One of the things that I had always wanted as a kid was a little toy car that I could ride around in. At that time you couldn't buy one of these cars from a shop, you had to build them yourself so you had to be a real enthusiast. The closest thing you could get was a racing cart that had a moped or lawn mower engine but they didn't really look like cars.

These days you really are spoilt for choice and there are many different models both gas and electric powered. When you see these ride on toy cars they really do look like a cartoon or caricatured version of the real thing. They really are miniature cars for kids that they can drive round in a similar way to a real car.

Should you buy a gas or electric car?

Kids cars are either gas powered or run on a rechargeable electric battery. Gas is inherently dangerous no matter how safe the manufacturers claim them to be. I wouldn't recommend or let my kids have a gas car, I just don't think it is worth the risk. Battery powered kids cars work just fine and besides there is a much greater choice of toy cars for kids to drive.

Charging a kids ride on car

Being battery powered it is going to require recharging. It can seem like a hassle having to remember to charge up the battery so that it is ready to use next time but as it is with any kids toy these days it requires batteries.

Charging is straight forward. You just plug in and leave the charger to charge overnight. It will generally take about 12 hours to run a full charge cycle to ensure the battery is at full power. If you did happen to forget and you wake up one morning to find the battery is flat then all is not lost. Most chargers have a rapid charge that will take it up to 80 percent power in just 2 hours.

Whilst the rapid charge is a handy feature you should not rely on it as the main charging method just because it is quicker. Unless you want to be replacing the battery often you need to run a full charge overnight for the full 12 hours. Running rapid charges all the time depletes the battery.

What types of cars for kids are there?

You really are spoilt for choice whether you are looking for a toy car for your toddler to drive or something for an older child. How about a classic 1930's roadster or maybe a formula 1 Ferrari. Maybe your kid is more into diggers or tractors, you can even get a Hummer.

Depending on your kids age you may want to consider a model that has parental remote control. Even though these battery ride on cars only go 5 mph they can easily get too close to the kerb or venture off into a hedge. With a remote you can help steer them in the right direction until they get the hang of driving their new car themselves.

Incidentally these electric cars can be modified or more powerful versions can be purchased that really do move. This is something to consider as your child gets older where you can take them to a park or if you have a large yard and let them really race around.

As with any activity that could potentially be dangerous it is important that they wear some protective gear. At the very lease a helmet is recommended to protect the head and face. You can get some really cool head gear that kids actually want to wear rather than some of the older type of helmet that to be honest made you look kind of geeky.