Kart racing is the first step toward becoming a professional motorsport driver. You might have already heard that, but it really is true! Some of the best racers of modern times have started their careers with Kart Racing. The names include Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, and many more!
And It totally makes sense as well. Since most kids above the age of 5 can start their Go-kart racing career whereas you cannot hand over a car to a 5-year-old. And just like in any other sport, the earlier you start the better chance you have of making it to the top level.
At What Age can Kids Start Go-Karting?
The exact answer will depend on where you live but in most places, kids can start go-karting once they are 5 years or older. At that age, the Go-karts used are nearly half the size of a full-sized go-kart and uses a less powerful engine. At most these go-karts will reach 30-35 mph.
Once they are 7 or 8 years old, they can move up to bigger karts (3/4 of adult karts), and they can use faster engines. At this age, they will get their first true taste of competitive racing.
Getting started early has its advantages but that doesn’t mean that everyone has to start as soon as they are 5 or they won’t make it. You can start racing at any age! There is no maximum age limit, you can race until your body permits you to race.
How to get your child into kart racing?
- Go to your local rental Karting Track. Before you buy any go kart, engine or safety equipment, first make sure that your kid actually likes karting. Believe me, you do not want to spend >$1000 and then find out the hobby is a mismatc with your kid’s personality.
Rental kart racings are in almost every big cities in US, Canada, Australia, UK and other European countries. You can check our Track lists to find if there are tracks in your region. You can also utilize google to find the nearst rental karting facility.
Usually, it costs around $20-25 for a 10-15 minutes of race in facilities made exclusively for Go-karting.
Make sure to visit a place which is exclusively for go-karts and not amusement parks, this can be either indoor karting like K1 speed or your local outdoor track (that has rental karts).
- Once you’re sure that your kid has found his/her hobby and this is what they would love spend their time on, now is the time to check your local karting club/Outdoor tracks nearest to you.
Simply search google for “Outdoor Go-kart Tracks near me” or “karting clubs near me”. Once you find them, make a visit and start talking with track owners and parents of other drivers. Usually they will be kind enough to guide you.
- Now is the time to start purchasing. Chassis and Engine will cost the most, it’s best to buy what others in your track are using, therefore it’s important to visit your local track before you make any purchase. Most importantly, make sure to buy all the safety equipment! Safety should always be your first priority.
How much will it Cost?
As you may already know, racing isn’t as cheap as something like soccer in which all you need is a shoe and a shin guard to get started. Go-karting or any other motorsports is expensive!
Engine and Chassis are the biggest upfront investment you’ll need to make to get started. Thankfully, kid karts do not require a lot of maintenance or rebuilds, so the maintenance won’t cost too much.
Apart from that, there would be fuel costs, race entry fees, and the cost of safety equipment. In the table below I have included their cost in the “Other Costs” section.
Kid Karts (5 to 7 Year Olds)
Other Costs (Yearly)
You might require some additional parts for a used engine and chassis therefore +$200 addition for that section.
Cadet Karts (8 to 12 Year Olds)
Other Costs (Yearly)
As you might already be able to guess, buying used parts is a much cheaper and smarter way to start! Many times, you’ll be able to buy used karts and engines from the drivers who are moving up from kid to cadet class or cadet to the junior class.
Alternatively, you’ll be able to find used chassis and engines in Facebook groups, eBay, and other similar marketplaces.
To summarize the cost, Kid karting (Age 5-7) will cost roughly $2000 to get started, and Cadet karting (Age 8-12) will cost roughly $4000 to get started.
If you’re lucky enough, you might be able to find cheaper deals on used engines and chassis.
Go-karting is an amazing hobby for kids to get into but it can be costly. It is best to first try out rental go-karts before spending huge amounts on engines and chassis. Once you know that your kids like this new hobby, then it is time to visit your local club/outdoor track.
However, you may not be lucky enough to have any karting clubs near you and that is, unfortunately, the case if you’re not living in a major city. Karting tracks are expensive to maintain, therefore they aren’t popular everywhere. But don’t be discouraged, there are tons of other hobbies for your kids to try out.