Baby Travel Car Seat UK
Regulations & Exceptions Explained
A baby travel car seat is essential. The UK road safety agree that ‘car seats are made for adults’ and that ‘small children need the protection that baby car seats and child seats are designed to provide'.
If you are planning a trip abroad and would like to take your baby travel car seat with you, be sure to check out the local rules and regulations to ensure your childs safety seat can legally be used.
Seats bought in the UK must conform to the United Nations Regulation R44.03 – look for this on the side of the seat or in the documentation that comes with it, that way you know it’s passed all the right tests.
|As of May 2008, all child restraints MUST comply with regulation UN ECE Regulation 44.03 (or the latter version eg 44.04). So check you current seat, as you may need to get a new car seat for your child.|
Click here to see a table of the different types of baby travel car seat are available for purchase in the UK and for which age and weight they are appropriate.
The UK Law and Exceptions
(as provided by the UK Department for Transport
The law states that all children up to 135cm tall (around 4'5"), or the age of 12 (whichever comes first) in the front or rear seats in cars, vans and other goods vehicles must travel in the correct child restraint for their weight with very few exceptions.
A correct child restraint is one that
- conforms to the United Nations standard, ECE Regulation 44-03 or later
- is suitable for a child's weight and size
- has been correctly fitted according to the manufacturer's instructions.
|Exceptions to the rules|
In limited circumstances, children can travel without the correct child restraint.
- In a licensed taxi or licensed private hire vehicle. If the correct child restraint is not available then, in the rear seat only, children under 3 may travel unrestrained. Children aged 3 years and over must use an adult seat belt.
- In cases of unexpected necessity over a short distance. If the correct child restraint is not available then, in the rear seat only, a child of 3 years or more must use an adult belt. This exemption does not apply to children under 3 years and does not cover regular school runs or other journeys that are planned in advance.
- Where two occupied child restraints in the rear seat prevent you fitting a third. In this case, provided the front seat is occupied, a third child aged 3 years and over can use an adult seat belt (lap OR lap and diagonal) in the rear. If the front seat is free, then they must seat there using the correct child restraint.
- In older vehicles with no rear seat belts. In this case, children 3 years and over may travel unrestrained.
If you are uncertain about any aspect of child safety seat use, check out the Think! Road Safety website for answers to frequently asked questions.
It is illegal to carry a child in a rear-facing baby travel car seat in the front of a car, in which there is an active frontal airbag.
In all cases it is the driver's legal responsibility to ensure that the child is correctly restrained.
Planning on a holiday trip to the continent, driving with baby? Check out our hints and tips for driving with children. Not to mention the must-do pre-journey checklist.
More on transport in the UK and London.
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