Choosing Best Pedal Go Kart For Kids And Adults

Published: 20/11/2020

Calling all racing enthusiasts: we’re here to help you pick your (or your child’s) next four-wheeled toy! Offering oodles of fun and the chance to get a little competitive with your fellow racers, a pedal go-kart is the ultimate way to get your daily dose of exercise in a creative, adrenaline-fuelled way. 

The first motorised go-karts were built in the 1950s and soon took the amateur racing scene by storm. Toy manufacturers saw the huge appeal of these racing machines and soon introduced pedal go-karts for young aspiring racers. Early pedal-go karts were built by Triang and Mobo, toy manufacturers usually associated with trikes and pedal cars. It wasn't until the advance of mountain biking that an all-terrain pedal go-kart became a winning idea; that's why most adult pedal go-karts have big wheels: they're designed for superior off-road adventures!

With models for different ages, terrains and riding styles aplenty, it can be a little overwhelming making a decision - so start with our handy buying guide and read on to discover our round-up of the best on the market. We have safety features, various surfaces and head-turning designs all ticked off!


What is a pedal go-kart?

pedal-kart-beach

Of course, if you haven’t ever come across one, you might be wondering what a pedal go-kart is exactly. Well, luckily we’re here to help: a pedal kart is simply a ride-on toy that requires a little legwork - essentially a cross between a bike and a mini vehicle, you could say! 

Pedal karts are a popular choice for little ones and big kids alike. For young motor fans, it’s a great chance to experience a self-propelled mode of transport for the first time while channelling their inner F1 driver; as for the grown-ups, need we mention how much fun there is to be had?

Most pedal go-karts showcase a chain-driven mechanism that operates like a bicycle: pedal forward and the go-kart will move with you, with no additional power required. Some will come with a handbrake while others may allow you to slow down or reverse by backpedalling through an in-built mechanism. 

Providing plenty of kicks with the ease and convenience of a non-powered toy, it’s no wonder pedal go-karts remain a firm popular choice amongst all age groups.


How much is a pedal go-kart?

Now, let’s talk budget. While a high price may be the ticket to winning in the world of car racing, that’s luckily not the case when it comes to their non-motorised counterparts! Like with other ride-on toys, there’s a price point to suit every eager racer.

Expect to spend upwards of £50 for an entry-level kids’ pedal go-kart, with some pricier models reaching the £200 mark. Meanwhile, an adult pedal go-kart can set you back in the region of £400 to £1000, though the latter are really more reserved for serious enthusiasts!

Ultimately, how much you spend will depend on a number of factors. If you’re after a cheap and cheerful option to provide the occasional hour of entertainment, you may not necessarily need to splash out. Alternatively, those seeking more advanced thrills may want to dig a little deeper into their pockets.


How do I choose the best pedal go-kart?

go-kart-win

First things first, you want to go for something that’s solid and looks like it’s capable of supporting the weight of the driver. Think sturdy parts connected together with quality joins and a generous weight capacity that’ll be easily adhered to. 

The sturdiness of a pedal go-kart will naturally depend on who it’s aimed for: kids’ go-karts can get away with a slightly lighter build, though you’ll still want one that’ll withstand plenty of usage, of course. Most pedal go-karts will be crafted from stainless steel with four wheels for added stability.

When choosing a kids’ pedal go-kart, try to aim for one that’ll grow with your youngster. Many kids’ pedal go-karts with adjustable seats and ample weight support can also be enjoyed by older riders, making them a smart choice for families with both juniors and teenagers to satisfy. Models that lack this option but benefit from a tough, resistant build can be passed down to siblings.

Of course, safety should be the number one priority, so look out for features that’ll give additional peace of mind - whether for your little one or yourself. Choosing a go-kart with a robust steel tubular frame will stand up to any unfortunate accidents and knocks, while a 3-point steering wheel means quick, responsive driving. 

Pay particular attention to important factors: does the pedal go-kart hold a CE mark? is the handbrake easy to use? is the chain mechanism neatly enclosed and firmly secured? All of these details will allow for a more carefree, enjoyable ride.

To get the most enjoyment out of your pedal kart, you’ll want to pick one that’s designed with comfort in mind. A moulded seat, for example, will ensure bottoms stay firmly in place and minimise the risk of sliding out when turning corners at high speed. 

More progressive designs will have several additional features that take the pedal go-kart that little bit further. From two-hand power steering to raw acceleration, they’ll give an experience that’s closer to driving the real thing.

