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10 of the best ride-on toys for toddlers

Which sit-on and push-along cars, animal and starter trikes are the best – and most fun – for children aged 12 months and up? With the help of our toddler testers, we've selected the top ride-on buys

best-ride-ons

Toddlers love sit-on toys that allow them to scoot around more or less under their own steam. And ride-ons now come in so many shapes and sizes that your child can hit the open road (well, the garden path) in anything from a classic car or snazzy feet-to-floor trike to a bug, ladybird – and even a ride-on pirate ship.

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But which ride-on toys are the best ones to buy? We enlisted a little army of toddler testers to sit, ride and scoot around in – and on– all sort of ride-ons to find out which ones have the most play potential and offer the best value for money.

Some of our best-buy selection are perfect for the just-about-walking 1 year-old. Others are designed to last longer and even adapt to a scooter as your child grows. All of them are sturdy and fun and have serious toddler kerb appeal…

Here are the best ride-on toys, as tested by toddlers and rated by their parents…

1. Mini Micro 3in1 Deluxe Push Along Scooter, £109.95

Age: 1 to 5

What it is: A lightweight (1.8kg) 3-in-1 scooter with a removable seat and removable parent-steering handle. When your child is ready to scoot, the seat can be removed and the handlebar raised. Available in 6 colours. Requires some self-assembly.

Why we love it: It’s pricey but it’s winningly adaptable and sturdy, and we love how long-lasting it is (up to a max child weight of 35kg) – you’ll get a lot of scoot for your money. “The utter joy on my son’s face when he saw it and rode it for the first time was amazing! I’d recommend this to anyone I know,” said Samantha, mum of our 18-month-old child tester, Ethan. We like its super-soft handlebar grips and grippy, reinforced footplate.
Available from: Mini Micro

2. Scuttlebug, £19.99

Age: 1 to 3

What it is: A foot-to-floor ride-on with 3 wheels and front-wheel steering. Folds down in 3 steps for storage. Comes in Pink Butterfly, Red Ladybird or Yellow Bumblebee. No assembly required.

Why we love it: We like the bright and funky design, the super-quick fold and that it comes ready to ride straight out of the box. Kimetra, mum to our child tester Bob, 2, said, “This is excellent value for money. Bob loves going on it, making car and train noises, and it allows him to move at the pace he wants. It even fits in the basket of my buggy!”

Available from: Argos

3. Zebra Balance Bike, £39.99

Age: 1 to 2

What it is: A lightweight (2kg) ride on with 2 fully enclosed, anti-skid wheels at the front and one at the back. Features a padded seat and front steering. Also comes as a Giraffe. Requires some self-assembly.

Why we love it: It’s very cute and the animal design makes it a proper little toddler magnet. Claire, mum to our child tester Casper, 14 months, says, “My little boy’s face lights up when he sees this. He can sit on it by himself, steer and even go backwards. He uses it daily.” Your child will need a bigger balance bike once they’re 3 or so, though.

Available from: Beehive Toys

4. Smoby 2 in 1 reversible scooter, £49.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A 3-wheeled foot to floor trike with 2-position adjustable handlebars that flips easily (no tools needed) to a 3-wheeled scooter as your child grows in confidence. Choose from blue and green or pink and blue. Some self-assembly required.

Why we love it: It’s not the lightest ride on at 3.3kg but it looks very snazzy. “It feels well made and secure,” said Rebecca, mum to our child tester Harry, 2, “and I think it’s good value for money – it will grow well with your child and last a good few years.” We found it the wheels a little stiff but Harry has been riding it every day since he got it and his older brother’s enjoyed using it as a scooter, too.

