Facebook Link Instagram Link Youtube Link Twitter Link TikTok Link

k1 speed logo k1 speed logo

How to Get Into Racing When You’re Not Rich

a driver races a go kart at k1 speed

It can feel hopeless if you’re trying to get into racing with no money. Even at the go kart level, the costs can be tremendous if you decide to do it yourself.


Interestingly, someone on a kart forum actually did an analysis of the cost required to start go kart racing. They looked at the cost of a used go kart, entry fees, kart tires, race gas, kart parts, engine maintenance, hotel expenses, travel gas cost, etc. For just one season (or year) of regional kart racing, they figured out it’d cost around $8,000 – at least. OUCH!


But there is good news.

Ways to Get Into Racing for Cheap:

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to cost A LOT for you to get your start in the sport of racing. This is because K1 Speed Indoor Go Karting offers 4 affordable ways to break into motorsport on a budget without breaking the bank. So, if you’re a kid, teenager, or an adult looking to become a race car driver, check out these available, cheaper options.

k1 speed couple racing

1. Just Starting Out? Try “Arrive & Drive” First

The first step anyone should take before they try to become a race car driver is to try an Arrive & Drive race at K1 Speed.


You see, Arrive & Drive racing is our signature experience at K1 Speed. This allows people like you to step in and discover real racing without spending a ton of bucks. You also don’t need any reservation or driver’s license! We’ll supply you with the helmet, headsock, and go kart so all you have to do is show up and have fun.


You’ll then compete in a 12-lap race for the fastest lap time, not track position. So it doesn’t matter if someone is holding you up. Just give yourself a gap to other drivers and set that one blistering lap time.


During Arrive & Drive, you’ll learn the basics of racing, such as:


  • Car control
  • Racing lines
  • Steering smoothly
  • Sensitive pedal application
  • Carrying momentum


We have two different types of electric go karts:  junior karts for kids 48” or taller or adult karts for anyone 58” or taller (up to management discretion). Our junior karts reach speeds of around 20mph, while our adult karts are capable of hitting 45mph – the quickest in the industry.

And here’s the best part – you won’t have to sell off all your possessions just to try real racing. Our required membership is only $7 at most locations. And the cost for Arrive & Drive racing is not much more than $20 – about the cost of a pizza (listening, college student?). Plus, the more races you buy at once, the cheaper each race costs.


Additionally, Arrive & Drive serves as a great way to practice and hone your skills. When it comes to becoming a better racer, seat time is IMPORTANT. The more time you can log behind the wheel of a racing vehicle, the better. This explains why even professional racers like 6-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and 2-time IndyCar Champion Josef Newgarden have visited K1 Speed for a quick 12-lap session.


For more information about our Arrive & Drive racing experience, click the button below.

Try Arrive & Drive!
a photo of kids racing go karts during junior league - a way for kids to get into racing

2. Kid Wants to Try Racing? Try Our Junior League

Now, your kid has tried our Arrive & Drive racing in the junior karts and looks promising. So much so, they’re beating random kids from the general public and appear to get the hang of the basics. And you’re wondering, what’s the next step? That’s easy! Enter them in our Junior League!


Our Junior League is a 10-month racing series – February to November – where children race head-to-head for position, not just fastest lap like our Arrive & Drive format. This means your child will learn more about racecraft rather than just knowing how to drive fast.


Racecraft includes:


  • Learning how to pass other racers
  • Learning how to defend against other racers
  • Handling the pressure
  • Being consistent
  • Overcoming setbacks


Each event includes a qualifying race to determine the starting grid, and a final race for position. At the end of the final race, points are awarded to each racer depending on their result. Kids accumulate points with each monthly event they compete in, until a champion is crowned at the final race in November.


