Beep beep! Have you found yourself on this page thanks to your toddler’s obsession with toy cars? You’re not alone. I’m a parent in that same club.
Luckily, an obsession with toy cars can be beneficial for toddlers. It’s true! Go ahead and browse this article and find a new toy car for your toddler, guilt-free.Best Toy Car for a 1-Year-Old: VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Starter Pack
Best Toy Car for a 2-Year-Old: JOYIN Toddler Car Toys
Best Toy Car for a 3-Year-Old: Green Toys Car Carrier Vehicle Set Toy, Blue
Best Toy Car for a 4-Year-Old: SmartGames Smart Car 5x5 Puzzle
Best Toy Cars for a 1-Year-Old
VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Starter Pack
The VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Starter Pack is a fun way to introduce vehicles to your young toddler!
VTech offers a fire truck, a police car, and a helicopter in this starter set. All three have adorable light-up faces which double as their activation buttons.
This windshield button activates fun sounds and music. It also introduces letters and vehicles to your new talker! “F is for fire truck!” the red car will gleefully teach.
These chunky vehicles are perfectly-sized for toddler’s hands. Likewise, these toys encourage pretend-play along with teaching vocabulary concepts.
All three of the vehicles in this set are compatible with VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels playsets. You can learn more about this line of toys here.
Mini Pull-Back Vehicles Set, Bus & Cars
The Mini Pull-Back Vehicles Set, Bus & Cars by B. toys by Battat are the car set for your littlest crawler.
While most toy cars are made of harder plastic or even metal, these cars are made of soft, squishy plastic. They are easy to use as the three little cars all pull back and when release scoot across the floor quickly.
These chunky cars a perfect for little hands with a car, police car, and a bus. Each has a smiling face and bright colors.
Finally, you get quality you can trust from a brand that has been around for over 100 years, delighting children. Great for children ages one and up. No batteries needed!
Kid O Go Toy Car
The Kid O Go Car is a different kind of toy car.
The Kid O Go Car doesn’t exactly look like your average toy car. After all, most cars don’t have a smooth handle-like body.
This toy was intelligently designed specifically for toddlers. The rounded shape of this car has no sharp and dangerous edges. The round handle makes this car easy for any child to maneuver.
Rest assured, this toy is made from high-quality ABS plastic for safe play. It’s also safe for your wood floors; these rubber wheels won’t be leaving any tread marks.
You can purchase this contemporary toy car in 4 bright shiny colors: blue, red, green, and pink.
This makes a perfect gift for 1-year-old boys.
Bright Starts OBall Rattle and Roll Car
The Bright Starts OBall Rattle and Roll Car is a toy car for the Oball fans! Approved for ages 3 months and up, consider this baby’s first toy car.
If you aren’t familiar, Oball is a line of baby toys from Bright Starts. All Oball products feature the squeezable plastic design with holes that are the perfect size for toddler fingers to hold.
The top of the car is made with an easy-to-grip Oball. The flexible material is BPA-free and safe for chewing when the teeth start popping in!
As your child rolls the car around, the wheels turn and they’ll be greeted with a fun rattling from the beads inside.
Please take note that, because of the wheels and beads, this toy cannot be submerged in water. It must be surface cleaned with a damp cloth.
Hape Wooden Mini Van
The Hape Wooden Mini Van is proof that less is more.
If you’re like me, you love the idea of wooden toys. They feel classic and elegant. Hape is a brand known for its high-quality wooden toys.
This little red van is simple in design but still big on fun. The three holes are the right size for little hands to grasp. The wooden wheels slide smoothly across surfaces.
Without flashing lights or blaring sounds, this car still builds fine and gross motor skills, along with encouraging imagination.
According to the product description, it is “fueled by imagination,” which is a great way to put it. There are no motors here, only the power of play!
Melissa & Doug Pull-Back Toy Cars
The Melissa & Doug Pull-Back Vehicles are a fun and safe toy car option for little ones.
These soft plush toy cars have been a hit in our house for two years. We received them as a gift soon after my son’s birth and he has been playing with them since.
Recommended for ages 9 months and older, these cars are lightweight and easy for little hands to pick up.
