For decades, motorsports have been considered a sport only affordable by a small portion of people in our society. However, things have changed after the cost of motor vehicles started to come down.

These days, you can buy, build or rent go-karts to enjoy the fun of go-karting according to your budget. Thousands of tracks around the US offer rental services with high-quality tracks and facilities.

Even after this widespread popularity, the question remains today, is karting expensive? There are several factors to consider here. So, without wasting time, let’s dive deep and see the cost breakdown of go-karting.

Is Karting Expensive? (Discussed how much karting cost)

As you are here, I assume you have general knowledge about the go-karting scene. So, let me break it to you, karting is expensive. There are a lot of areas involved around go-karting that will cost you money. Some of them might be small, while some will take a massive chunk from your pocket. Let’s start with the kart itself.


A decent quality kart, just for fun riding, will cost you more than a thousand bucks. Are you planning on going professional or participating in championships? Then the cost of the kart can quickly go up to $7000. The reason is that a racing kart has better parts and construction.

It’s self-explanatory, as the kart is made for racing; it has a top-notch engine and other parts. You might save a couple of hundred bucks if you build one on your own, but I’ll come to that later.

Aside from buying a kart, add another hundred to buy the protective gear like hand gloves and helmets. So, there you have it, the fundamental cost of getting into karting. Then, as we advance, I’ll discuss other expenses you might have to bear in different forms of karting.

How much does go-kart racing cost?

I get it; you are a big fan of go-karting and want to enjoy the adrenalin rush of racing competitively. But there are two ways someone can approach go-kart racing,  professionally, for championships, or you might try to have fun with friends and family. The cost will be different in each case.

First, let me break down the cost of professional kart racing. So, I already mentioned the price of a go-kart and the safety gears you’ll need. Now, here are some extra charges you need to keep in mind.

  • Spare parts and fuel

Some parts are bound to get damaged if you are racing professionally. Steering column, axles, and most especially the tires of your go-kart go through brutal abuse during racing. That’s why you’ll need at least a couple of hundred bucks of spare parts and an equal amount of fuel on standby.

  • Entry fee

Every karting championship in the USA has an entry fee for the drivers. The fee is usually decided in two ways. Either the tournament will ask for a fee per race, or some might charge a fee for the whole season. The season-wise fee is a bit cheaper, but the drawback is that there is no refund in case you fail to participate.

  • Racing license

Lastly, you’ll need a racing license to participate in the championship. You can call it some qualification test instead of a license. The cost of licensing varies from championship to championship.

On top of that, the medical checkup to ensure you are healthy enough to participate in the race will cost you money. So we are looking at a ballpark of thousand dollars pretty quickly.

Now, these are the cost of go-kart racing professionally. However, if go-karting is just about having some fun with friends and family for you, I have good news. All the above costs go away if you go to a go-karting facility.

Usually, these facilities have long, professional-quality tracks and go-karts with safety gear. All you have to do is be at the Facility with bare hands, and the Facility will provide you with everything. In addition, the cost of racing at these facilities is under hundred bucks, even at the highest quality facilities.

How much does karting cost per year?

Again, how much karting will cost per year is an entirely subjective matter. You can approach go-karting differently and still get the same fun and adrenaline rush. Just as I mentioned above, there is two way to approach this cost, one is professionally, and the other is for fun.

First, let’s talk about the cost if you are planning professionally. You already know the investment in a go-kart, safety gear, and participation cost in championships. Now, if you want to continue go-karting all year round, you’ll mostly have to carry the tires and fuel costs.

Tires come from various manufacturers, and a decent set of tires will cost you around $100. Don’t sweat it too much because you can easily practice with used tires. But if you are participating in professional competitions, you’ll need new tires per meet. As for the fuel price, I think you can estimate it yourself.

Next, let’s say you are going to your local go-karting Facility. Go-karting is pretty popular in the USA. So chances are that you’ll find a few premium go-karting destinations in every state. If you go there, you can arrive and drive for as little as $15. The price can vary a little depending on the track facilities and length. There you have the idea of cost per race.

Now depending on how many races you participate in per day and how many days a year, you can have an estimation. The good part is that most of these go-karting facilities offer membership and subscription services. So if you are determined and confident you will continue karting all the year, getting a membership will be much more cost-effective.

How much does it cost to start a go-kart business?

Until now, I have discussed the cost of karting only. Now, are you interested in the go-kart business? Yes, you heard it right. Karting is very popular worldwide, and the US is no different. So, getting into the business is not bad if you want to be part of this craze and make some money.

