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21 Best Toy Cars for Toddlers of 2024

Find the best toy cars and trucks to entertain your toddler.

Did you know that not all toy cars are suitable for toddlers? Some have sections where tiny fingers can get pinched or caught, and others have button batteries or small parts that could become choking hazards. And not all cars are comfortable for small hands to grasp.

As moms of vehicle-loving littles, we understand what makes a toy appealing to little ones and which styles are best avoided.

We’ve spent a lot of time searching for the best toy cars for toddlers. Whether your little one is a 3-year-old car smasher, a 2-year-old who loves emergency vehicles, or a 1-year-old who prefers big-wheeled, easy-grasp cars, we’ve got the perfect car for them.

We chose these 21 toddler cars based on their safety ratings, ease of use, and overall toddler appeal. Read on to learn what to look for in a toddler vehicle. And check out our top picks to find the perfect roll-around toy for your toddler.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Melissa & Doug Soft Toy
Best Soft and Squishy
Melissa & Doug Soft Toy
  • 4 safe, soft vehicles
  • Great for fine motor skills
  • Removable wipe-clean wheel piece
Product Image of the Oball Rattle and Roll
Best for Fun Sounds
Oball Rattle and Roll
  • Teetheable
  • Easy-roll, bead-filled wheels
  • BPA-free
Product Image of the Disney Baby
Best for Easy Grip
Disney Baby
  • 6 Disney-themed character cars
  • Perfect for traveling
  • Easy grasp design
Product Image of the Green Toys Tractor
Best Earth-Friendly
Green Toys Tractor
  • Dishwasher safe
  • 100% recycled plastic
  • Phthalate and BPA free
Product Image of the WolVol Push and Go
Best for Boys
WolVol Push and Go
  • Crafted of durable plastic
  • 3-piece set
  • Friction powered
Product Image of the Prextex Build Your Own
Most Versatile
Prextex Build Your Own
  • 60-piece Prextex building blocks
  • Temperature-resistant plastic
  • Wear-resistant and odorless
Product Image of the Take Apart Toy Set
Best for Problem Solving
Take Apart Toy Set
  • Educational building playset
  • Made with non-toxic materials
  • Creative & educational pastime
Product Image of the Green Toys Dump Truck
Best for Girls
Green Toys Dump Truck
  • Durable truck toy
  • No metal axels for safety
  • Environment-friendly materials
Product Image of the Friction Powered Bulldozer
Most Durable
Friction Powered Bulldozer
  • Set of 5 play vehicles
  • High-quality sturdy plastic material
  • Fun, multicolored design
Product Image of the Kid O Early Learning
Most Sleek and Simple
Kid O Early Learning
  • Clean, contemporary design
  • Easy to grab, push, and roll
  • Color-safe

The Best Toy Cars for Toddlers of 2024

Here are our favorite toy cars for babies and toddlers.

Melissa & Doug Soft Baby and Toddler Toy Set

Best Soft and Squishy Option

This fantastic, baby-friendly set includes four vehicles: a school bus, a family car, a fire truck, and a police car. They zoom forward easily and quickly with a simple, low-effort pull back.

The cars are bright and colorful, with fun little characters sitting in the front seats. They have no sharp edges, and their soft, squishy nature makes them extremely safe for your baby to handle. The set also includes a carrying case for easy and convenient transport.

User Experience

I recently purchased these soft cars for my young grandson, and we've been having a blast playing with them! They're perfect for little hands and easy to clean, making them a great toy for daycare settings too. My grandson loves winding them up and watching them zoom across the room, and the best part is they don't damage the walls. The Velcro on the wheelbase can be a bit impractical as kids tend to rip it off, but overall, these cars are a fun, safe, and well-made toy that both babies and toddlers enjoy. Just be prepared for the occasional missing wheelbase!

Rattle and Roll Race Car

Best for Fun Sounds

There are a lot of great features in this baby race car. The top of the car is round, which makes for gentle handling. Inside the wheels are little rattle beads for fun sound effects.