They include an easy-to-use pull back mechanism so your child can enjoy watching the cars zoom across the room.
These four cars come in recognizable designs: a school bus (drove by Humpty Dumpty!), a taxi, a police car, and a fire truck.
When your son or daughter wants to take their favorite cars to grandma’s, they can carry them in the tote bag included with these cars!
For mommy, the wheels detach from the cloth car bodies. This means you can machine wash the cars without ruining the pull-back mechanism inside.
Best Toy Cars for a 2-Year-Old
JOYIN 6 Pack Toddler Car Toys Push Go
The JOYIN 6 Pack Toddler Car Toys Push Go Set is a fun way to introduce colors!
Around 2 years old, children usually experience a so-called explosion of words. Suddenly, and almost overnight, they can say so many words.
If your toddler is just learning to speak, this is a great time to teach some colors. In general, colors aren’t complicated words to pronounce and they are easily recognizable.
When your child advances to more difficult words, you can teach them what the different vehicles are, such as the fire engine or the dump truck.
This set includes 6 vehicles: a car, a fire engine, a dump truck, a race car, a train, and a plane. All are made from environment-friendly materials. They are lead and BPA-free.
Battat Mini Monster Trucks
The Battat Mini Monster Trucks are tiny monster truck fun!
Do you have a sandbox? Maybe your family frequents the beach. These tiny monster trucks make sensational sand toys!
Be aware though. While the manufacturer does encourage sand fun, it does not recommend submerging these trucks in water. The metal axles could rust.
This set includes 6 monster trucks. They all come in fun bright colors, perfect for boys or girls.
These are small cars. They fit right in a toddler’s hand. This makes them easy to tote around in the included storage bag!
TEMI Cartoon Vehicles Playset Transport Truck
The TEMI Cartoon Vehicles Playset Transport Truck is a great option for little girls who want cars.
Toy company Temi are known for their high-quality motion toys that put imagination first. This transport truck is a classic toy with push and pull toys ready to help kids enjoy playtime.
I like how this toy adds several pieces as it includes a truck and four vehicles. It’s not a race car or a police car but multiple vehicles in a set.
The colors in coral, mint, and aqua provide a new color scheme ready for little girls or boys who just want a change instead of primary colors. Each car includes eyes to make it look a little more personal too.
Lastly, the car plays music too and sounds too ready to make kids happy. Store the four cars on the transport truck too for easy storage. It’s great for hand-eye coordination too.
LEGO DUPLO My First Race Car
The LEGO DUPLO My First Race Car is an excellent beginner set for budding Lego fans.
Like most people, a toddler loves the thrill of completing a puzzle or putting something together. They just can’t put together some 3,000 piece Lego set.
This fun race car is perfect for a toddler to put together. There are challenging aspects, like whether they put the piece with the headlights in the front or back.
After all that brainpower, toddlers are rewarded with a toy car! Once they’re done rolling it around, they can take the car apart and build it again and again.
With sets like this, it’s the small details that matter. I appreciate that this car features double-sided and reversible brick. The man or woman can be the driver. Equality!
This Lego Duplo set is best for ages 1 1/2 to 3 years old. All of the pieces are big enough to not be considered choking hazards, but this would be too difficult for anyone younger than that range.
WolVol Push and Go Friction Powered Toy Cars
The WolVol Push and Go Friction Powered Car Toys are an exciting set of toy cars with awesome educational opportunities.
I chose this set because it included non-traditional vehicles. Every toy car list includes the same fire trucks and police cars. But what about street sweepers?
This unique set of cars includes a street sweeper, a harvester truck, and a cement truck. I appreciated how they allowed me to teach my son some new vehicles.
My toddler, meanwhile, liked the automatic functions. As these vehicles zoom forward, special functions activate.
The street sweeper’s brushes spin. The harvester’s front blade features spinning hay. The cement truck’s mixer turns. My toddler loves it.
These toy cars are friction powered. Instead of being pulled back, you push them forward and let them fly!
Best Toy Cars for a 3-Year-Old
Green Toys Car Carrier Vehicle Set Toy
The Green Toys Car Carrier Vehicle Set Toy is environmentally friendly toy car fun!
