Best young petrolhead gifts

You can't buy them a hot hatch but you can still get them some cool car gifts

Three toy cars as gifts for young petrolheads

by Ryan Gilmore |
Updated on

No matter what the occasion, whenever motoring gifts are in the offing, the junior motoring enthusiast in your family will be waiting expectantly as you peruse the best young petrolhead gifts. Younger children seem to be naturally drawn to the fun to be had with toy cars and trucks. They may have been given a Christmas gift of a toy car and been captured by how it can move in all directions, spinning the wheels, making engine noises and the fact that most toy cars can fit comfortably in a child's hand. Sometimes the interest in toy cars wanes, sometimes it doesn't and progresses to a more rounded interest, perhaps even developing a keen interest in the wider motoring world, and that's when you know you need to start looking for gifts for young petrolheads!

That interest in cars and vehicles, in general, can turn into a lifelong hobby or even lead to gainful employment in the motoring or motor-related industries.

Best young petrolhead gifts at a glance:

Best gift for Porsche fanatics (Editor's choice): Playmobil Porshe - Buy now from Amazon UK

Best gift for young gamers: Forza Horizon 4 - Buy now from Amazon UK

Best actual driving experience: Junior sports car experience - Buy now from Buyagift

There is a whole generation of young petrolheads who want to enjoy cars, and car-themed gifts are the perfect way to let their passion grow and bond with them, too. Avoid the bad knock-off die-cast cars and get them something seriously cool with our guide to gifts for young petrolheads.

Best young petrolhead gifts

Best gift for Porsche fanatics (Editor's choice)

Playmobil Porsche

Rrp: $84.99

Price: $67.14

A kids' model of one of the best-looking electric concept cars? Yes, please. We at CAR rate the Porsche Taycan very highly, so for Playmobil to now be offering kids' toys of the Mission E that inspired the Taycan is an awesome gift idea. Just don't get too jealous when you can't have a go.


  • Easy for children to operate
  • Functioning lights


  • Needs adult help to set it up

Best gift for young gamers

Quite possibly the best car game on sale today, Forza Horizon 4 is a seriously impressive game. With arcade-like physics, it's easy for a child to play and with over 700 cars to choose from, it'll get them knowing about the coolest cars on earth. I mean, where else can you drive a Mercedes AMG 'Hammer', McLaren 600LT and an Austin Seven?


  • Huge choice of cars
  • Great gameplay


  • Some additional paid-for content

Best book gift for young petrolheads

Grand Tour A-Z of the car

Rrp: $60.00

Price: $53.39

A great book to get them hooked on cars, this book is filled with iconic brands and car-based trivia. If they're a fan of The Grand Tour, then this book will be right up their street and help them learn about some seriously cool cars.


  • Educational and funny
  • Lots of car facts


  • It's a book!

Best actual driving experience

What could be a better gift than letting them drive a sports car around a race track, and, no, we don't mean on Gran Turismo? For kids over the age of 10 (14 for Lydden Hill), they'll have a choice of a Porsche Boxster S, Subaru Impreza or Mitsubishi Eclipse. They will be accompanied by a trained professional too, so you don't have to worry about them binning an Impreza.


  • Real driving experience
  • Cool cars


  • Age restrictions

Best gift for really young petrol heads

A cool selection of models, Cars is a movie they'll have probably seen and will love. With all their favourite characters from the first movie, they'll have hours of enjoyment. Plus, they'll all neatly fit back in the truck, so you don't slip on one and go flying down the stairs.


  • Great car selection
  • Favourite characters included


  • The trailer could be sturdier

Best gift for creativity

Airfix Ford
Price: $25.98

A model-making kit, this Ford 3-litre GT shouldn't be too hard for them to complete. Harbour their creativity as they learn how to paint and properly build a model car. Do it together or simply supervise, but one thing is guaranteed: when they finish it, they'll take great pride in showing it off.


  • Encourages creativity
  • Great finish


  • Might require some supervision

Best Lego set gift for young petrolheads

LEGO sets are always fun to play with, and this is no exception. Two immediately iconic classic cars and a drag strip set up will give them hours of fun. Packed with original Aston Martin design details, these epic cars are fun to build and awesome to race.


  • Encourages coordination and creativity
  • Great fun to play with


  • Might require some adult assistance

Best stunt gift for young petrolhead

A nifty R/C car, this is designed for performing fun stunts. With a 4WD system and flippable sides, there is plenty of fun to be had with this. Drive it on nearly any surface or make it do the automotive equivalent of breakdancing like that Citroen C4 advert, only green. Plus, we all love R/C cars at CAR, so couldn't recommend one enough.


  • Will tackle just about any surface
  • Great for stunts


  • Takes a little time to master

Some more ideas to give you some inspiration:

Inspiring a young child's interest in cars can be a fun and educational endeavour. Here are some gift ideas that might help spark their fascination with cars:

Toy Cars: Start with a collection of toy cars that vary in size, type, and model. Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and die-cast models are great choices.

Car Books: Picture books and storybooks about cars, car races, or car adventures can capture a child's imagination.

Car Themed Puzzles: Jigsaw puzzles featuring car scenes or car-shaped puzzles can be both entertaining and educational.

Remote-Controlled Cars: RC cars come in a variety of sizes and styles. They can introduce a child to basic engineering concepts and provide hours of entertainment.

Model Car Kits: Age-appropriate model car kits can be a great way to teach children about assembly, detailing, and the inner workings of cars.

Car Coloring Books and Art Supplies: Coloring books featuring cars and art supplies can encourage creativity and a love for automotive design.

Car-Themed Clothing and Accessories: T-shirts, pyjamas, or backpacks with car designs can make a child feel connected to their interest.

Car Museums or Car Show Tickets: Take them to a local car museum or a car show where they can see a variety of cars up close and learn about their history.

Ride-On Cars: Battery-powered or pedal-powered ride-on cars can give kids a taste of what it's like to drive a car and can be a lot of fun for outdoor play.

Trip to a Go-Kart Track: Taking them to a go-kart track for a fun and safe driving experience can be an exciting adventure.

Remember to consider the child's age and interests when selecting gifts to ensure they are appropriate and engaging. By providing a variety of car-related experiences and items, you can help nurture their curiosity and passion for cars.

Ryan Gilmore is the Deputy Autos and Tools Editor for CAR, specialising in car cleaning and hand tools. With an MA in Automotive Journalism, when he's not testing buckets he can be found looking at old Porsches.

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