How much does it cost to start a go-kart business

After you arrange all the permissions, licenses, and insurance setups, the original cost of the go-karting business starts. The most significant chunk of your investment will go into building the track. How long the track will be is up to you, but a decent quality track would cost you anywhere between $125 to $150 per linear foot.

The next part of the expense involves different one-time investments like building a warehouse, parking, setting up cooling and heating system in the Facility, etc. Apart from the track building cost, the cost will be anywhere between $200,000 to $300,000. You can minimize the cost by renting the warehouse, and that can cost you $2000 to $4000 in rent.

Once the initial setup is done, set up everything, you need to focus on the go-karts you are going to offer in your Facility. No matter how good or advanced a karting facility is, the quality and the performance of the kart will; eventually decide the future. There is no scope of compromise here.

You can start with decent-quality go-karts available in the $1000 to $1500 range. Or, you can plan to build karts of your own. If you want my advice, you should build the kart on your own, save some money, and invest that money in getting high-end engines for the karts. After all, your kart’s performance is dependent on the engine. A 100-150cc engine should be a good starting point for you.

If you run your Facility correctly with good support staff, you can easily make $500,000 to $70,0000 per year. So there are mainly three income streams in a go-kart business. Firstly, there are regular arrive and drive options.

Then comes the group packages, which typically involve renting your Facility for parties or events. Lastly, there are the memberships or subscriptions from where you can earn money. If you want, you can also have some arcade options and open a snack bar.

Why is go-karting so expensive?

Let’s face it, go-karting is expensive. You might have thought of getting into karting seriously. However, now the cost is becoming a headache. Have you ever wondered what makes go-karting so expensive? Here are some reasons I have found out over the years.

  • The go-kart itself is pretty costly. Go-karting is most popular among youngsters, and as someone young, the cost of purchasing or even building a go-kart can be a big deal. But, then, add the safety gear cost on top of it.
  • Maintenance is another headache. As open-wheeled vehicles, go-karts often run into issues that take money to fix. On top of that, add the regular fuel and usually the tire cost.
  • You have to keep your kart at home. When you drive or practice on the kart, transporting it to the venue is another cost added to the list.
  • Whether you drive for fun at the local track or practice seriously on a professional track, either of these will need you to pay a fee. Likewise, mastering your go-kart will need hundreds of sessions, costing you a hefty amount of money.

While you practice, it’s pretty normal to get into accidents. However, if you are getting into karting professionally, you must ensure you can bear the repair cost. Also, a timely upgrade will cost you too.

How to minimize costs while buying or building a go-kart?

At this point, you are probably afraid of the list of karting, right? Don’t worry; I’ll show you some great cheap hacks to build your go-kart and make the best use of your money.

Let’s start with the engine. So, it is common knowledge that the engine takes the most significant chunk of building a go-kart. So, instead of purchasing a new one, what you can do is get an old engine. Where are you going to get it from? There are several ways. First, you can check online stores for old engines. You will find excellent engine deals if you dig deep and take the time.

Then if you want to check things firsthand, you can visit your local automobile repair shop and garage and see if they have anything suitable available. The last option I suggest is a bit tricky. You can even visit your local junkyard to search for a used engine. If you are lucky, you can find something there.

The process of sourcing other parts is the same as the engine. Buying brand new will be costly, so you have to start from online stores, then go to the repair shop and the junkyard if you are very tight on the budget.

There goes the plan for building a go-kart. Now, what if you are [planning to buy one? In that case, a second-hand go-kart should be your ideal choice. First, get yourself familiarized with the pricing of second-hand go-karts. Then go online and search through the listing in different online shops and websites.

Comparing those listings will give you a brief idea about the options available and what to expect in your budget. eBay can be an excellent place to search for an old go-kart. Finally, when you have finalized the deal, it’s best if you go to purchase in person to verify.

Also, check the seller’s rating and credentials to make a trusted purchase. If you can get your hand on a fresh old go-kart, just a new paint job and some tweaks can easily make it new.


That’s a wrap for today. I hope my article was helpful enough to give you a brief idea about go-karting expenses. So, is karting expensive? From the look of it, it is costly, whether racing, building a kart, or just getting into the go-karting business.

However, I have also shown you how you can reduce the cost by following some easy tips. Especially if you are one of those karting lovers on a tight budget, this article will help you plan your next go-karting adventure and save money.

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