Start Karting

how to start karting

For everyone who is interested in starting kart racing, here is the information you may need.

Karting is a most exhilarating activity, yet a family sport. It’s fun, it’s cool, kids can start racing from the age of 8 in Cadet, Bambino from 6. Almost everyone can race, some at 60 or more. At  StartKarting and the ABkC we’re here to help new karters and people interested in getting started. You can learn everything you need to know to become an expert driver, today!

First off, why not come along to a race meeting (see Calendar page or go to the Clubs and Club Listing page both on  and hop onto your local club website) and see which classes are popular and may suit your age, weight and ability (Do not rush out and buy a kart without this research first!) Read the “Want to Start Karting” brochure below by Motorsport UK first for more information. So after you decide you want to continue, and have maybe purchased a kart, get some practice and then start the application process for a Kart competition licence.

First you need to purchase a Start Karting pack from the Motorsport UK Shop, it costs £64 which includes the cost of your first licence (also £64), and if a minor under the age of 18 then it also includes the cost of the PG Entrant licence for the parent or guardian. Then book the test with an ARKS School ( ) or the ARKS Examiner at your local club (there is a list of these on the ARKS website, scroll down to the bottom of the home page). The vouchers system of payment has been discontinued but any vouchers purchased will be honoured for a time.  The cost of the test may vary at clubs and schools.

You will also need to purchase a suitable helmet (under 15’s note the only helmet standard allowed is the Snell CMR type e.g. CMR2016 type or the CMS equivalent) – do NOT buy a motorcycle helmet, then a homologated race suit, boots and gloves.  A quick way to see if a suit is correct is to look for Level 1 or 2 on the collar, alongside the CIK/FIA manufacturing date range.

Consider an introductory course by one of the professional kart schools, see clubs can also offer the ARKS Novice Driver Test with their volunteer ARKS Examiner.  Some have incentives or discounts if you join the club.  (You must join a kart club in order to race).  There is a current list of Examiners on the ARKS website.Only drivers who are intending to race in long circuit (the big motor racing tracks) and are over 60 need a medical, but they do need a vision test to race long circuit which can be free at Specsavers, and those needing an International licence do need a medical. If you cannot answer all the medical questions on the licence application form then Motorsport UK may ask for a medical by your doctor or further information which would prevent racing the next day after the test.  If you do your ARKS test on a short circuit, you need to be assessed on a long (motor race type) circuit before a race.

Once the test has been passed, unless a medical is needed, a driver can race in the following days using the application form as a temporary licence which must then be immediately sent to Motorsport UK for the Interclub novice licence issue.

Check out the classes on the Class & Costs page ( Costs & Classes | Association of British Kart Clubs (, there are karts from Bambino size for 6 – 8 year olds, then Cadets for 8 – 12, Intermediate class from 10 to 14, Juniors from 13 – 16 and seniors from year of 16th birthday (16 for gearbox) to infinity. At the fastest end of the scale the geared karts can reach speeds of 100mph (250 National) or 90mph (KZ2 125cc 6-speed)And if you don’t want to race, clubs are often looking for volunteer officials and marshals, contact the Secretary of the Club for more information.Motorsport UK are continually on the look out for new Scrutineers (Technical officials), Clerks of the Course, Timekeepers etc (Training is given, and you will have a mentor to guide you through the training period)

Have a look at the relevant sections of the website.

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All ABKC clubs must run their meetings according to the regulations set down by Motorsport UK. The officials and all safety regulations must conform to the current Motorsport UK Yearbook.

ABkc officers

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