New child car seat lawsFind out more about our Best Buy car seats

15 September 2006

New laws come into force on Monday which will dramatically change how children travel in cars.

The new European directive means that all kids up to 12 years old or under 135cm (4ft 5in) in height will need to sit in a car or booster seat. If they don't the driver faces a fine.

Which? has tested dozens of car seats suitable for kids of all ages so that parents know which are the ones to trust and which you should avoid.

For children weighing less than 9kg the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix and the Britax Cosy Tot Isofix are among our Best Buys.

Best Buys

For kids weighing more than 9kg but less than 15 kg the Maxi-Cosi Priorifix £220 and the Maxi Cosi Tobi are both Best Buys.

Finally, two of the Best Buys for kids weighing more than 15 kg are the Concord Lift Evo PT and the Concord Lift Protect.

But even a Which? Best Buy child seat can be dangerous if it’s not properly installed.

Bad fitting

A Which? investigation published in April this year found that child car seat fitting services at some shops were so bad they could be endangering children's lives.

Spot checks at ten major chains - including branches of Halfords, John Lewis, Mamas & Papas, Mothercare and Toys R Us - revealed inaccurate advice and poor fitting.

Staff at two stores - one Halfords and one Toys R Us branch - let undercover Which? researchers posing as parents drive away with a potentially dangerous child seat fitted in the back of their car.

One positive finding was the very good standard of advice and fitting at the two Mothercare stores visited.

All the retailers we contacted expressed concern about our findings. They stressed there was ongoing child-seat fitting training for staff and that they would feed our findings into that.

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Choose a Best Buy car seat with our child car seats reviews