If your baby likes to put toys in their mouth, you won’t need to worry about this car. The entire toy is soft and flexible, perfect for teething as well as racing.

This toy is cute, safe, and fun. Its multiple benefits make it a great all-rounder for your little one.

Personal Perspective

My experience with this toy has been mostly positive, as it offers various ways for my child to engage with it, such as shaking it like a rattle and rolling it around. This car is designed in a way that makes it easy for babies to grab and play with, and it rolls smoothly on different surfaces. However, the yellow "mesh" part of the car is made of rigid plastic, contrary to my initial expectation of it being rubbery. While this toy is generally good for a child's development, I did experience an incident where my son accidentally threw the toy in the air and it hit him in the face, causing a black eye. Despite this, I still believe that this car is an adorable and enjoyable toy for babies to play with.

Disney Baby Go Grippers

Best for Easy Grip

These cars are ideal for your toddler as they have a ball-like design that makes them easy to hold. They are hardy, rugged, and ready for play. They’re also adorable. All of the cars are Disney-themed. Besides Mickey and Minnie, you can also purchase cars with Pooh, Tigger, Mike, and Sully faces.

Young children are able to grip these cars easily and roll them smoothly.

Community Feedback

My experience with these Disney-themed cars has been mainly positive. My little one started playing with them at 7 months old and absolutely loved them, even though they are recommended for 12+ months. The cars are made of hard plastic instead of the expected rubber material, but they still hold up well and have smooth-moving wheels. One downside was that some of the paint was already worn off on one of the characters when we received it, and the wheels occasionally squeak in a high-pitched way.

Green Toys Tractor Vehicle

Best Earth-Friendly Toy Car

This environmentally-friendly tractor will provide great quality entertainment while giving you peace of mind. Made in the U.S. from 100% recycled plastic, it has no external coatings and no metal axles, which means no rust.

The tractor has a detachable trailer pull and large, sturdy wheels that can handle any terrain, indoors or out. This tractor toy is fun, good quality, and kind to the earth. You can feel good about giving it to your children.

The tractor is available in orange and pink.

First-Hand Impression

This toy has been a long-lasting favorite for my son, who's carried it around for over a year without any damage, despite multiple drops per day. The materials are high-quality and easy to clean, making it perfect for busy parents who want a durable, low-maintenance toy. We particularly appreciate that it's dishwasher safe, made from recycled materials, and produced in the USA. My grandson, a tractor enthusiast, loves the attached trailer feature, which stays hooked up even during rough play.

WolVol Push and Go Friction Powered Car Toys

Best Truck Set for Boys

These brightly-colored toy cars are made from good quality materials that make them strong and sturdy. Included in the set of three are a street sweeper truck, cement mixer, and harvester.

Each car has an automatic twisting or rotating part that activates when the car is pushed. No batteries are required. This adds a realistic aspect to the toys as the actions mimic real-life scenarios.

User Experience

I've been using these trucks for both my toddler and preschooler, and they've become a favorite in our household. The trucks are durable, withstanding rough play and throwing, and they come with unique features like the rotating sweeper brush and cement barrel. My kids enjoy using them on makeshift ramps and watching them go down with ease. The bright colors and friction motor action make these trucks engaging for both younger and older children. Although not suitable for submerging in water due to the stickers, they can be easily spot cleaned and have provided endless entertainment for my children.

Build Your Own Toy Cars

Most Versatile

This versatile set comes with 60 pieces that can be combined to create over 20 different vehicles. Possible vehicles include construction trucks, police cars, and regular cars. The number of possibilities will have your toddler’s imagination working overtime.

The chunky pieces are designed with round corners for safety and are made from wear-resistant and odorless plastic. Older kids will enjoy these as well.

