The 10 Best Go Karts for Kids

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on November 20th, 2023

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When your child is itching to get behind the wheel with years left to go till their drivers’ test, options are slim.

One way to satisfy their need for speed is a go-kart, but finding one that’s affordable, safe, and can be used safely in your available outdoor space is a serious consideration.

Whether it’s pedal-powered options for younger users or legitimate gas/electric-powered karts for bigger kids, we’ve assembled a few safe, fun go-karts worth gifting — so let’s give it a spin!

Powered go-karts: pros and cons

There are various pros and cons to take into consideration when purchasing a go-kart for a child.

How old are they? What kind of terrain will they be driving on? Will it be used by more than one child? These are just a few of the questions parents might ask.

Related: The 9 Best ATVs for Kids and Teens (2021 Reviews + FAQs)

While an electric-powered go-kart is quieter and can be driven in town, it must always be fully charged first, and the driving distance is fairly limited.

On the other hand, while a gas-powered go-kart can drive off-road for further distances, it’s much noisier and can’t be driven in town.

Both types of karts have their positive and negative points. It basically depends on how your child plans to use it, and how responsible you both intend to be.

Our top picks for the best go-karts for kids

Best overall

Our opinion

Power: Pedal-powered
Dimensions: 45.3 x 25.6 x 24.8 inches
Recommended age: 3 to 8 years
Weight limit: 150 lbs.

This pedal-powered Berg Buddy Pedal Go Kart (check price on Amazon) is ideal for kids just learning how to pedal.

It has an adjustable steering wheel, so it easily grows with your child and a BFR hub which enables the driver to come to a complete halt when they stop pedaling.

This system also has reverse backpedaling. These extra pedaling functions make for an easy-to-ride, safer go-kart.

The kart comes with pneumatic tires for a more controllable ride, and sealed bearings.

It has a powdered coated tubular steel frame for extra strength and a swing axle for a better ride on uneven ground.

What we love
  • The forward, reverse, and brake pedal functions are a great feature with this go-kart
  • Steering wheel easily adjustable as child grows
Watch for
  • The kart is heavy which could make it harder to ride for younger kids

Best off-roader

Our opinion

Power: Pedal-powered
Dimensions: 34.8 x 19.9 x 19.9 inches
Recommended age: 2 to 5 years

Small enough for children to enjoy both indoors and out, the Berg Buzzy Go-Kart Toy (check price on Amazon) can drive both forward and reverse.

It also has EVA foam-styled tires. These are lightweight, low-maintenance, tires that won’t damage floors, making them suitable for playing indoors.

This go-kart features unique BERG Buzzy decals with added Italian chic and style.

The pedals can be repositioned according to the child’s age and size, so they will grow with them without needing to be replaced.

This kart is a great choice for parents on a budget.

What we love
  • A child can ride this kart inside on rainy days, so their fun won’t be spoiled
Watch for
  • As it can be used indoors, we recommend you clear a large enough space so that nothing gets damaged during ride time

Best electric go-kart

Our opinion

Power: Gasoline-powered
Dimensions: 74.81″ x 49.22″ x 51.18″
Recommended age: 12+
Weight limit: 220 lbs

Another cool two-seater, the X-Pro Youth Dune Buggy (check price on Amazon) looks like a slick, kid-sized version of the real thing.

It’s a premium choice, featuring independent seats rather than a bench, and a roll cage that protects them in the event of an accident.

The dual top lights add some razzle-dazzle, and they’re not just for show, as both they and the headlights are operational.

Textured pneumatic rubber tires offer a smooth ride that holds up to rough terrain, and this pick comes with X-Pro gloves and secure goggles to keep kids safe and comfortable while they cruise.

What we love
  • The roll cage design is extra secure, sheltering kids in the event of a rollover accident
  • Dual shocks, an excellent suspension and textured pneumatic tires offer kids a ride that’s nice and smooth
Watch for
  • It’s gas powered, so remember to keep the tank full so they can enjoy the ride
  • Careful assembly required

Best for budget

Our opinion

Power: 350-watt electric motor
Weight limit: 120 lbs.
Recommended age: 8+
Maximum speed: 10 mph

Razor Dune Buggy (check price on Amazoncan reach speeds up to 10 miles per hour with its 350-watt electric motor.

