Which? has just finished a new piece of research, fitting three child car seats into 15 cars from different categories.
We installed three popular child car seats in typical family cars to demonstrate the problems you might face when transporting your children.
The seats cover the full age range, from birth to 12 years old, and were selected to illustrate the multitude of fitting problems real parents face every day.
How we tested child car seats
Each seat was fitted into the position recommended by the car manufacturer.
This included the front passenger seat (where recommended), the second row and the third row for seven-seat MPVs.
And we also tried to fit three seats in the second row.
We paid most attention to the middle seat in the second row and the outer seats of the second row, which is the most popular position.
On fitting the seat, we assessed the space available and the fit of the seat itself, accessibility to secure it, the ease to access Isofix and top-tether anchor points, and the length of the seatbelt.
What Which? discovered
Our investigation threw up a few interesting findings.
For instance, it was impossible to install a child car seat in the front passenger seat of a top-selling MPV – promoted primarily to families – because you could not disable the passenger airbag.
Our study also found the middle seat in the second row of one family hatchback isn’t suitable for carrying a child.
What we recommend
Which? recommends you try fitting a child car seat in your current car before you buy the seat.
Our report explains exactly what to consider when you’re looking to buy a new child car seat.
And you can also click on this link to see reviews of more than 90 child car seats conducted by Which?.
Child car seats Q&A
If you want to know more about child car seats, such as which one is best for your car, fitting tips and safety tests, join our Which? Car safety and child car seat Q&A next week.
It takes place online on Tuesday 23 November, starting at 11:30am.
Our child car seat experts will be on hand to answer any questions you have.