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Buying the first toy car is an exciting experience not only for the little one but also for their parents. There are endless options on the market for kids’ automotive toys from vehicle types, shapes, styles, materials, safety aspects, etc., but it always comes down to deciding whether to buy a self-powered pedal car toy or a battery powered vehicle toy. To many, it is as tricky as deciding whether to buy a Tesla or a Mercedes AMG.

There are so many opposing opinions out there, and everyone sounds convincing. In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of each variety so that you will have better information to make your own decision.Before we start, let’s take a closer look at the difference between pedal car toys and motorized cars.

Pedal cars are typically ride-on toys that allow children to propel themselves using only their feet and legs. This type of car requires the child to have a certain understanding of balance and weight distribution as to better maneuver while having fun at the same time. The pedaling motions helps to strengthen the leg muscles, and it also helps develop the child’s motor skills. Most of those steel car toys are vintage-inspired, and they come in many shapes and styles, including fire trucks, police cars and even airplanes.

Motorized cars, on the other hand, are battery powered miniature versions of real cars or trucks. They are limited in speed and can go a maximum of 6 mph. The vehicle usually brakes automatically when the child lifts his/her foot off the pedal. Since such cars resemble actual cars, they come with more modern designs and built-in sounds and effects.

Here are some points you should consider when you’re trying to choose between purchasing a pedal car or a motorized car for your little one:

  1. The benefit

There are undeniable benefits of pedal cars on your child’s development.Given that no two pedal cars are identical, each kid needs to learn how to control the car in any situation. This learning process, combined with the physical work their legs are doing, sparks creativity and imagination. The pedal car toys can be ridden indoors and outdoors, although children might struggle to ride smoothly on grass. That said, a lot of parents love that their kids have quality outdoor time that encourages physical activity and limits screen time.

Motorized cars, on the other hand, help kids learn the steering skills needed to control the vehicles, including using gas pedals, starting and stopping, and turning. Children can develop coordination skills and balance necessary to maneuver the toys around open spaces outside or corridors inside. This play time requires adult supervision, as many kids are still not capable of controlling slow-moving motorized vehicles and avoiding hazards.

  1. Safety

Both pedal cars and battery powered cars are manufactured for children between the ages of 3 and 8, though you can find some electric rides for 2-year-old children. There are a few different safety points to consider when considering buying a pedal car or a battery powered car: 

It is important to consider the age of the child when purchasing a battery powered car. Parents can sometimes be temped to buy a car that has numerous advanced built-in functions, thinking the kid will grow into it. However, too large or too advanced of a car can cause not only trouble to the child when using it but also safety issues. You should always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for age and weight limits, but more importantly, consider your child’s ability so that you can choose the most suitable toy for your little one.

The pedal car exposes a different aspect of safety to the parents. It comes more from the design of the toy rather than the function. There should be no sharp edges, the pedal should be adjustable for the growing child, the steering should be functional, there should be a lead-free paint coat finish, etc. Not all pedal cars are manufactured with the same quality. Some manufacturers place a premium on protection, while others let security slide in exchange for using cheap materials. Make sure you check the product details—or call if necessary—before purchasing.

  1. Durability

Pedal cars have the advantage over motorized plastic toy cars in regards to sturdiness. It is easier to maintain a pedal car, and if it is taken good care of, it can be passed down from generation to generation. Most of the pedal cars on the market have a vintage design, so they can become beautiful decoration pieces when your children outgrow them.   

Regarding these differences, both types of car can bring your little one endless fun riding around in the miniature version of Mommy or Daddy’s car. They promote childhood independence and spark creativity. I hope you find some useful tips to select the right model for your child as well as what features to look for.

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