And here’s the best part about the series: you don’t have to compete in every race! There’s no obligation to race in every one of the 10 races. So, if you had other plans that month, or if your kid decides they’d rather watch racing on TV instead – it’s okay! You only pay for each event they race in. And what’s the cost? It’s just $40 per child, per event to compete in K1 Speed’s Junior League. As you’ve already learned, that’s not a bad price to pay at all.


More information about our Junior League can be found by clicking the button below.

Junior League Information
a teen getting into racing by driving a go kart during teen cup, a go kart racing league

3. A Great Way for Teens to Start Racing: Teen Cup

If you know a teen looking to get into motorsport, then K1 Speed’s Teen Cup is perfect. The series is for anybody under the age of 18 who can fit in our adult karts. This means they meet the height requirement of 4’10” and can safety operate the vehicle.


Our Teen Cup runs the same as our Junior League. It has 10 races that run monthly from February to November and participants race head-to-head for position. And the format is also the same: each event has a qualifying session and a final race for position. Teenagers also compete for points, and the highest points finisher at each location will score some awesome prizes.


Teen Cup takes place during the same evening as our Junior League. But rest assured, this competition is a whole other beast. The karts can approach speeds of up to 45mph and these teens know how to get the most from them.


The price for Teen Cup is also only $40 and there’s no obligation to enter every round. Simply attend the ones you can. But of course, the more races the teenager participates in, the better chance they have at winning the championship.


More information about our Teen Cup can be found by clicking the button below.

Teen Cup Information
gopro challenge gp logo with onboard photo from gopro on kart

4. It’s Never Too Late to Start: GoPro Challenge GP for Adults

Now, our GoPro Challenge GP is the best way for adults to get into motorsport. If you’re 18 years of age or older and are at least 4’10”, then this is definitely your most affordable option. This series lets adults enter the world of competitive racing – and you’re never too old to begin! We see a wide variety of ages during these events – from 18-year-olds to racers in their 50s and 60s.


Unlike our other two racing leagues, our GoPro Challenge GP series last the whole year, which means there’s a race every month from January to December.

Use Your GoPro!

The GoPro Challenge GP is also the only time we allow you to use your own action camera to record your races. Using a GoPro or other device while racing can really help you learn where you’re fast and where you’re not. You can study the lines you’re taking, what the competition in front of you is doing differently, and other key lessons that can help you shave valuable time off your laps.

picture of go pro hero8 black camera

4 Chances to Win a GoPro Hero 8!

Another one of the biggest perks of our GoPro Challenge GP series is that you have four chances to win a brand-new GoPro Hero 8 camera! There’s a quarterly “championship within a championship”. Here’s how it works…


Every three rounds (months), the racer that scores the most points in the series will win the GoPro. Once that 3-month period is over, scores reset, and you have another chance at winning the camera. And to keep your chances alive, there are no repeat winners. So, if someone has won a camera already, and has scored the highest points again over a three-month period, the camera will be awarded to the second-highest points gainer. If that person has won a camera already, it’ll go to the third-highest, and so on. This means each center will award four different drivers with a new GoPro camera.


Points still accumulate throughout the year for the main championship. And those who have the highest points after 12 months will be crowned our new Challenge GP champion.


The cost to participate in our Challenge GP is just $50 and includes two qualifying sessions and a final race for position.


More information about our GoPro Challenge GP can be found by clicking the button below.

GoPro Challenge GP Info

Four Ways to Get Into Racing Without Spending A Lot

So as you can see, there are four different ways you can get into racing without spending a lot of money – just at K1 Speed alone.



It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an experienced racer, a kid or an older adult. We’ve got affordable racing for you at any of our 40+ locations worldwide. So, stop dreaming and start racing.

  • Regginald cole

    Hi I’m 16and I would truly like to start racing as my career,how do I start with no money?

    • Staff Writer

      Hey Regginald! Try entering one of our competitions listed in this blog! Sure, it requires a little money, but it’s as cheap as racing gets.

  • Kaidyn Wasson

    I want to try that it looks pretty

Post A Comment