. When you operate a ride-on toy that has lights, a horn, engine sounds and even radios and MPs players, your battery will drain more quickly and your drive time will be greatly reduced.

Charging time

Before you use your 12V ride-on toy for the first time, you will need to charge the battery fully. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which will tell you how long you need to charge your battery the first time. This will typically be between 12-24 hours. 

What to look for in a quality 12V ride-on toy


Most ride-on toys are built with child safety in mind. Look for ride-on toys that have adjustable seat belts and automatic brakes.


Most small-sized ride-on toys have the ability to go from 2 to 5 miles per hour. Look for ride-on toys that have adjustable speeds and speed limiters that can be set by parents.

How much you can expect to spend on 12V ride-on toy

Basic single-seat 12V ride-on toys start at around $200. Side-by-sides start at around $300 and go as high as $500 for licensed products with all the bells and whistles.

12V ride-on toy FAQ

Which kind of 12V is best for off-roading?

A. Ride-on toys are not made for off-roading in the traditional sense, because they don’t have the power or the ruggedness required for dealing with ruts, rocks and steep trails. If you want a ride-on toy that can operate as easily on the grass or dirt as on pavement, choose one that has a real suspension and knobby tires.

How long can you leave the 12V charger plugged in?

A. Never leave your 12V battery connected to a charger for more than 24 hours, because it will reduce your ride-on toy’s performance and can lead to permanent damage.

What’s the best 12V ride-on toy to buy?

Top 12V ride-on toy

Peg Perego Polaris RZR 900 Camo

Peg Perego Polaris RZR 900 Camo 

What you need to know: Kids ages 3-8 love this side-by-side camo ride-on with a 130-pound carrying capacity.

What you’ll love: Parents love the top speed lockout that safely limits the speeds of beginning drivers to 2.5 mph from its top speed of 5 mph. Adults also love how as soon as kids take their foot off the brake, the vehicle automatically stops. The cargo bed has tie-down anchors for hauling toys. The seats on this ride-on car adjust to accommodate your growing child.

What you should consider: The seat belts are for appearance only and not designed for safety purposes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top 12V ride-on toy for the money

Best Choice Products 12V Kids Ride-on Electric 4 Wheel ATV

Best Choice Products 12V Kids Ride-on Electric 4-Wheel ATV

What you need to know: This off-road 4-wheeler for riders up to 66 pounds is built to be tough.

What you’ll love: The four-wheel suspension and rugged knobby tires allow riders to take this ride-on toy off-road on grass and dirt. This ride-on toy has two speeds forward and two speeds in reverse, with a top speed of 3.7 mph. It comes with LED headlights, horn and built-in outlet so kids can listen to their favorite music as they drive. This ride-on toy has a run time of 1.5 hours.

What you should consider: When you climb hills, this ride-on toy uses more power and drains the battery more quickly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Uenjoy 12V Licensed Bugatti Chiron Kids Ride On Car

Uenjoy 12V Licensed Bugatti Chiron Kids Ride-On Car

What you need to know: This miniature version of a real Bugatti Chiron has two powerful 12V motors and rechargeable batteries.

What you’ll love: This ride-on toy’s safety features include a seat belt, lockable doors and a park button for the emergency brake. Parents can operate this car via remote control for little kids who think they are driving it themselves. This ride-on toy also has a manual mode where older kids can control it with the steering wheel and accelerator pedal. This Bugatti has LED lights, horn and ports for connecting USB music devices.

What you should consider: The instructions that come with this ride-on toy could have been written more clearly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them a lot of time and money.

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