You’ll also want to consider the kind of terrain your pedal kart is likely to be driven on as this will determine the type of wheels to opt for. Rubber wheels with treads provide superb grip and will do well on paved surfaces, though they’re not particularly suitable for indoor use if you’re precious about your floors!

Air tyres feel light and breezy to ride on and work particularly well on lawns, so they make a perfect choice for the back garden or local park. Also take into account how the wheels are attached: mounted ones rotate lightly and guarantee a more comfortable drive.

The aspect that will probably excite keen riders the most is the aesthetic. From collaborative designs with top names in the automobile business (hello, mini Ferraris), to cool colourways and graphics for extra street cred, there’s sure to be a pedal go-kart that’ll appeal to the style-conscious. 

More experienced racers will undoubtedly be looking for a pedal go-kart that’ll deliver results, so keep an eye out for aerodynamic designs to defy drag and high gears to build up that all-important speed! A low profile will mimic the characteristics of a racing car and prevent the moving air around you from slowing you down.

Things to look out for:

  • Rider size and weight
  • Sturdiness of go-kart
  • Safety features
  • What terrain will it be used on?
  • Cool design


Pedal go-kart vs. electric go-kart

If you feel the need for speed, you may want to go for an electric option instead. A happy medium between a pedal go-kart and a traditional, gas-powered ride, the electric go-kart offers a chance to cover more distance in a shorter time without the increased risk.

Requiring no pedalling or physical effort, electric go-karts run on a rechargeable battery and can be easily controlled with handles or buttons. A superb alternative to a pedal kart, the electric go-kart will have you drifting, racing and spinning like never before.

Worried about running out of juice? No need to fret: most electric go-karts come with hefty batteries so you can take it out for a spin without having to rush back home to recharge. Some even go one step further and operate with renewable energy - how nifty is that?

Typically, electric go-karts without this feature will need some time to fill up with power again, so expect to plug it in for the night. Though bear in mind that what you forfeit in convenience, you make up for in adrenaline!


Our round-up of the best on the market

All clued in and ready to make your choice? Read on to discover the best of the best out there today!

BERG X-Cross BFR Pedal Go-Kart vs. Hauck Thunder II Ride-On Orange Pedal Go-Kart

Kart-vs-kart

The BERG X-Cross BFR Pedal Go-Kart is a brilliant choice for racers aged five and over thanks to its adjustable seat and top-quality construction. An aerodynamic front spoiler means their pedalling efforts won’t be thwarted by physics, while the double ball-bearing steering delivers less friction and lighter steering. It also offers an opportunity for customisation by attaching a trailer and various accessories, including a digital onboard computer and safety flag.

Pros:

  • Generous user weight of 100kg
  • Pneumatic tyres suitable for all terrains
  • Swing-axle suspension perfect for bumpy rides
  • Option to customise further down the line

Cons:

  • Pricier end of the scale

Meanwhile, the Hauck Thunder II Ride-On Orange Pedal Go-Kart showcases a steel frame design with rubberised sides and space for a passenger to hop on at the back.While it’s aimed at five to twelve-year-olds, the go-kart’s sturdy construction means it can be enjoyed by younger racers when the current rider grows out of it.Plus, thanks to its standout colourway and contoured chassis, your junior will be the coolest racer on the playground!

Pros:

  • Wheels with 2 bearings in each 8-spoke rim
  • Handbrake for both rear wheels
  • Adjustable bucket seat with a high backrest
  • Freewheel shift lever for downhill and coasting

Cons:

  • Maximum weight capacity of 50kg so not suitable for older children or adults

Nerf Striker Pedal Go-Kart

nerf-striker-kart

A striking design with placeholders to keep their blaster conveniently on hand, the Nerf Striker Pedal Go-Kart is the ultimate choice of pedal go-kart for adventure junkies. Race-style pedals and low-profile rubber tyres add to its aesthetic, while the handbrake ensures optimal control when engaging in some serious dart battles.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use handbrake for young riders
  • Responsive 3-point steering wheel
  • Cool race-style pedals
  • Placeholders for Nerf blasters, brackets and darts

Cons:

  • Limited age range of 4-10 years old

Homcom Pedal Go-Kart

homcom-pedal-kart

Ideal for three to eight year olds, the Homcom Pedal Go-Kart is a great entry-level kids’ go-kart that won’t break the bank. Its tot-friendly design means little legs will easily reach the pedals while the single brake makes stopping easy-peasy and safe. Lightweight and compact, it can be easily popped in the boot of the car for away-from-home adventures.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly option for little ones
  • Easy to operate
  • Air-filled tyres suitable for different surfaces
  • Pedal forwards and backwards

