Child car seats: Choosing a child car seat More car seat tips
Choosing a child car seat
Never buy a second-hand child car seat
- Make a list of the cars you might use the child car seat in – for example, friends' or grandparents', as well as your own.
- Have a look at our child car seat review to find the best child car seats in the weight group you need. It shows you how Britax child car seats, Maxi Cosi child car seats and Graco child car seats performed in our rigorous tests.
- Find out if the child car seat will fit in the cars you'll be using – check with the seat manufacturer and the carmaker for compatibility.
- If you know which child car seats you're interested in, try them in your car with your child before you buy. If your child isn't born yet, try the seat in your car anyway. Don't wait until the baby is born; if you're travelling home by car, most hospitals won't discharge you unless you have a child car seat.
- Take advice from a qualified adviser. Most car-seat retailers, such as Halfords, have advisers on hand to help you – a good one will find seats that suit the car or cars you'll be using it in, and show you how to install it properly. Some areas (including Bromley and Essex), have special centres where you can seek advice and try out seats.
- Never buy a second-hand child car seat – it could have been in crash, which will have weakened it.
- Once you've chosen a child car seat, watch our video showing you how to fit a child car seat.