Green Toys is one of my favorite companies. All of their products are made from recycled plastic. Specifically, the company mostly uses milk jugs. In fact, they have recycled over 90,000 jugs to date.
I also love how these toys are great for both indoor or outdoor play. There are no metal axels to rust, meaning this toy can be left outside without fear. This toy is durable.
Meanwhile, your child will love rolling this big carrier around. They’ll pass time by loading and unloading the little cars, giving mommy a moment of peace.
This blue car carrier comes with 3 mini cars and has a detachable trailer. It doesn’t have any lights or sounds, so it does not require batteries.
ToyerBee Toy Cars Die-cast Cars
The ToyerBee Car Toys-Die-cast Cars are realistically-detailed pull-back cars!
These die-cast cars are designed to look more realistic than the cutesy toddler cars you’re more likely to encounter.
The details of these cars are impressive. The die-cast metal allows for these details, and also makes these toy cars very durable.
These cars are pull-back, meaning you don’t need any batteries. Big win. They are super speedy, which your toddler will love.
Parents often buy this set of cars for easy gifts. Stocking stuffer? No problem. Easter basket? Filled! Need some party favors for a car-themed birthday? Check!
Funcorn Toys Pull Back Cars
The Funcorn Toys Pull Back Cars is a fun set of diverse vehicles!
This is a set of 12 various toy cars and trucks. Just some of the styles included are a bread truck, a school bus, a police car, and a police van.
Customers are impressed by how fast these pull-back cars are, so get ready from high-speed fun!
These cars measure over 1 inch high and 2 inches across. FYI, these toy cars are just the right size for use on a car play rug!
Due to the cars’ size and the number you receive, you can also consider these cars for stocking stuffers, party favors, or cake decorations.
Fisher-Price Little People Loops ‘n Swoops Amusement Park
The Fisher-Price Little People Loops ‘n Swoops Amusement Park is full of twists, turns, and big-time fun!
If I have learned anything from my many Little People playset purchases, it’s that Fisher-Price knows how to make a fun toy car setup. We own a couple; they are taking up my living room.
There’s something entertaining about sending a little car down a ramp and through loops. My son will sit and play with it for hours. He prefers me to join, so luckily it entertains me too!
Little People cars start at the top of the roller coaster where there is an easy push button to start. The fun sounds and songs make this toy more exciting.
It does not come assembled, which is a downside for me. It’s a minor issue, but I have come to find that I hate putting toys together. Apologies to my son.
This set comes with the amusement park playset and two Wheelies vehicles. It requires 3 AA batteries.
Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car with Music & Lights
The Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car with Music & Lights is a fun beginner’s remote control car!
You may not realize this, but remote control cars are very beneficial for toddlers. R/C cars require visual-motor coordination and hand-eye coordination.
Basically, toddlers have to see what the car is doing and then register their next move into a hand movement.
I also like to think remote control cars teach cause and effect. For example, little ones learn that when they press a particular button, the car zooms forward.
The Holy Stone R/C car helps develop those skills but is still simple enough for a little toddler to manage. The steering wheel-shaped control has only two buttons: forward and reverse left.
There are two buttons on the car for playing sounds and music. The little race car driver is detachable if your child decides he’s going to go an adventure without his car.
Melissa & Doug Stack & Count Wooden Parking Garage with 10 Cars
The Melissa & Doug Stack & Count Wooden Parking Garage with 10 Cars features 10 levels of parking with a sliding counter.
Children can learn to count to ten as they place each wooden car into the garage. Unfortunately, the cars don’t have rolling wheels, so they’re simply for stacking and carrying around.
This parking garage includes ten cars and all are made from wood. It’s recommended for 3 years and older, although I think younger kids could play with it just as well (with supervision if needed).
Paw Patrol True Metal Classic Gift Pack
The Paw Patrol True Metal Classic Gift Pack is an instant classic with toddlers, thanks to the popular Nick Jr. show.
I have not one set of Paw Patrol True Metal cars, but two. Yes, there is a lot of tiny cars littering my house.
There is just something about Paw Patrol. Nothing captivates a young toddler like the adventures of Ryder and his troop of public servant dogs.