It’s a durable kart, thanks to its tubular steel frame, and 8-inch knobby pneumatic tires allow it to tackle rough terrain with ease.

It’s also equipped with a side roll cage and seat belt for added security.

With its red frame and black base, diamond plate floorboards, and padded bucket seat, it has a classic go-kart aesthetic.

Its reduction drive is designed for off-road driving and lower torque climbing, which makes this an excellent electric go-kart for kids who seek adventure.

What we love
  • Its maximum speed is fast enough for kids to have fun, yet slow enough for safety
Watch for
  • Kids may outgrow this one faster than expected with its weight limit of 120 pounds

Best gas-powered

Our opinion

Power: Gasoline-powered
Dimensions: ‎69 x 44.5 x 24.75
Recommended age: 13+
Weight limit: 409 lbs

When they’re ready to graduate to a kart with serious speed, the TrailMaster MINI XRS (check price on Amazon) has it to spare.

This go-kart can peak at maximum speeds of over 25 miles per hour, and durable front and rear suspension combine with hydraulic disc brakes to offer kids a ride that’s both smooth and safe.

It features safety belts, which will put parents’ minds at ease during their cruises, and it’s a dual-seater, so siblings or friends can share the ride.

The seatbacks are also adjustable, helpful for growing kids who need a little more room.

What we love
  • Has two seats, which means that siblings or friends can ride together in style
  • With top speeds of over 15 mph, there’s no shortage of thrills with this pick
  • Safety belts and a utility rack offer both security and convenience
Watch for
  • Because it moves quickly, riders should be older, more experienced, and outfitted with appropriate safety gear at all times
  • It’s gasoline-powered, so keep the tank full to avoid disappointment when they’re ready to ride

Best for drifting

Our opinion

Dimensions: 41 x 28.5 x 11 inches
Weight limit: 140 lbs.
Recommended age: 8+
Maximum speed: 12 mph
Handlebar: Spark bar

The low riding Razor Ground Force Drifter Fury Ride-On (check price on Amazon) is designed for some serious road drifting.

With its race-tuned chassis, low-profile cast-aluminum wheels, steel construction, and upgraded rear axle, riders can maneuver with ease.

It has thumb-trigger acceleration control and hand-operated rear brakes. The electric-powered motor can hold a charge for up to 12 hours, and reach a speed of 12 mph.

The Drifter also has a spark bar that emits a shower of sparks from behind.

What we love
  • Kids already experienced with go-karts and looking for a way to up the ante will find this has a little something extra
Watch for
  • The child rides low to the ground (and on small wheels) so wearing appropriate safety gear is a must

Most stylish

Our opinion

Dimensions:  47.6 x 28.3 x 28.3 inches
Recommended age: 4 – 12 years

For those of you with children around the 4 to 12 range, there’s the Hauck Sirocco Racing Go Kart (check price on Amazon).

This is a pedal-powered go-kart that keeps children low to the ground to keep them from serious harm should they fall off.

The pedals also allow children to control their speed instead of riding at a set speed as they would in electronic go-karts.

The seat is ergonomically designed to help provide a more comfortable ride. Meaning more fun for longer!

What we love
  • Comes with fun graphics on the front and a great looking design for that added cool factor your child will be sure to love
Watch for
  • Durability can be an issue with this kart

Best for motion

Our opinion

Dimensions:  47.6 x 28.3 x 28.3 inches
Recommended age: 4 – 12 years
Weight limit: 120 lbs.
Maximum speed: 8 mph

If you want to give your older child something they’ll love, the Razor Crazy Cart Shift (check price on Walmart) is the way to go.

This is a thrilling ride that allows your child to accelerate up to eight miles per hour and control the cart in an almost “Fast and the Furious” manner.

It’s one of the easiest go-karts to maintain and keep fully operable. 40 minutes of battery life also gives them a fair amount of playtime.

What we love
  • Gives children full control of their motion, letting them to drive forward, backward, and diagonally with ease
  • Battery lasts up to 40 minutes allowing a long ride time
Watch for
  • Older kids might prefer more speed than this kart can give

Best pedal-powered

Our opinion

Dimensions: 44 x 21 x 22 inches
Recommended age: 4 – 8 years
Weight limit: 120 lbs.

