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How Old Do Kids Need To Be To Drive A Go-Kart?

If your kids are starting to show enthusiasm or interest in karting, you may be wondering what age you can sign them up. There can be definitive age ranges for kids go-karting, however, there are many things to consider before calling to reserve a slot at the local track.

Kids usually need to be at least 5 or 6 years old to ride a go-kart at most tracks. All tracks will have individual policies pertaining to the minimum height and weight of children, with kid karting typically starting at age 5. Maturity also plays a role in whether they can kart.

Every kid is different, therefore other factors are necessary for considering whether go-karting would be a good fit for your kid. Below we discuss what you should know before enrolling your kid in go-karting including how fast your kid grows and how mature they are.

Which Kart Series Is Best For Kids?

The first thing to consider when enrolling your kid in karting is the kart series they would likely be in. Kart racing is split into age brackets and are categorized as follows: Kid Karts/Baby Karts (age 5-7), Cadet (age 7-12), Junior (age 12-15), and Senior (age 15+). These age ranges can vary depending on the track, but this is the most common range bracket across the country.

Karting is separated by age because the types of karts differ in size and the engines get progressively more powerful and require more experience to operate. Therefore, typically, the older the kid is, the bigger and more powerful their kart will be.

Get Them Involved Early

If you are considering getting your kid into go-karting, it is better to get them involved as soon as they’re able. Children are very adept at learning and during their formative years, will learn and store more information than most adults. Even Formula-level drivers started their careers as go-kart drivers as soon as they could get into a kart.

Kids need quite a high level of maturity to succeed in and enjoy go-karting. They need to be aware of their surroundings and realize they need to be careful when driving a potentially dangerous machine. That isn’t to say that they should be hyper-aware and therefore scared of the activity, it should still be fun, after all.

I’d recommend that kids seeking a new hobby for enjoyment should try out the Cadet class (ages 7-12). Karts at this level are no joke with how fast they can go at top speeds (almost 50 mph/80.5 kph), but this age bracket is a time when kids will start becoming more careful.

They’ll be more receptive to warnings of danger and absorb safety briefings better than younger children, often while retaining the essence of fun that comes with the sport. However, this is highly dependent on the child on a personal level, so this is by no means a rule.

How Fast Your Child Will Grow Out Of Their Karting Gear Matters

An inevitable fact of life is that kids are going to keep on growing and growing. Therefore, it is important to consider your kid’s growth when deciding whether to enroll in go-karting. If you’re looking for a casual hobby for your child to participate in every once in a while, growth may not matter as much as you can utilize the kart club’s race suits and helmets at your leisure.

However, if you plan to make go-karting an important part of your kid’s life, it is important to think about how fast your kid grows. As your kid undergoes physical growth, they will likely need new equipment and even new karts every couple of years. This can make go-karting quite the costly past-time.

If you are considering buying your own karts for your kid to race in, I encourage you to have a serious talk with them. Racing go-karts doesn’t mean they need to become a world-class racer someday but ensuring that they are dedicated to this hobby for a while is important when making these decisions.

When owning your own kart, you are responsible for the fixes and maintenance, and your child should also be involved in that process. Allowing your kid to participate in this aspect can show you how seriously they take it. Some kids may reach this kind of maturity at 5 years old, and some might get there at 10 years old. Therefore, once again, it is dependent on the individual kid.

Final Thoughts

In most cases, kids need to be at least 5 years old to go-kart. However, this is dependent on the individual track as well as the individual kid. When considering enrolling your kid, think about how fast they grow, how mature they are, and how seriously they would take this activity.