Starting Outdoor Karting. What are the costs?
Starting karting and be a scary and daunting process if you are new to it and don’t know where/how to start. It is also very difficult to get anyone to break down all the costs involved.
Try before you buy
First of all its recommended you do an experience day in a kart, as a try before you buy. Experience days vary in price from £200-£500 depending on the team you go with and the type of package you go for.
Once you have given it a go and decided its something you want to do its then time to look for a kart. The price of a kart varies depending on the class, age, manufacturer, spec and engine type.
Cadet chassis are subject to a price cap so the max a manufacture can charge for a brand new rolling chassis is £2760 inc vat (rolling chassis is a full kart package without tyres and engine hence the name rolling chassis)
Junior & senior chassis vary in price but brand new a rolling chassis is around £3500-£4500
Depending on your chosen class a brand new engine and all the ancillaries cost anywhere from £800-£3500.
A brand new mini/junior/Senior setup including chassis and engine will cost around £6000. For a full cadet setup you can expect it to cost around £3600.
Buying a used kart
It is also possible to look at lower cost options by purchasing a second hand kart and engine. Depending on the condition and how well they have been looked its possible to come across a great deal. The prices vary massively so its difficult to put a figure on it so check out our guide on buying a new kart. (INSERT LINK TO OTHER BLOG BUYING A KART GUIDE)
The ongoing costs of karting
Once you have your kart what are the other on going costs.
- Track fees / race entry (£40/£60-£100/£180) – these are unavoidable costs and slightly vary track to track. Test days usually cost around £40-£60 where as full race weekends are anywhere from £100-£200.
- Tyres (£120-£180) – depending on your class and tyre type the costs slightly vary, for test days there isn’t much of a need to use new tyres however for important race days its recommended to have a new set of tyres as there is a performance advantage. Some championships also restrict the amount of new tyres allowed which is a good way to reduce costs. It is also possible to source good used tyres which can be used for testing.
- Consumables/fuel (£25) – maintenance of your kart is important as such it is good to have a range of sprays, lubricants and oils. Chain Lube, Brake Cleaner, Carb Cleaner, Multi Lube these can last for a few months but initially you will be looking at a cost around £25.
- Spare Parts (N/A) – you have to remember karting is a form of motorsport and parts do wear and mechanical failures happen. Unfortunately you will also end up with crash damage. Common parts which are worth stocking, a range of chains and sprockets, spare spark plugs, track rods. Then common crash damage parts, a pair of stub axles, a steering column, rear axle.
- Fuel & Travel (N/A) – Karting is a national sport and if you take part in a national championship it can take you to all ends of the country. Your kart also uses fuel budget £15-30 worth of fuel for a weekends karting. But it is also worth considering the fuel for your van / car, hotel/camping costs, food etc.
Depending on your knowledge, background and circumstances you maybe be considering joining a kart team. There are many positives to joining a team however it does increase costs. The team can help with kart preparation and servicing, kart storage and transport, mechanical support and owning space on a weekend.
There is also the added benefit of being able to work as part of a team to find the best setup for a kart, work with your team mates, have all the support, infrastructure and backing on a race weekend on the team which can also help reduce for initial start up costs as you wont need to buy certain bits of kit. You can see a more about this here (INSERT LINK TO Should I race with a team?)