As your child grows older, their tendency to want bigger, more complicated toys grows with them.

We’ve all had this experience as parents: explaining to them about the complications that arise when using machinery.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way — as, sometimes, the more complicated, larger toys can be surprisingly intuitive and safe, something the Hauck Batmobile Pedal Go Kart (check price on Amazon) demonstrates well.

This being a pedal go-kart, you can use it as a stepping stone to teaching your child how to ride a bike, as similar principles can be applied without having to worry about balancing it.

Plus, it’s Batman-themed, which kids adore!

What we love
  • Pedals make it easy for any kid to use
  • Begin teaching your child how to ride a bike
  • Irresistible Batman theme
Watch for
  • Being quite small, older children may find it uncomfortable

Best for safety

Our opinion

Dimensions: 25 x 46 x 15 inches
Recommended age: 3 to 7 years
Weight limit: 68.7 lbs

If you’re a parent looking for something to step up from the aforementioned Go Kart in terms of complexity, this Power Wheels Dune Racer (check price on Walmart) is for you.

By using this product, not only can your child gain their first experience of driving a motorized vehicle of sorts, but they can also bring a friend along in a passenger’s seat!

Though some might feel hesitant to give their kids a motorized toy vehicle, this product is designed to be perfectly safe and intuitive, coming with an accessible learning curve.

This makes it the safest go-kart on the market.

What we love
  • Motorized vehicle
  • Power-lock brake system
Watch for
  • Girls may not like the design

What is a go-kart?

A go-kart is essentially a small, open-air, 4-wheel vehicle designed with kids in mind. They come in a range of styles, sizes, and types, ranging from beginner to expert in terms of handling ability.

The most simple type of go-kart for kids is the simple pedal-powered version.

It relies on their strength to propel them forward, ultimately giving them speed control and making it a safe go-kart for the backyard and for exploring the neighborhood.

Depending on how brave you feel, most pedaled picks can be used inside.

They usually require less in the way of safety features – though helmets, etc., are never a bad idea – and are designed to be safe and easy for younger kids to use.

Related: The 9 Best Hoverboards for Kids in 2021

As kids grow and look for picks with a bit more oomph, it’s up to parents to choose between electric and gas-powered models.

Electric go-karts are quiet, and charging them costs far less than replenishing the gas supply of more powerful karts.

They’re also much less powerful than their gas-powered counterparts and often plagued by short drive times that require long periods of recharging.

On the flip side, gas-powered models are powerful (think real-deal 4x4s), move at top speed, can handle rough terrain, and run for longer periods of time than electric karts.

That said, gas isn’t cheap, and karts this powerful require serious safety gear, knowledge, and (preferably) previous experience with less intense go-karts.

A child rides a go-kart

What to consider when buying a go-kart

1. Pedal powered or gas/electric

As we’ve established, pedaled karts are the best picks by far for tots. They’re ideal from around the age of three when toddlers begin to pedal and develop the strength to use safe bikes.

Since kids control the speed with no motors involved, they’re far less likely to injure themselves, while the risk of tipping is minimal on smaller pedaled karts, making them safer for little riders.

Electric go-karts add some actual power to the riding experience. They’re not as tame as their pedaled counterparts, often offering speeds up to 10 mph.

This means that, while more powerful than younger kids’ karts, safety gear will seriously minimize safety risks.

Electric go-karts tend to have quiet motors, making them less of a nuisance in public places than gas-fuelled ones.

They’re an excellent intermediate step between pedaled karts and the more powerful gas go-karts, thus offering kids the experience of discovering that combination of speed, motion, and vehicle control.

Gas go-karts are the final evolution when it comes to go-karts for older kids and adults.

While they’re typically designed for older users, some picks are safe for younger proteges whose parents feel confident in their abilities.

Speed varies by model, and it’s not unusual for them to exceed the 20 – 25 mph range, so safety gear becomes absolutely essential.

Helmets, elbow, and knee pads are all wise investments to pair with a gas go-kart, which offers far more off-road capability than its less powerful counterparts.

Related: The 6 Best Kids Wagons to Buy in 2021

2. One or two seats

Is there more than one child in the home? If yes and you have no plans to purchase a second go-kart, then you should consider going for a 2-seater.

