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Grandparents – are you facing a £500 fine?

One in five don't use a car seat for grandchildren
Grandparents and children in car

UK law says a child under 12 years, or 135cm tall (if that comes first) must use a car seat

Are your grandchildren as safe as they could be in your car? One in five grandparents admits to not using a car seat for grandkids.

In our latest snapshot survey, we discovered 22% of grandparents could be leaving themselves wide open to a maximum fine of £500 after admitting they don’t use a car seat for their grandchildren. 

Worryingly, this is similar to our survey of parents earlier this year which revealed that one in five (18%) parents fail to use any car seat for children aged six to 10 years old and, shockingly, 1% of parents with babies as young as one and up to five years old.

Our research also found that, of the grandparents who do use a child car seat, a third (33%) use a backless booster seat, sometimes with children as young as three. Although backless booster seats are cheap, we’ve found they offer very little protection in a crash especially for very small children.  

We have online advice on how to choose the best car seat for your child or grandchild, and a free downloadable guide to help parents and grandparents check if they have fitted their seat correctly.

Child car seat reviewsFind the best car seat today to keep your little ones safe

Child car seat law

Current UK law states that children must use a child car seat until they are 12 years old, or 135cm tall, whichever comes first – and it is the driver’s responsibility to check this. 

The fine for not using the correct child car seat is a fixed-rate penalty of £100, rising up to £500 if the matter is taken to court.

Which? child car seat expert Lisa Galliers says: ‘No matter how short your journey is or how often you pick your grandchildren up, it’s vital to make sure that any younger passengers are strapped in correctly. Unfortunately, no one can predict if they’ll be involved in an accident or how bad it will be.’

Child car seat lawsfind out what you need to know

Baby car seat reviews

Which? car seat reviews are different. We crash test every car seat we review in two specially designed crash scenarios. Our independent crash tests are severe and our experts feel they more accurately reflect what happens in real crashes, more-so than the legal minimum standards.

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