Cons:

  • Tiny weight capacity of 30kg so kids will grow out of it quickly

BERG X-ite BFR Off-Road Blue Pedal Go-Kart

berg-offroad-kart

Boasting graphics inspired by motocross racing and designed for off-road thrills, the swing-axle suspension on the BERG X-ite BFR Off-Road Blue Pedal Go-Kart allows for a smooth ride and keeps wheels steadily grounded no matter the surface. Plus, it comes equipped with a BFR (brake, freewheel, reverse) system, so you or your youngster can easily reverse when met with an obstacle.

Pros:

  • BERG’s brilliant BFR system with easy reversing
  • Ideal for riding on uneven ground
  • Adjustable seat suitable for riders aged five and over
  • Maximum user weight of 100kg

Cons:

  • Assembly required
  • On the pricier side

vidaXL Green Pedal Go-Kart

vidaxl-pedal-kart

With its awesome Formula 1-inspired design and oscillating axle for riding on any terrain, the vidaXL Green Pedal Go-Kart makes for one impressive go-kart. The seat can be adjusted to ensure a comfortable ride while the optimised switchable freewheel means riders can simply pull the lever to reverse to get out of a tight spot.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Non-slip treads on tyres for added grip
  • Ultra-cool style that’ll appeal to aspiring racers 
  • Adjustable seat with 3 positions

Cons:

  • 30kg maximum weight capacity
  • Can be a little fiddly to assemble

BERG Race GTS BFR-3 Go-Kart

bfr3-go-kart

Bring on the speed without the fumes or battery: thanks to a whopping three gears on the BERG Race GTS BFR-3 Go-Kart, your youngster (or you!) can drive more comfortably and reach those higher speeds. It comes with swing-axle suspension that’ll keep all four wheels firmly on the ground and an adjustable seat, meaning the go-kart will cleverly grow with the user. Since this go-kart is not electric, it’ll require some leg power if you want to beat your opponents - though BERG’s nifty BFR-3 will certainly help in the speed department!

Pros:

  • A superb BFR-3 frame with 3 gears for a speedier ride
  • Robus frame that’s suitable for professionals
  • Pneumatic tyres deliver additional comfort
  • Parking brake for increased safety

Cons:

  • Pricier model that may be suited to more to serious go-kart enthusiasts!

Razor Ground Force Electric Go-Kart

razor-go-kart

Showcasing a high-torque motor and cast aluminium wheels, the Razor Ground Force Electric Go-Kart makes a sublime choice of electric go-kart that will help you cross the chequered flag with effortless ease - and reaching 12 miles per hour, there’s plenty of rip-roaring fun to be experienced.

Pros:

  • Race to the finish line at up to 12mph
  • Up to 45 minutes of continuous use
  • 24V system with two 12V sealed lead acid batteries
  • Steer with increased manoeuvrability thanks to the durable rear axle

Cons:

  • Being an electric go-kart, it will require charging

MotoTec Solar Electric 24V Red Go-Kart

mototec-solar-kart

An all-steel frame and hefty, durable tyres pave the way for a seriously cool ride. The MotoTec Solar Electric 24V Red Go-Kart features a clever solar panel on the back that’ll charge as you keep moving, meaning the fun won’t have to be cut short! Ideal for the environmentally aware, it delivers guilt-free thrills without sacrificing performance.

Pros:

  • Solar-powered for convenience and green points
  • Reach speeds of up to a whopping 15mph
  • Enjoy a generous 2 hours of riding time
  • Handlebar control and rear disk brakes

Cons:

  • Solar panel only trickle charges the battery so it will need plugging in to recharge fully

Some final considerations

To wrap up, the main thing to remember is to choose a ride that’s suited to the user. Fortunately, with kids’ pedal go-karts and adult pedal go-karts (not to mention, electric alternatives) in abundance, the adventure-minded are spoiled for choice.

Check also whether spare parts are easily accessible from the manufacturer as you won’t want to spend hours hunting down a replacement in case of any breakages. Warranties may also need looking into to ensure your ride can be enjoyed for years to come!

With options covered for mini Lewis Hamiltons and grown-up racers alike, this guide has covered all there is to note when it comes to picking out your next wheels. Whether you opt for an ultra-sleek pedal go-kart or a thrill-seeking electric version for Grand Prix fanatics, you can count on your new toy to bring you hours of exhilarating fun.