Are Remote Control Cars Allowed on Airplanes: TSA and Airline Regulations

Are Remote Control Cars Allowed on Airplanes: TSA and Airline Regulations

Remote control cars are often considered as a fun hobby that provides hours of entertainment for kids and adults alike. Whether you’re racing them around the block, taking them off-road, or drifting them around corners, remote control cars can be a great way to destress and have some fun. If you’re planning to take a trip or fly to visit relatives, you might want to pack your remote control car with you. However, you may be wondering, are remote control cars allowed on airplanes? Can you take them with you as carry-on or checked baggage, and what are the regulations you need to follow? In this article, we’ll answer all your questions and walk you through everything you need to know about traveling with remote control cars on airplanes. We’ll explore the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations, battery types, packaging, and airline policies to ensure you can travel with your remote control car without any issues. So, let’s get started and find out if you can bring your favorite remote control car with you on your next flight!

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Regulations

When it comes to traveling with remote control cars, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the governing body responsible for regulating what items can be brought on airplanes. Here are some TSA regulations you need to be aware of if you’re planning to take your remote control car with you on your next flight:

  • Battery-powered toys and any components that contain lithium-ion batteries are usually allowed as carry-on or checked baggage.
  • Regulations can vary based on the type and size of the batteries used in remote control cars.
  • LiPo batteries are considered as hazardous materials and require special handling.
  • Inform airline staff when checking-in your LiPo batteries and they should be packed separately.
  • Battery capacity should be below 100 watt-hours per battery.

It’s important to note that regulations can vary based on airline policies and the local regulations of your destination. If you’re unsure whether your remote control car can be carried onto an airplane or put in checked baggage, it’s best to check with the airline directly before your trip. Additionally, websites like and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) are handy resources that you can peruse to get the latest information about traveling with drones, toys and other electronic items.

Can you fly with RC car batteries?

Yes, you can fly with RC car batteries, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • The batteries must be properly maintained and charged to ensure they are safe for flight.
  • You must check with the airline beforehand to ensure they allow RC batteries on board.
  • Batteries should be transported in their original packaging or in a fireproof container.
  • You may need to provide documentation showing the batteries meet certain safety standards.

It is also important to note that some countries have restrictions on bringing these types of batteries into the country. Always check local laws and regulations before transporting RC car batteries on a flight.

Battery Type

Different types of batteries require different handling during traveling on airplanes. When it comes to remote control cars, LiPo (Lithium Polymer) batteries are the most commonly used types of batteries. These batteries are lightweight, powerful, and long-lasting with higher discharge rates than other types of batteries. However, LiPo batteries also have some safety concerns and regulatory requirements to follow. It’s important to know that:

  • Lipo batteries need to be packed separately due to the fire hazard risk.
  • The battery capacity should be below 100 watt-hours per battery.
  • A watt-hour rating measures the energy capacity of a battery.
  • Multiply the amp hours by the volts to find the watt-hours capacity per battery.
  • Label the package or batteries as “Lithium Polymer batteries” or “LiPo batteries”.

The TSA website has a comprehensive list of guidelines for travelers about transporting lithium batteries, including information on travel with LiPo batteries. Moreover, websites like Amazon or Hobbyking have a wide range of LiPo batteries designed for remote control cars that meet the regulatory requirements and safety standards. Before purchasing a Lipo battery, always check the size, capacity, and watt-hour rating to ensure you’re within the legal limits. Here’s a table that shows specific TSA regulations for batteries:

Battery Type Permitted in Carry-on Bags Permitted in Checked Bags
Rechargeable lithium-ion Yes (up to 100 Wh) Yes (up to 160 Wh)
Lithium metal No Yes (up to 2 grams)
Lithium-ion No Yes (100-160 Wh with airline approval)

What types of batteries are allowed on airplanes?

  • Dry cell batteries (AA, AAA, C, D batteries) are allowed on airplanes.
  • Lithium-ion batteries with a watt-hour rating of less than 100Wh are allowed as carry-on or checked baggage. You can bring up to 20 spare batteries. If the watt-hour rating is between 100Wh and 160Wh, they need to be approved by the airline.
  • Lead-acid batteries are allowed in carry-on or checked baggage as long as they’re properly packaged and don’t exceed 12 volts or 100 watts per battery.

