Types of Karting

There are a range of karting classes dependant on age & ability, so it can get a little confusing at times to know which is the one for you when you’re just starting out.

The five main categories for karting are Bambino, Cadets, Juniors & Seniors, with an additional category for karts with a gearbox.

So which one is the one for you?

Bambino Karting

Bambino karting is the youngest category of karting & is for racers between their 6th & 8th birthdays. Given that this class of racing is for the very young, there are a number of stipulations & regulations in place that need to be considered. The first being that all karts & engines must be registered with Motorsport UK, and the driver must be deemed competent by an ARKS Instructor and/or Examiner before taking part in any racing event. At this level, drivers will take part in time trials on specific circuits only, where karts leave at set intervals, are timed & then a winner is chosen based on the best lap time.


This class is for younger drivers between the ages of 7 and 13 years old. The karts in this class are usually smaller and less powerful than those in other classes, and they have a maximum speed of around 45mph. Most drivers in this class tend to move up to the next class of racing when they become to big or heavy to be able to race effectively within the class.


This class is for drivers between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. The karts in this class are more powerful than those in the Cadet Class, with a maximum speed of around 60mph. This class of karting tends to be the most popular and therefore the most competitive as it is around this age that a lot of children really move into their racing phase! Within the Junior class, there are many smaller categories to suit the type of kart you’re racing, as well as the club at which you’re racing.


The Senior class is for drivers over the age of 15. The karts in this class are typically the most powerful, with a maximum speed of around 85mph. Once at this level, you are likely to have a good competence with your racing & you may even look to move up to a more progressive class of racing including international racing or gearbox racing (if over the age of 16).

Gearbox Karting

As the name suggests, these karts come with a gearbox & therefore tend to be suited to the more experienced and professional karting drivers.

It’s worth noting that the exact classes and regulations may vary between different go-karting venues and competitions, so it’s important to check the specific rules and requirements for each one. That being said, whichever class you are eligible for & compete in, there’s no denying that karting is a fantastic sport to be a part of & the experiences you’ll have will be outstanding regardless.