This could work if there’s an older child who can safely drive the kart while a younger sibling enjoys riding as the passenger.

Another thought to consider when deciding between a one or two-seater is your child’s friends.

I can’t remember how many times my children have invited friends over for the weekend to see them having to share toys or take turns.

If you have a two-seater then you can easily accommodate them both. They’ll both enjoy the ride with their only dilemma possibly being who gets to drive next!

3. On-road or off-road

For most kids, having their own go-kart means one thing — a chance to go off-roading. Gas-powered go-karts are an excellent choice for exploring rougher terrain.

They’re better at handling sloping ground and sharp turns, and can also cover longer distances than electric ones.

That means they’re ready to go for most adventures, but, and we can’t say this enough, safety training and accessories are an absolute must.

Staying on-road certainly has its advantages too, especially for younger, less experienced riders. Pedaled go-karts are, quite literally, as easy as riding a bike, and some streamlined models can be fun even for slightly older riders.

Zippy electric models pick up more speed than pedaled karts, but we can’t in good conscience recommend them for off-road excursions.

Their less powerful motors make tackling challenging terrain difficult and less safe, and they’re less adept at covering long distances due to short run times.

They’re great picks for the neighborhood, however, and their low-noise motor will keep the neighbors happy.

Kids go-kart FAQs

Are go-karts safe?

Go-karts are considered safe for children when operated properly, and when they’re riding in a kart suitable for their age and size.

Parents with young children may opt for a pedal go-kart, to begin with, whereas older kids will undoubtedly desire a larger model powered by gas or electricity.

While both types are generally designed to keep the driver safely within the kart with a roll cage and safety belts, it’s still recommended that a child wear protective gear, such as a helmet.

When is my child old enough for a go-kart?

While this question is highly subjective and should ultimately be decided by your assessment of your child’s abilities, children can safely begin to use pedaled go-kart models around 3 yrs.

Go-karts for toddlers and younger kids are not too different from other four-wheeled bikes for children, requiring minimal balance capabilities and allowing maximum control.

Around age 8, parents may begin to consider introducing an electric go-kart or safe, small gas go-kart to their child.

As already noted, the best way to ensure that your child keeps safe while taking this step is to use protective safety gear, making sure to adhere strictly to any height and weight restrictions provided.

Models designed for younger riders may have speed throttles that more powerful karts do not, so look for one with speed and safety features you’re comfortable with.

Are any accessories essential?

Powered go-karts come with many accessories. First and foremost are the safety accessories that parents should look for.

These include side guards, roll cages, seat belts, speed limiters, kill switches, headlights, and horns. Other accessories that go-karts include may simply just enhance the riding experience.

These can include an electric start vs. a pull-start engine, padded seats for comfort, transmission reverse, and pneumatic tires.

These are the accessories that we recommend you get:

  • Side guards: These handy panels prevent injuries in the event of a collision by minimizing any side-impact experienced by the driver
  • Roll cages: Usually made of steel, these cages encompass the top of a go-kart and ensure that, if it rolls over, the impact will be on the cage and not your child
  • Speed limiters: As we’ve mentioned, speed limiters, or throttlers, are present on some models and can be used by parents to control the child’s speed while using their kart
  • Kill switches: These switches allow riders to shut down the vehicle’s engine immediately without having to leave their seat — especially important in an emergency situation
  • Headlights and horns: Being visible and audible are both essential, especially when riding in places where other people may not expect to encounter a moving vehicle

Wrapping up

While many of these go-karts have their own unique qualities, we decided that the PowerSportsGalaxy 110cc Pre-teen 2-seater Go Kart (check price on Amazonis our pick for the round-up award.

The first thing that makes this kart stand out is that it’s a two-seater. This comes in really handy in a family with more than one child, or for when the child has friends over.

It also sports all the safety gear, making parents feel confident and relaxed while their children are driving.

From its padded roll cage, seat belts, headlights, and extra-durable tires to its reliable engine, speed limiter, dashboard kill switch, and reverse capabilities, this two-seater go-kart offers a safe ride and loads of fun!

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on November 20th, 2023

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family on their go karts and quads together
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