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6V vs. 12V Ride-on Car: What’s the Difference?

By Alaoddin Ayyad August 09, 2021

6V vs. 12V Ride-on Car: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to any sort of electronic device, figuring out which parts are worth the price of getting the upgraded version for can be a challenge. For example, does your new phone truly need 128 GB of storage, or would you be okay with only 64 GB? At least for that decision, you can use your current phone as a guide for how much you’re currently using and compare it to your future choices.

When it comes to electric ride-ons for kids, this can be harder to decide since you likely won’t have a current one to compare it to. The biggest choice when it comes to buying one is how much voltage you want. Most of you probably don’t know the pros and cons of each type, so we are taking the time to go over the differences between 6V and 12V ride-on cars.

What Is Voltage?

Before we can talk about the differences, however, we need to go over what voltage is. A common misconception about voltage is that it is the measure of power for the electrical unit. While this is partially true, the direct meaning of voltage is the amount of pressure that a circuit puts on the electrons to force them through the wire. If more electrons are being forced out, that causes the electric device to be more powerful, which is what leads to people’s misunderstanding of the term.

We measure this pressure in Volts (V). Higher voltage amounts can be deadly if you come into contact with them, but the levels we will be talking about today are nowhere near threatening. 30V is the first level of any possible danger, which we won’t even be talking about. Plus, there shouldn’t be any reason for your kid to be getting shocked from their electric ride-on anyway.

The Price

The first noticeable difference when it comes to voltage is the price. Like our phone storage example earlier, the more of it you have, the more expensive it will be. The only thing you must do is find out if the extra cost is worth it to you. Unfortunately, there is no set price difference between 6V and 12V, but it is safe to assume that the more expensive models will have more voltage.

Achievable Speeds

Since the pressure of the voltage leads to the electronic device being more powerful, higher voltages lead to faster speeds for ride-ons. 6V models can cruise at a cool 2 to 3 miles per hour, whereas the 12V versions can get up to 4 to 5 miles per hour. Neither of them is blazing fast, but to a kid, it could make a huge difference.

Suggested Age Range

Due to these speeds, each type has a suggested age range as well. The low voltage ride-on cars are best for kids 1 to 3 years old, while the higher voltage ones are suggested for kids 3 to 6 years old. Size is also a determining factor here, but they still correlate to the voltages since 6V cars are usually smaller than 12V ones.

Best Places To Use Them

Both types are fantastic outdoor toys. If you have trouble getting your kid to play outside, buying them one of these is a great way to do it. That being said, the slow speeds of the 6V version make it a great indoor toy for the winter months. At up to 3 miles an hour, they shouldn’t be able to break anything that they could already break by bumping into it while running.

For outdoor use, your kid can use both versions on the sidewalk or in the grass. Grass can be difficult to get through depending on the car’s design, but 12V models will have a slightly easier time since they have a stronger power output.

Charge Time

Since 12V ride-ons need more power, they need batteries with more capacity to last as long as their 6V counterpart. Because of that, they will take longer to charge. 12V cars will need to charge for up to 18 hours for their first charge and 12 hours for every time after that. On the other hand, the first charge of a 6V vehicle is only 10 hours for the first charge and 6 hours for all follow-up charges.

Number of Seats

While the number of seats can vary between 6V and 12V models, the majority of lower voltage ride-ons will be 1-seaters, and higher voltage ones will be 2-seater. We know this because most of our 2-seater models are 12V and come with two motors for more power to be able to carry two kids around instead of only one.

Safety Level

The safety of your children is always a top priority for ride-on manufacturers. As long as you follow the age requirements and any other safety precautions, one vehicle’s voltage level won’t be any more or less safe than another. As mentioned in our last point, the 2-seater ride-on cars even come with a remote for parents to control their child’s toy from a distance.

Even More Powerful Version

After reading our post about the differences between 6V and 12V ride-on cars, if you keep thinking to yourself, “I don’t think my kid would like either version,” then have we got the ride-on for you! One of our motorcycle models actually has a 24V battery. That means it can go up to 11 miles per hour, can be used by kids aged 7 to 11, and is a lot more fun overall.

Since it’s a 2-wheeled vehicle and moves so fast, you’ll want to make sure your child is well-protected in case they crash. Also, the battery will take longer to charge, and this vehicle is only really useable outside on the sidewalk, but if speed and power are your goals, then this is the option for you.

Never Too Late To Change Your Mind

At the end of the day, this decision doesn’t have to be set in stone. Almost all ride-on vehicles can easily be upgraded down the road. If you don’t have much electrical know-how, don’t worry. There are a multitude of YouTube videos that walk you through upgrading to a higher voltage battery.

6V vs. 12V Ride-on Car: What’s the Difference?

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