Children’s car seat laws are changing, but do you know what they are? 

If you have small children then you have probably seen loads in the press recently about the car seat laws changing! Still confused and not sure what that actually means for you? Don’t worry! We’ve written a simple blog post to explain everything.

What’s changing?

The current weight and height on backless booster seats are going to change. Currently parents can use booster seats for children who weigh 15kg (2st 5lb/35lbs) and above. The age for this sort of weight and height is around three years old. Now the new law states that children under the weight of 3st 6.5lb (22kg/51lbs) and shorter than 4ft 1in (125cm) will not be allowed to use them and will have to remain in high-backed seats (roughly the size of an average 6 year old).

In summary, the seat your child can use depends on their weight and height. The gov.uk website provides the below advice for ensuring you have the right car seat: 

Height-based seats

‘Height-based seats are known as ‘i-Size’ seats. They must be rear-facing until your child is over 15 months old. Your child can use a forward-facing child car seat when they’re over 15 months old’ The only EU-approved height-based child car seats that can be used in the UK only have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘R129.’

Weight-based seats

‘Only EU-approved weight-based child car seats can be used in the UK. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘ECE R44.’

You may be able to choose from more than one type of seat in the group for your child’s weight.

Child’s weight

Group

Seats

0kg to 10kg

0

Lie-flat or ‘lateral’ baby carrier, rear-facing baby carrier, or rear-facing baby seat using a harness

0kg to 13kg

0+

Rear-facing baby carrier or rear-facing baby seat using a harness

9kg to 18kg

1

Rear- or forward-facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield

15kg to 25kg

2

Rear- or forward-facing child car seat (high-backed booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield

22kg to 36kg

3

Rear- or forward-facing child car seat (high-backed booster seat or booster cushion) using a seat belt, harness or safety shield

Why has this happened?

The change comes from experts warning that the backless booster seats are unsafe for young children as they offer reduced safety during side-on collisions. Research has shown that booster seats also don’t offer enough safety for younger children as seat belts are often positioned incorrectly due to their height. The height and weight of the child affects their safety so introducing the right seat to keep them safe is vital.

How will this affect me?

As of March 2017, manufacturers will not be allowed to produce backless booster seats for children that weight under 3st 6.5lb (22kg/51lbs) and be taller than 4ft 1in (125cm). This means that if you’re looking to buy a booster seat for your child, you would need to check their weight to make sure that they don’t need a high-backed child seat. If the requirements are not met, parents could face £100 fine. Children must use special seats until they are either 12 years old or 4ft 5in tall (135cm), which ever they reach first. So be sure to double check before throwing your seats away or buying more, as you may have the correct one needed for your child.

What we can do for you?

As part of Budget Insurance’s Comprehensive Car Insurance, we offer cover for your child’s car seat up to the value of £300 towards a replacement if you are involved in an accident or the seat is stolen. For more great benefits, get a quote with Budget Insurance.

*Substantiation: DailyMail

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