Personal Perspective

After purchasing this LEGO Duplo set for my little one, I was initially disappointed to find that there were only three vehicle bases included, despite the description stating there could be six cars assembled at once. However, the quality and versatility of these blocks made up for it, as they were compatible with other Duplo sets and tracks we already owned. Although some pieces were a bit difficult for my two-year-old to connect and disconnect without adult assistance, overall, the majority of the blocks fit together well. My child absolutely adores these blocks and has spent countless hours creating adorable cars and playing with them. This set has undoubtedly provided endless entertainment and creative opportunities for both my child and our family.

Take-Apart Toy Set

Best for Problem Solving

This set has three colorful and imaginative options: an airplane, a race car, and a train. Your children can take these apart and put them back together, helping them develop critical thinking skills. When fully assembled, the cars have the ability to roll around smoothly for creative play.

These toys also come with safety in mind. They have no sharp edges for you to worry about. They are made entirely from non-toxic materials and are safe if put into a child’s mouth.

However, some parts are small, so younger children should be supervised when playing with this set.

Community Feedback

Great toy for kids who love assembling and disassembling things! I got this for my 3-year-old twins, but even my older kids find it enjoyable. It's perfect for developing fine motor skills, logical thinking, and sharing. The toy is easy for my 2.5-year-old son to disassemble and reassemble without my help, but the 3-year-olds might need some adult assistance. The colors and design are attractive, and although the plastic can be a bit flimsy, it still provides a fun and educational experience for the little ones.

Green Toys Pink Dump Truck

Best Truck for Girls

This dump truck has a sleek and simple design with a soft pink color. It rolls back and forth and is made to be the perfect size for a child’s small hands.

The Green Toys company prides itself on being eco-friendly. The truck is manufactured in the U.S. with 100% recycled plastic. It is phthalate and BPA-free. And it’s even dishwasher-safe!

The car is made without any external paints, dyes, or coatings. This makes it safe for the earth and the kids who play with it.

First-Hand Impression

Love how this adorable dump truck has brought joy to my daughter and has become her favorite toy. The vibrant purple color and the fact that it is made out of 100% recycled materials in the USA are definite selling points. This little truck is both durable and easy to maneuver, making it perfect for my little one to push around and load up with other toys. However, the bucket does dump a bit too easily, and there's no room in the cab for small characters or figures, which can be a bit frustrating for imaginative play. Despite these minor issues, the truck is still a fantastic, simple, and eco-friendly toy that provides endless fun for my daughter.

Friction-Powered Bulldozer Truck

Most Durable Toy Car

This set of five includes a variety of vehicles for your toddler to play with. They can take their pick of a forklift, bulldozer, cement mixer, dump truck, or tractor with a removable trailer. No batteries are required as these are powered by friction.

The set is made of sturdy, high-quality plastic, and they are small enough that your child can take them anywhere. Pack these little cars in your bag, and your toddler will be entertained no matter where you are.

User Experience

These construction toys have been a big hit with my 1 and 2-year-olds, as well as other young family members. The durability of these toys is impressive, as they've survived countless play sessions and still work well. I appreciate that they roll easily with minimal effort from the kids and don't have small, loose parts that could be a safety concern. Although they're not meant for outdoor play, they're perfect for indoor fun, providing endless entertainment for little ones. Even as my children grow older, their love for these construction vehicles remains strong, making them a lasting favorite in our household.

Early Learning Push and Pull Toy

Most Sleek and Simple

This toy car is modern and sleek in its design. It’s available in several different colors and is easy for youngsters to grab onto. The easy-to-grasp handle makes pushing and pulling simple for even the tiniest fingers.

The car is about 6.13 inches long and is entirely round and smooth, with no sharp edges or removable parts to worry about.

Personal Perspective

Got this sturdy toy for my 10-month-old who loves playing with wheeled toys at daycare. This car has a sleek design and a firm grip, perfect for little hands, but it lacks the haptic feedback that some other toys offer. My child prefers the interesting sensation of toys with a "grrrr doodle daddle" feeling when pushed around on the floor, which encourages crawling. Nevertheless, this car has rubber wheels that grip well on slippery floors and rolls smoothly. It's also durable and great for taking on trips. While it may not be the most exciting toy, it is a great minimalist option for those who appreciate simplicity.

