There is no doubt that iRacing is one of the most expensive “games” out there. Because of its unique pricing structure, it can be hard to work out exactly how much iRacing would cost you. Between memberships and car/track purchases the total could reach the thousands but how much do you need to spend to get a great racing experience?
Please keep in mind that all prices here are without tax.
How does iRacing pricing work?
In order to access iRacing you will need a membership. For this membership you get 13 cars and 19 tracks. This is enough to compete in all the rookie series races across the various disciplines on iRacing and get an idea of what the service offers.
The cost of iRacing membership is as follows;
Keep in mind there are often discounts on membership such as the current 50% off all new memberships. For latest offers check out: https://www.iracing.com/membership/
Content (Cars and Tracks)
To take full advantage of what iRacing has to offer you will have to start buying content. Unlike the membership fee, these are one off payments. Once you have paid for a car or track you can race it as long as your subscription is active.
The pricing model for content is;
|1 track||$11.95 or 14.95 (depending on track length)|
Additionally there are 10-30% bulk discounts if you purchase 3 or more items in one go.
For the full breakdown see here: https://www.iracing.com/volume-discounts/.
Maximum iRacing Cost
Few people ever buy all the content at once and it is generally considered a bad idea as you will end up with a lot of cars and tracks you never use. That said, curiosity prevails. So let’s work out the maximum cost of iRacing.
For this calculation I have decided to exclude legacy content and tech tracks for the sake of simplicity.
|2 year membership||$199|
|63 paid cars ($11.95 each)||$752.85|
|23 smaller tracks ($11.95 each)||$274.85|
|56 major tracks ($14.95 each)||$837.20|
|-30% volume discount on content||-$559.47|
First of all the maximum 2 year membership with no discounts will set you back $199. Then comes the content.
There are 63 paid cars, each costing $11.95, totalling $752.85.
There are 23 smaller tracks costing $11.95 each and 56 major tracks each costing $14.95. The total for all the tracks adds up to $1,112.05.
Buying all this content in bulk would trigger a 30% volume discount, meaning the initial total of $1,864.90 would shrink to $1,305.43.
Therefore, the total to buy all the content on iRacing with a 2 year membership comes to $1,504.43 before tax.
As mentioned before this is not the best way to maximise value for money as most people tend to stick to certain series or disciplines. So unless you are a bit of a completionist then I would steer clear of this way.
If you were, for example, to focus on the Oval side of iRacing you would have to buy much less content. There are 18 Oval cars, 22 full price tracks and 12 lower price tracks, which totals up to $687.40. You would then get a 15% discount meaning all the oval content would actually cost you $584.29 before tax.
|18 Oval cars $11.95 each||$215.10|
|22 full price tracks $14.95 each||$328.90|
|12 lower price tracks $11.95 each||$143.40|
|-15% discount on content||$103.11|
iRacing Minimum Cost
Now that we have the big numbers out of the way let’s have a look at what the minimum spend on iRacing could be.
The cheapest way to go iRacing is to buy a 1 month subscription for $6.50 (as a new member).
This will give you access to 13 cars and 19 tracks and you will get an opportunity to try all 4 main disciplines that iRacing has to offer (oval, dirt oval, road and dirt road). There you go that’s it all you need to pay to race on iRacing.
The most cost effective option would be to buy a 2 year subscription as a new member. At $99.50 in total this would work out to only $4.14 per month. So in terms of monthly cost this is the cheapest option.
What iRacing actually costs
If you just want to get a taste for iRacing I would recommend starting with a 3 month subscription. At the current 50% off for new members, this would only set you back $16.50. You will get access to the rookie series in each of iRacing’s 4 main disciplines and it will give you a feel for what iRacing is all about.
Once you have upgraded your license to D it is up to you which way you want to go. There are 3 broad ways of going about your racing.
If you don’t want to spend too much money and don’t mind sticking to the included content you can stay in the various rookie series across iRacing’s 4 different disciplines. This would give you a monthly cost of only $11 assuming a 3 month membership renewal.
Working your way up
Alternatively, if you want to move into the class D series while keeping spending to a minimum there are series that feature mostly included content with around 2 paid tracks per 3 month season. If you don’t want to sit out the weeks with paid content this option would cost you an additional $23.90 – $29.90 every 3 months. This would bring your monthly total to roughly $20 assuming a 3 month membership renewal.
As you start to own more of the content you will see other series using tracks you own and you can buy cars in order to participate in races here and there. This means, eventually you will build up enough of a car and track list to participate in a good number of races in different categories.
This will be the best way for the majority of people getting into sim racing. It gives you time to improve your skills as you move up the iRacing ladder to the more challenging series.
Straight to it
If you are looking at iRacing for the long term and have your eye on a specific series you want to participate in (providing you attain the required license), you can purchase all the content for that series up front. This would come to a total of somewhere in the region of $170. Assuming a 1 year membership this would cost you $66 for the first 3 months.
Although this may seem like a lot at first it is worth keeping in mind that most of this money will be spent on one off purchases. This means that if you want to run the same series for a second 12 week season it would require you to purchase roughly half the number of tracks. This would leave you with a second season cost of $37 per month.
This number would continue to decrease every season until you own all of the tracks in your discipline. By then you will only have to pay the monthly membership fee of $8 – $13. Now if you own all of the most popular tracks in your chosen discipline it only costs $11.95 to buy a car to access any other series you might be interested in.
A great resource to determine which tracks and cars are best value for money is iRacing buyers guide: https://www.irbg.net/
They make it easy to see which cars tracks are used the most and therefore offer the best value for money.
There is no question that iRacing is the most expensive consumer racing simulator out there. However, you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money to get a good racing experience.
It is also important to understand what you are getting for the money. iRacing offers the most realistic online racing experience at a fraction of the cost of real motorsport. You get access to a whole world of competitive racing, which for many people justifies the cost.
If you are interested in signing up to iRacing there is currently a 50% discount for all new members: https://www.iracing.com/membership/
If you a re looking for which cars to buy for iRacing’s 2020 Season 3 check out this article: https://downtheinside.com/which-iracing-cars-to-buy-for-2020-season-3/