Available from:  AmazonVery and Littlewoods

5. Buggly Wuggly Ride with Lights and Sounds, £29.99

Age: 1 to 3

What it is: A light (1.63kg), bug-shaped BPA-free plastic red and purple ride on with squeaky, light-up horns and under-seat storage. Requires 3 x AAA batteries (included)

Why we love it: It’s more of an indoor ride on, this one (though you could take it outside on smoother pavements) but it’s fun, very well made and super-easy for even very young toddlers to get on and off by themselves. Our testers loved lifting the seat up and down and making the horns light up and beep (the sound isn’t annoyingly loud). Better on a hard floor than a carpet, though.

Available from: Smyths Toys and Amazon

6. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Classic, £50

Age: 18 months+

What it is: An 85cm-tall red plastic car with a steering wheel, door that opens, removable floor to offer pushing or self-propelled modes, working horn, cup holders, storage area for toy passengers and front wheels that spin round 360°. Available in loads of other designs, including a dinosaur, fairy and police car. Some self-assembly required.

Why we love it: The Cozy Coupe’s been a bestseller for over 30 years and it still sets toddler hearts aflutter today. We actually had a mini child tester fight about who got to sit in this first… Fun, brilliantly manoeuvrable, and really robust (left outside, it’ll withstand a few British winters).

Available from: Argos, Smyths Toys and Amazon

7. Molto Ride On Truck With 10 Blocks, £29.99

Age: 12 months+

What it is: A bright sit-on truck with all-surface tyres, a push-along handle at the back, under-seat storage and a set of building blocks that can be stacked on various parts of the truck. Also comes in red.

Why we love it: It’s lovely and bright, great value and sturdy enough to double as a walker if your child’s not quite steady on their pins yet. The star feature, though, is definitely the stacking blocks, which our testers loved slotting onto the steering wheel and mudguards. Works well indoors and out – though maybe leave the blocks at home if you’re going out or you’ll lose them in the park.

Available from: Smyths Toys and Amazon

8. Ladybird Balance Bug, £39.99

Age: 12 months+

What it is: A wooden ride-on ladybird, with a wipe-clean padded foam seat, handle grips and 360°-rotating castor wheels that mean your child can ride it in any direction. Also available as a Lion, Panda and Bumblebee. Max child weight: 20kg. Some self-assembly required.

Why we love it: We like the easy-grip handlebars – just the right height for a toddler. Our child tester, Dara, 1 took to his Balance Bug so enthusiastically, he’s now insisting on sitting on it when he’s watching TV and he’s having dinner! His mum Leighann rated it for its sturdiness, manoeuvrability – and that comfy seat. “It’s worth every penny,” she said. We chose this as one of our Top 100 Xmas Toys

Available fromBeehive Toy Factory and Amazon

9. Baby Clementoni My First Ride On, £24.99

Age: 12 months+

What it is: A 59cm-long, vintage-style ride-on car made from 100% recycled materials with a squeaky horn and steerable wheels. Some self-assembly required.

Why we love it: Lola, our 20-month-old child tester got the hang of riding the car straightaway and loved the beepable horn, while her mum Laura was impressed by its the retro look and the fact that it’s well-made, sturdy and formed from reclaimed plastic. We all noted, though, that this toy is probably more of an indoor ride-on than and outdoor one, as the front is quite low, which can make it hard going on very uneven surfaces.

Available fromSmyths ToysAmbrose Wilson  and Amazon

10. Little Tikes Play n Scoot Pirate Ship, £39.99

Age: 18 months+

What it is: A 55cm-high plastic pirate ship ride-on toy with 4 wheels, an easy-grip handle, under-seat storage and a press-button on the mast handlebar that makes pirate sounds. Comes with 3 figures, cannon, anchor and pirate flag. Max child weight: 23kg. Some self-assembly required. Requires 2 x AA batteries (included).

Why we love it: You can push it and play with it, as well as sit on it and ride. It easy to assemble, very sturdy and the handlebar mast is just the right height for a 18-month-old. Our toddler child testers were very taken with the sound effects – particularly the cannons firing and the anchors dropping – and we like how chunky the little play figures are.

Available from: Argos and Amazon

We’ve more top-rated toys here:

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