This gift set has 6 die-cast cars, including the main squad of doggy heroes. The cars are authentic, down to the tiniest details. Even the dogs have their tiny hats!
If you’d prefer these cars to be slightly educational, here’s a tip for you. I use these cars to teach colors and the names of the characters. Why, yes, this car is blue and that is Chase!
Green Toys Race Car
The Green Toys Race Car is a race car that’s kind to the environment!
This snazzy racer is made entirely from recycled milk cartons. Green Toys is a company that strives to reduce greenhouse emissions, after all.
Its milky origin is represented by the bold #2 recycled plastic symbol found on the hood (and on milk jugs).
You’ll also notice an outlet on the back. Electric cars are the way of the future. Three cheers for reducing your carbon footprint, toddlers!
Green Toys products can survive indoors or outdoors, which can’t be said for most toy cars. Most cars have metal parts that can rust. This one? No metal at all.
This race car is decently-sized. It’s about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. Many customers question if a figurine or doll can fit in the driver’s seat. Unfortunately, no.
Best Toy Cars for a 4-Year-Old
SmartGames Smart Car 5 x 5 Wooden Cognitive Skill-Building Puzzle Game
The SmartGames Smart Car 5 x 5 Wooden Cognitive Skill-Building Puzzle Game is a puzzle game from an award-winning toy company!
If you’d like your child’s car obsession to foster more problem-solving skills, look no further. This toy car is actually a puzzle!
This puzzle game includes 96 different challenges ranging from starter to expert, meaning this toy probably won’t end up in the donation pile anytime soon.
You can consider this a Tetris game on wheels. The product includes the car base, 5 wooden blocks, and a booklet containing all the challenges and solutions.
Recommended for ages 4 years and up, this toy helps improve spatial reasoning, problem-solving, and concentration. However, your kid will only know they are having fun!
Battat Shape Sorting Toy Garage with Keys
The Battat Shape Sorting Toy Garage with Keys is a set of toy cars and a puzzle all in one.
A lot is going on with this toy and it’s all awesome. Primarily, it’s a toy garage. It has three doors and includes three toy cars.
Meanwhile, there’s a puzzle aspect here. You’ll notice keys at the top of the toy. These are shape sorter parts.
The correct key will fit in the hole or “lock” on the front of the garage door. For ease, the key colors correspond to the doors as well.
What do toddlers get out of this, education-wise? First, the matching colors of the car, door, and key introduce colors.
Second, fitting the correct key into the correct garage door teaches the concept of cause and effect.
Third, the included toy cars give all the cognitive benefits of traditional toy cars, like developing gross motor skills and encouraging pretend play.
Think Gizmos Take Apart Toy Racing Car Kit
The Think Gizmos Take Apart Toy Racing Car Kit is fun for your budding mechanic!
Car kits are a fun and educational way to delve deeper into the inner workings of a car. Cars are an everyday mystery for toddlers, but this lets them crack one open and see what’s inside!
A toy like this is best for older toddlers, such as 3 years and older. My 2-year-old has a set like this. He certainly has fun with it but he doesn’t truly understand the concept.
The entire race car can be taken apart with the included toy drill. The car can be rebuilt to its former racing glory or your child can build a sleek convertible. It’s easy to start over again afterward!
As your tiny mechanic works, this toy makes realistic sounds and lights up if the engine is turned on. Your son or daughter will be delighted!
A car kit like this encourages STEM skills and helps develop hand-eye coordination. This set includes the required batteries.
Hot Wheels Basic Car 50-Pack
The Hot Wheels Basic Car 50-Pack is a little Hot Wheels fan’s dream.
If your kid is a Hot Wheels fanatic, your home is probably overrun with these miniature cars. Still, a true fan can never have enough Hot Wheels.
This pack includes 50 individually packaged Hot Wheels cars. The styles of cars are randomly selected. All come sealed in a fun branded Hot Wheels box that can then be used for storage.
With all these Hot Wheel cars taking over your house, might I recommend a Pinterest search for creative storage ideas? My son is about to get some serious shelving for his!
Comparing Toy Cars for Toddlers
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.
