Child car seat taxi law confuses parentsDo you have to have a car seat in a taxi? Find out

19 July 2016

taxi laws on holiday

Make sure you know the car seat taxi rules before you jet off on holiday

Using a taxi to get you to the airport this summer? Make sure you're aware of the rules on using child car seats in taxis. 

A Which? survey has found that parents are confused about whether they could get into trouble if they don't use a child car seat for taxi journeys. 

We surveyed more than 1,600 parents with children up to the age of five and asked whether they thought you could be fined for not using a car seat in a taxi. 

37% thought you could be fined, another 37% thought this statement was false, while 26% said they didn't know. 

The law on child car seatsfind out all you need to know to avoid a fine

Child car seats and licensed taxis and minicabs

The answer to the question we asked is that while you won't be fined, if your cab firm can't provide a car seat, current child car seat law states that in a licensed taxi or a minicab (private hire vehicles) a child can only travel without a car seat if he or she sits on a rear seat.

Children older than three can travel using the adult seat belt.

Children under three can travel without using a seat belt.

If you have a child under three years of age, some experts feel the best option is to sit the child next to you on their own seat (if they are able to) rather than holding them on your lap. This is because in the event of a serious crash your body weight may crush the child.

In any case, we'd advise using a car seat wherever possible. Check with your taxi firm when booking that it has one.

Find out which came out top in our tests and have been named Which? child car seat Best Buys.

Doona child car seat and pushchair hybrid

The Doona is a child car seat and pushchair in one

Private hire vehicles - how to check

A private hire vehicle is a taxi or minicab that's been licensed by your local council – if you live outside of London, or by Transport for London – if you live in a London borough. 

You can check whether your local taxi firm is licensed or not by checking the Transport for London website or searching on your local council website. 

When booking a taxi for your airport run, or any other journey, ask what car seats are available for your journey, or think about taking your own if you can. 

Short on packing space? Find out what we thought of the car seat that turns into a stroller – Simple Parenting Doona review 

Coach rules

Minibuses and coaches don't have to provide child car seats, so we'd advise you to use your own where possible.  

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