For more information, you can visit the TSA website or consult with your airline for specific guidelines.


Proper packaging of your remote control car is essential to avoid any damage during transport. Fortunately, the TSA has clear guidelines regarding how to package your remote control car if you plan to bring it on your flight. Here are some tips on how to pack your remote control car:

  • Remove the batteries from your remote control car to ensure TSA compliance.
  • Wrap the remote control car in bubble wrap, foam, or packing peanuts to provide cushioning during transport.
  • Use a sturdy box that is slightly larger than your remote control car to provide extra protection.
  • Ensure that the box is securely taped and that it doesn’t take up too much space in your luggage.

To make the packaging process more convenient, you can purchase specialized travel cases that are designed to hold remote control cars securely during transport. Professional-grade cases on websites like Amazon and RC Planet are available with customizable foam inserts with compartments for batteries, tools, and spare parts. These cases are durable and can offer superior protection to your remote control car during transit. However, always check your airline’s luggage restrictions before choosing to bring a separate case for your remote control car.

Can you pack a remote control car in checked luggage?

Yes, you can pack a remote control car in your checked luggage as per the TSA guidelines. However, you should take extra care while packing it to prevent damage. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Put the car in its original packaging or wrap it securely in bubble wrap to prevent any damage.
  • Make sure to remove the batteries before packing. Lithium batteries, in particular, are not allowed in checked luggage and should be carried in your carry-on baggage.
  • Label your baggage as “fragile” to ensure proper care during handling.

Always check the latest TSA guidelines and your airline’s policies to ensure a hassle-free travel experience.

Airline Regulations

Although the TSA has specific guidelines for travel with remote control cars, every airline has its own rules and regulations that you have to follow. Some airlines may have restrictions regarding the size, weight or type of batteries. It’s important to clarify these rules well in advance of your trip to avoid any surprises at the airport. Here are some things to keep in mind when checking with the airline:

  • Check if the remote control car can be considered as a carry-on item or checked-in luggage.
  • Check if there are size or weight restrictions that could impact your travel plans.
  • Check if there are any restrictions on the type of batteries that can be carried on the flight.
  • Ask if you need to notify the airline in advance of your intent to travel with a remote control car.

Some carriers like Southwest have published guidelines for packing and traveling with remote control cars on their website. A copy of the TSA guidelines may also be helpful when clarifying with the airline. You can find the latest TSA guidelines and other useful tips for smooth air travel on the TSA’s website.

Can I travel with a remote control car?

Yes, you can travel with a remote control car. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to pack your remote control car securely, preferably in a hard-shell case.
  • Check with your airline to see if there are any restrictions or regulations regarding bringing a remote control car on board.
  • Be mindful of the battery life of your car and pack extra batteries if needed.
  • Consider the size and weight of your remote control car, as it may count towards your baggage limit.

If you’re interested in purchasing a remote control car specifically for travel purposes, there are compact and lightweight options available from various online retailers such as Amazon and HobbyKing.


In conclusion, remote control cars can be brought on airplanes but it’s important to follow the TSA and airline regulations. Lithium-ion battery-powered toys, including remote control cars, require special handling due to their potentially hazardous nature. You must remove the batteries and pack them properly when traveling with remote control cars. Additionally, each airline has its own set of rules and regulations that you must adhere to. We recommend checking with the airline directly to clarify any concerns or questions regarding travel with remote control cars.

Remember to plan ahead and be proactive about gathering information and ensuring compliance with TSA and airline regulations. With proper planning and preparation, you can enjoy your remote control car during your travels, whether it’s a business trip or a vacation.

As a final word of caution, we encourage you to avoid running your remote control car in the airport terminal or aboard the aircraft. Operating the car can be a disruption to fellow travelers and pose a potential safety hazard.

Overall, it is possible to travel with your remote control car safely and securely. Be sure to follow the guidelines provided by the TSA and your airline to make your journey smooth and hassle-free.