IRacing costs a lot of money if you plan on really taking it seriously. From building a gaming PC to buying a race wheel/pedals, a sim rig, streaming equipment, and most importantly the costs to play iRacing. The costs for iRacing break down into three main costs:
- Subscription Fee
To iRacing’s credit, they do have one of the best racing simulator platforms out there. They have a wide selection of free content to get you started in Rookie and Class D levels, however, if you want to compete in Class A, Pro, or get involved in league racing, you’ll need to invest in the appropriate cars and tracks. Not a surprise that most NASCAR Cup Series and IndyCar tracks are not free. Charlotte, Laguna Seca (Weathertech Raceway), the older Phoenix Raceway track, and the older Daytona track scan are the only free tracks in that bunch that you may see in the various NASCAR or IndyCar series.
The bad news is to buy a track you’ll spend around $14.95 USD per track and $11.95 USD per car. The good news is there are some good tips to save you money or even earn you credits you can use towards your membership renewal, new cars, or tracks to save on your iRacing costs.
Tip 1 – Buy Only What You Need
Buy for what you’re racing at the time. With the exception of the unranked Carburetor Cup, you can’t participate in any ranked NASCAR leagues until you get out of rookie class. ARCA is in Class D, Truck Series in Class C, Xfinity Class B, and Cup Series Class A. Carb Cup is a lot of fun and great if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, so buying a Next Gen Cup Series car (only one – see below) is probably worth it, but don’t buy the Xfinity, Truck, or ARCA car until you’re ready to race them.
Track Tips – Check The iRacing Schedule
If you participate in league racing, obviously you’ll need to buy the content that the league runs. If you’re planning on growing in the platform, check out the iRacing schedule that is published at the beginning of every season and follow your series. All you need to do is Google “Year iRacing Season x schedule” where “x” is the current season of the year.
League Racing Tip – Buy only the iRacing car you use
When participating in a NASCAR Cup Series, there are three cars (Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Toyota Camry). Do you need to spend $36 USD to buy all three to participate in Carburetor Cup or a Cup Series League? NO! Pick one car and stick with it. Buy one of the three and just download the other two. You obviously won’t be able to drive the two cars, but that shouldn’t matter. Save yourselves the $24 USD. We use this strategy for Wednesday Night Dash and other leagues.
Tip 2 – Buy In Bulk to save costs
Buy in bulk seems to contradict the above tip of “buy only what you need”. However, if you’re entering a league you probably need to buy a car and several tracks. If you buy multiple pieces of content at once, iRacing will provide the following discounts:
- Purchase 3-5 pieces of content, save 10%
- Purchase 6+ pieces of content, save 20%
- Purchase all available content now, and save 30% on any new tracks or cars that are released in the future
After you buy 40 pieces of eligible content, you automatically save 20% on your future purchases. The discounts do not apply to “legacy” tracks or cars (aka the older version).
Tip 3 – Join or Renew During Sales
iRacing generally runs two membership sales, once during the summer around June, and during Black Friday week in November. In many cases, you can save up to 50% by signing up for a 2-year subscription during the sale period.
If you renew your existing membership during the sales, you most recently would save 25%. You can renew at any time and it just adds one or two years to your existing membership expiration date.
Tip 4 – Racing Credits
It is possible to earn up to $40 USD ($10/season) per year in credit via the Race Participation Credit Program. A driver only needs to participate in the season in 8 of the 12 race weeks. However, it can’t be a start and quit, at least 50% of the laps need to be run and score championship points. One can earn $4 USD in an Official Series C & D or $7 USD in an Official Series A & B. In just the Oval and Road course series available, there are over 40 options to choose from to fit every driving style!
Tip 5 – Referral Bonus
Have a friend who is looking to join iRacing? Each user has a special referral code that when clicked can earn a bonus of $10 USD as iRacing credit. For every friend that joins that’s essentially covering your costs for a track or a car.
We’ve definitely made mistakes with our purchasing strategies during our time on iRacing. If you’re disciplined enough to follow the above tips you can space out your purchases can help spread out your iRacing costs.