The market for second-hand child car seats is alive and well, according to new research – but consumers are being urged not to buy them.
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Sainsbury’s Car Insurance found that more than 700,000 of the car seats currently in use may have been bought second hand, or handed down by friends and family members.
But the insurer said as many as 250,000 of these may need replacing because they have already been involved in car accidents.
Used child car seats
Sainsbury’s Car Insurance manager Lucy Hunter, said: ‘If a child car seat has already been involved in an accident, it’s extremely difficult to know if it is still functioning properly and that it doesn’t have any hidden faults.
‘This means that if you already know that the seat has prevented a child from being injured or if you have bought it second hand and therefore can’t be sure of its history, you could be strapping your child into a seat that provides little or no protection.’
The research came as safety testing group TRL outlined plans for a new star-rating system for child car seats. Its aim is to make it easier for people to see which car seats offer the best protection in a variety of crash situations, with each one given a score out of five.
Choosing a child car seat
To help you pick a car seat that offers the best possible protection, Which? has put together a guide to choosing a child car seat. You can also get instant advice with this list of Best Buy child car seats, and get tips on safely installing a car seat with this expert video guide.
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