Buying Criteria – Toy Cars for Toddlers
There are plenty of toy cars for sale in the world. There is a toy car for every age. Still, your toddler may love cars, but that doesn’t mean all of the choices are age-appropriate.
Toddlers can’t build intricate car kits, of course. They aren’t very interested in model cars intended for display cases. No, those are purely grown-up vices.
Toddlers want hands-on play. They need educational toys that are so fun, they don’t know they are learning at all.
As you can imagine, this list only includes toddler-safe options. All of the cars on this list work for the age range 1 year to 4 years.
Babies might be the ones usually accused of chewing on anything nearby. Meanwhile, those chewing babies turn into toddlers and they still put everything in their mouths. Go figure!
As a result, all items on this list were looked at with a discerning eye. Specifically, what if a toddler puts this car in their mouth?
Your toddler won’t get all their teeth in until sometime after their second birthday. Prepare yourself – all these cars will be drooled on.
Every toy car has the expected fun of being, well, a car! However, what if a toy car can offer more than just being a car? These are the ones that won a place on this list.
Some cars can teach the alphabet. Other cars are actually puzzle games that improve problem-solving. A few cars can be taken apart and improve hand-eye coordination.
Don’t misunderstand – simple uncomplicated toy cars are great! Still, if your child loves toy cars, you probably are drowning in cars. Why not review this list and get a toy car that does more than just roll?
FAQs About Toy Cars For Toddlers
What types of car toys are best for different ages?
As with most toys, age is an important factor. Generally, children aged 1 year up to 4 years old are considered toddlers. However, there is a big difference in skills and abilities in that age range.
If you aren’t sure what type of toy car to purchase, find the age of your child on the list below.
- 1-year-olds – With young toddlers, you need to be sure to avoid toys with small pieces. Simple is best. A 1-year-old will like just pushing a car across the floor.
- 2-year-olds – It’s best to still avoid small pieces. By 2 years old, toddlers can better appreciate cars with buttons and lights and sounds.
- 3- and 4-year-olds – By this age, you can add toys with some complexities. Cars that can be taken apart and put back together are an example of such complexities.
What are the educational benefits of playing with toy cars?
When it comes to playtime, cars tend to be something that toddlers gravitate towards. It’s a no-brainer really. Even the smallest of infants can push a car and watch it go.
Even so, there is more to it than that. As their brains develop, cars become a small piece of the world that they can hold and control.
Sure, during the day, mommy or daddy drives the car. The firetruck’s lights and sirens flash by in a blur. The yellow school passes by full of children’s faces.
When playtime rolls around, a toddler can hold a toy car, firetruck, or bus in their hands. They can push it. They can make “vroom vroom” noises.
It’s all very simple to us, but to a child, it’s a world of adventure. It helps them relate to the world around them.
Beyond that, toy cars that help develop and strengthen important physical and cognitive skills.
Playing with toy cars can:
- Fine-tune gross motor skills
- Strengthen fine motor skills
- Introduce STEM concepts, such as physics
What should I look for when purchasing toy cars?
This ultimately boils down to personal preference. Not only your preference, but your child’s as well.
For example, if you prefer to stick with toys that follow the Montessori methods, choose a wooden car that does without lights or sounds.
Also, take a cue from your child’s interests. I noticed right away that my toddler was drawn to the fire trucks in toy sets and books. He’s pretty talented at mimicking the sound of a siren!
Your child might like fire trucks as well. On the other hand, maybe your son or daughter loves dump trucks or taxis. There are no right or wrong answers here!
Above all, cars will probably always be a toddler favorite. I figure that won’t change until we’re all zooming around in hovercars!
If this list was a bit overwhelming with all the choices, this is where you’ll want to pay attention!
Now, it’s time to reveal the best overall toy car from this list. Yes, one contender rose above the rest and you will need to have it!
The best overall is the Vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels starter set. The Vtech starter kit of cars is perfect for toddlers.
Not only do the vehicles have engaging lights and sounds, but the cars also introduce the alphabet and vocabulary words.
Plus, if you’d like to add on to the fun, VTech has an entire range of Go! Go! Smart Wheels sets to keep the play going.
Out of the best toy cars for toddlers of 2020, hopefully, you found one or two (or more!) that suit your little one!