Dinosaur Toy Pull Back Cars

Best Educational Option

This set comes with six different dino vehicles to play with. The potential for creativity is endless as you have a wide variety of dinosaurs represented here, like the T-Rex and Triceratops, to name a few. These are hand-painted realistic dinosaur cars that are made of non-toxic plastic.

The cars will zoom forward if you pull them back first. They are durable and glide effortlessly along the floor. These cars will stimulate the imagination and encourage the development of hand-eye coordination.

Community Feedback

As a grandparent, I was thrilled to see my grandson's excitement when he received these dinosaur cars. From the moment he started playing with them, it was apparent that they were a great way to keep him entertained and engaged. Not only are they perfect for passing the time, but they're also highly durable, which is a must for any child's toy. My son also absolutely adores these dinosaur cars, and I often find him playing with them for hours on end. The overall appeal of these toys seems to be universal for children, and their quality is undeniable. I'm genuinely impressed with the enjoyment these dinosaur cars have brought to our family, and I couldn't be happier with this purchase.

Transforming Robot Race Car

Best for Young Robot Enthusiasts

Using the included play drill and other tools, your child can transform this super cool race car and mini robot into an equally cool mega robot. This car encourages the use of thinking and problem-solving skills, as the car does not transform on its own.

To create the big robot, you must combine parts from the car and the mini-robot. It’s suitable for children over age 3 due to some small parts that could be choking hazards for smaller children.

First-Hand Impression

As a parent, I found this toy to be a fantastic choice for my almost 4-year-old who loves to build and take things apart. This versatile toy allows him to create three different toys: a big robot, a car, and a smaller robot. Although the drill provided isn't very useful and can be difficult for small hands, the screwdriver works great, and my son doesn't seem to mind the drill's shortcomings. The toy's screws may wear down after many uses, but the overall enjoyment and educational value of the toy make it worth the purchase. A word of caution for younger children: be careful when changing the drill bits, as they can pop out suddenly and potentially cause injury.

Disney Pixar Cars Color Changers

Best Cartoon-Themed Toy Car

This interactive toy car allows children to put a spin on the popular character Lightning McQueen. The set includes three Disney Pixar Cars characters: Lightning McQueen, Mater, and Jackson Storm. In addition to the traditional look, it transforms into different colors once the cars are dipped into warm water.

If you have a child who loves the “Cars” movies, they will be delighted to have their own car set to play with. They will have tons of fun recreating their favorite scenes.

The recommended age range is 3 years because small parts, such as wheels, could detach and become choking hazards. If your child is on the lower side of this range, you might want to supervise them with these toys until you’re sure they’re no longer interested in putting things in their mouth.

User Experience

As a grandparent, I've found that these color-changing cars have been a big hit with my grandson and his friends. They're roughly the size of Hot Wheels and provide endless entertainment, especially during bath time, as the kids love watching the colors change in hot and cold water. However, be aware that the original colors may fade and chip over time, and some cars may not return to their initial color without extremely cold water or being placed in the freezer.

Disney Pixar Cars Mini Racers 10 Pack

Best for Party Favors

This set includes 10 mini cars, each with different details but all depicting a different character from the “Cars” movies. The cars are small and easy to handle, and they roll well.

You can use them as cake toppers, although they are also convenient for little party favors. A word of warning, though, these really are “mini” cars, at 1 to 1.5 inches long, so they’re not suitable for younger toddlers.

Personal Perspective

I'm extremely pleased with these miniature cars as they turned out to be the perfect distraction for my toddler during our trip to Disney World. Although they are quite small, about 1.5 inches, my child absolutely adored them and still carries them around six months later. The material appears to be durable, but the only downside is that the paint tends to chip over time with normal play. My son also enjoyed matching them up with his regular-sized diecast cars, calling them "Mommy & Baby cars." These little cars have brought so much joy to my household and have proven to be worth the investment.

