The best road playmats for toy cars

Toy cars need little roads to drive on. A play mat with roads provides the ideal setting for little car fans to create their own world.

Three die cast toy cars

by Chris Williams |

I had a little road playmat. In fact, it still lives on the top shelf of a cupboard somewhere. Along with my red pedal car, playing with my toy cars on that mat occupied most of my spare time when I was really young.

Every kid that likes cars ought to have one and in passing on mat wisdom, we are recommending our favourite road playmats.

The best road mats

This road playmat covers all bases. The road layout is excellent and varied and the print quality is great. While it has carpet texture, the mat is an unspecified polyamide, but most likely nylon, so you can just wipe it down for cleaning.

Of course we like the double-sided nature of this mat too, with a rural setting on the flip side. And if you're thinking 80 x 150cm might be a bit small, there is a larger 100 x 165cm version too.

If it's size you desire, consider this. The layout is quite good, we particularly like the inclusion of a railway. The only thing we don't like is that a few vehicles are printed onto the roads already. The roads ought to be clear for the toy cars to drive on.

Where the mat above is more of a carpet or rug, this has a smoother finish like a vinyl floor, thanks to a PVC film over the top. We prefer the carpet-type texture but this acts a great protective floor mat for general use too.

Like our Editor's Pick, this mat is double-sided. On one side is a race track and on the other, city streets. That's brilliant.

The downsides are that the mat isn't very big and isn't as thick as our top recommendation, but then it is significantly cheaper. So you can't be too surprised at that.

This mat does very well at providing bang for buck. Granted, it doesn't have a race track on the flip side and nor is it as large as the EDUK8 Worldwide mat. But it is a nylon pile carpet like our top pick and covers a large area.

The only downside is that the scene doubles up. It repeats, which is unfortunate but not a deal breaker.

Tracks

Tracks are worth considering too. They bring a third dimension to toy car driving, even if it is a bit more rigid and restricted that a free-to-roam playmat.

If bringing some 3D to a road playmat is of interest but a track is not, consider a toy car garage. We have our favourites included in our guide.

Hot Wheels Track Builder Vertical Launch Kit

One of many greats
Hot Wheels Track Builder Vertical Launch Kit
Amazon

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There are many Hot Wheels track kits that we like and it's very hard to choose one, but we have and this is it. The reason we chose it is because it covers almost every base expected of a Hot Wheels track.

It has a loop, and a corkscrew, and stands over 1.2 metres tall. The blue track goes uphill, boosting the car from the launcher at the bottom. It comes with non-damaging 3M adhesive pads for mounting the track to the wall.

If it's a Hot Wheels garage you're after, the Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage is fantastic (it'd better given it includes Super and Ultimate in the name). It's a massive multi-storey complex that has a motorised lift and can hold over 140 cars.

Scalextric

Scalextric has modernised over the years to evolve into an impressive high-tech toy for racing fans of any age. Read CAR's in-depth Scalextric review and our top-picks of the best sets.

Toy car sets

A road playmat is incomplete without cars to drive on it. Below are a few of CAR's top-rated diecast car sets.

Hot Wheels Nightburnerz 10 Pack Mini Collection

Hot Wheels Nightburnerz 10 Pack Mini Collection
Amazon

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A handful of 1:64-scale Hot Wheels-tuned cars based on real models.

Hot Wheels 20-Car Pack

Hot Wheels 20-Car Pack
Amazon

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This is the best starter pack, consisting of weird and wonderful 1:64-scale Hot Wheels machines.

Matchbox Gift Set

Matchbox Gift Set
Amazon

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The more realistic sibling of Hot Wheels is of course Matchbox. This gift set contains a range of nine neat 1:64-scale models. The models in the kits vary.

Majorette Vintage Giftpack

Majorette Vintage Giftpack
Amazon

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We only recommend these to gentle children. They're supposed to be for collectors but some kids take care of their cars and could use these super realistic models. The cars in this pack have detailed interiors as well as exteriors. There are a few other Majorette packs like this, including a muscle car one.

Read next:

The best LEGO Speed Champions sets: awesome models on a budget

Our favourite film-themed car toys, models, and kits

The best Tamiya R/C kits

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