Coogam Take Apart Racing Car

Best Take Apart Car

This kit comes with its own electric or manual toy drill that can be used to take the pieces of the car apart and put them back together again. This encourages the use of problem-solving skills.

It’s suitable for kids older than 3 years old.

Community Feedback

This toy car has been a hit with my young grandson, who enjoys putting the pieces together and taking them apart. It's simple enough for a 3.5-year-old to understand and the large, durable pieces make it easy for little hands to work with. The light-up feature is a nice touch and only works when the engine is correctly placed, teaching kids a bit of problem-solving. However, I must admit that some adults, including myself, struggled with assembling it initially. Despite some issues with the lights and sounds not functioning on one of the cars, the overall experience with this toy has been positive and it was well worth the price.

Light Up Monster Trucks

Best Light-Up Option

This fun and creative set include two 6-inch monster trucks with large, light-up wheels. But they don’t only light up; they also flash on and off, creating a mesmerizing light show.

However, the trucks require button batteries, making them a hazard for younger children who could ingest the dangerous batteries.

These vehicles are easy to operate, with just a push-and-go mechanism. If your toddler is as crazy about light-induced stimulation as mine is, this could be a good choice for you.

First-Hand Impression

Bought these light-up cars for my young relatives, and they were an instant hit! The large wheels make it easy for the cars to zoom across carpets, providing endless fun for the little ones. These cars not only light up and change colors, but they also make exciting noises that keep the kids entertained. However, I noticed that they seem a bit cheaply made, but they have held up well so far.

Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies

Best Classic Option

These little cars are fast, fun, and totally adorable. They’re a modern version of the classic push-and-go cars that have been around for decades.

This set includes six vehicles, each with a cute “Little People” character built in.

Many other characters are available if you want to add to your child’s collection. And these cars fit great with the various Little People tracks and towers.

User Experience

My experience with these Little People Wheelies has been delightful, as they are perfect for young children to play with and enjoy. These colorful, adorable cars are easy for little hands to hold and maneuver, and they work seamlessly with the Fisher Price Little People playsets. I appreciate the durability of these toys, as they can withstand rough play without breaking. The only downside is the slightly higher cost, but the quality and entertainment value for my little ones make it well worth the investment.

Prextex Cartoon Vehicles

Best for Competition

This is a great toy for kids who loves car racing with friends. The realistic sounds add to its imaginative play, making it entertaining for the kids.

This duo will entertain kids for hours as they enjoy the challenge of competing against each other in a friendly way. It’s for ages 2 years and over, although I suspect older kids will love this just as much as your 2-year-old.

Personal Perspective

These remote-controlled cars are perfect for my grandson, and he absolutely loves playing with them. The cars are durable and easy to use, with just a forward and reverse button that changes direction when pressed. However, the constant music and sounds can be annoying, especially the louder red race car. The cars also have lights and a button that plays a song, which adds to the fun for kids.

Little People Wheelies

Best Toy Cars for Both Genders

This adorable set of Wheelies from Fisher-Price allows both little boys and girls to race around with their favorite characters. The set includes six different characters on wheels. Each of them is built into their own colorful, unique car.

The use of recognizable characters will encourage story-telling and fuel the imagination immensely.

Community Feedback

If you're looking to complete your child's Little People collection, these race cars are a perfect addition. My toddler played with them for hours, and they fit perfectly on their ramp/garage. However, be aware that only half of the cars work well with the racetrack they're designed for, which can be a bit disappointing considering the price.

Giant Big Rig Hauler

Best for Truck Enthusiasts

If your little boy — or girl — is interested in big trucks, check this out. This set includes a large 26-inch hauler truck that can transport two sports cars on its detachable trailer.

With a realistic touch, it includes a folding tailgate so the cars can easily roll on and off. The front part of the vehicle even features a turning mechanism for easy steering.

First-Hand Impression

I'm genuinely impressed with this truck and its durability, considering my kids can be quite rough with their toys. It's lightweight, making it safer for playtime, even when they decide to toss it around. The size of the truck and cars exceeded my expectations, and my nephew was absolutely thrilled when he received it as a gift. Attaching the trailer might be a bit challenging for younger kids, but it doesn't hinder their fun in driving and parking the cars.

Wooden Race Track and Cars

Best Wooden Option

Four mini race cars come with this wooden race track. The wood is BPA-free and stained with non-toxic, water-based paint. The colors are fun, and the cars roll smoothly up and down the ramps.

In addition to being fun, this toy is built with education in mind. The ramps are linked together, and your child will have to figure out how they work.

User Experience

If you're looking for a simple and engaging toy for young children, this car racing set is a great option. I found it easy to assemble and it quickly became a favorite for both my 2 1/2 year old grandson and my 13 month old. The toy promotes hand coordination, visual tracking, and provides a fun way to learn colors and numbers. However, be cautious with the small cars, as they can be a choking hazard and require adult supervision during playtime.
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Safety First

While toy cars are an excellent way for your child to learn and grow while also enjoying themselves, it is essential to choose an age-appropriate car. Not all cars that are suitable for a 3-year-old are going to be safe for a baby.

When choosing a toy car for toddlers, pay attention to the parts involved (1).

Are there small wheels that could come loose? Toy car wheels are a common choking hazard. Are there sharp edges to hurt themselves on? Are there moving parts where fingers could get stuck?

For toddlers, it’s best to choose simple, sturdy cars with rounded corners and no small or detachable parts.

Babies love to put anything and everything into their mouths. You must ensure the toy is made from safe, non-toxic materials because, at some point, they will attempt to chew on it. It is also important that parts do not detach.

For children who are 2 to 3 years old, cars with more complex features will be appropriate as long as they’re still safe. Detachable and moving parts become less hazardous and will add a level of interest and detail to the toy.

How to Choose a Toy Car for Toddlers

For a baby or young toddler, simple, straightforward designs that are easy to grab and hold on to will minimize frustration. Bright colors and patterns will keep their attention.

Push-along toys will encourage the development of motor skills and coordination. Toys with rattle sounds or music are great for developing sensory development (2).

Look for toy cars that move easily and roll around smoothly. Also, try to choose toys that have some effects, like bright lights or sounds. Pull-back or zoom-forward features may provide some excitement, and your child will feel a sense of accomplishment as they master the skills.

Older toddlers will benefit from toy cars that are a little more challenging. Cars that require some building or piecing together will encourage them to use their critical thinking skills.

Toy cars with characters included or attached will stimulate the imagination and encourage role-play. Those that include some numbers or letters will introduce them to reading and counting.

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Why is the Best Kids Toy Car Brand?

The best kids’ toy car brand often depends on personal preference, but some popular brands include Melissa & Doug for its wide variety of designs and durable play and Green Toys for eco-friendly options. Consider the child’s interests and the quality and safety of the products.

Are Toy Cars Good For Toddlers?

Toy cars are excellent for toddlers as they encourage imaginative play, fine motor skills development, and understanding of cause and effect. Look for cars that are durable, easy to grasp, and suitable for the child’s age.

What Age Are Toys Cars For?

Toy cars are generally suitable for children as young as one year old and can continue to be enjoyed throughout childhood.

The appropriate age varies based on the toy’s size, complexity, and safety features. Always check the recommended age range and ensure the toy meets safety standards.

What is the Fastest Toy Car?

The fastest toy car could refer to several high-speed RC (remote control) cars or track-based toy cars.

Among track cars, brands like Hot Wheels often produce special sets designed for speed. In the realm of RC cars, models can vary widely, with some hobby-grade cars reaching impressive speeds.

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Headshot of Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Reviewed by

Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN, is a pediatric intensive care nurse at Children's Hospital of New York for the past 14 years. Jennifer also has extensive experience teaching Maternity and Obstetric Nursing, as well as Pediatrics Nursing.