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How to get the best deals on baby products

Best child car seat deals

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Best child car seat deals

Good child car seats don't come cheap, but there are deals around. This guide helps you buy the best seat, at the best price.

 

Choosing a child car seat

Choosing the best child car seat is crucial, and can make a real difference to how well your child is protected in the event of a crash. We’ve tested hundreds of car seats using more stringent safety standards than those required by law - in fact, our child car-seat crash tests are the most thorough in Europe.

A Best Buy child car seat, when installed correctly, will protect your child in severe front and side-impact crashes. Car seats scoring less than 40% in our tests are labelled as Don’t Buys, either because they don’t provide enough protection in crashes or because they’re very hard to install or use. Check out our child car seat reviews to find the best and safest model for you and your child.

It’s rare to find a Best Buy child car seat with a very cheap RRP. However, major retailers hold regular sales, and if you know where - and when - to look, you can sometimes pick up a bargain. Below the video, we’ve listed the best shops and websites to find good deals on child car seats, outlining their delivery processes and, where they have them, their loyalty schemes.

Top tip: many local authorities and councils operate free car-seat safety checks - check on the transport or roads section of your local council's website to see whether your area is covered.

 

Best car seat deals

Amazon ?


Perhaps the world's most famous online retailer, Amazon offers big discounts off the RRPs of a range of big-brand child car seats. We recently spotted a Britax car seat for over £70 cheaper than the RRP, and Chicco, Graco, Maxi-Cosi and Nania are also well represented when it comes to excellent car seat deals.

Third parties can sell via the Amazon Marketplace and you'll often find great deals on car seats through here, too - just be sure never to buy a car seat second-hand, as it could have been damaged in a previous crash.

All Amazon purchases over £10 get you free delivery, but Marketplace sellers usually charge extra.

Particularly good for: big discounts off RRPs, free delivery when ordering direct from Amazon

Argos ?


Argos is famous for its unusual shopping format - you visit a store, browse a catalogue, order and pay for your item using the stock number and then collect it from a desk a few minutes later. However, Argos also has a vast website stocking almost 200 child car seats from a wide range of brands.

The retailer is competitively priced, and it holds great end-of-catalogue sales when it's about to launch a new catalogue - we spotted half-price child car seats in its last clearance sale. The Argos Card allows you to pay three months later if spending more than £50 or six months later if you spend £99 or more.

If ordering online, you can reserve an item in a store and collect it immediately (or at any other time before the end of the next working day) - and you can also check whether a product is in stock via text message. Delivery charges range from nothing to £8.95, depending on what you've ordered and how quickly you want it, and you can even have certain items delivered within 90 minutes if you're really in a hurry.

Particularly good for: wide range of products, super-speedy delivery options, handy stock-checking system online and via text

Asda?


One of the UK's largest supermarkets, Asda also sells a wide range of baby products online through Asda Direct and at some larger stores. When we last checked there were more than 100 child car seats on its website, and discounted lines were clearly marked with red labels making them easy to spot.

If ordering online, there's a free click and collect service, while home delivery charges vary according to product size and how quickly you want it. Or, if you think you'll be ordering several Asda products or you do grocery shopping there too, you can buy a delivery pass (price varies according to offers at the time) which will give you unlimited deliveries at the time of your choice.

Particularly good for: competitive prices, delivery pass option, larger stores let you try before you buy

Babies R Us?


Babies R Us is the baby department of the Toys R Us chain, and there are also a handful of standalone Babies R Us stores. Stocking products for 0-2 year olds, it has sales every January and July in which you'll typically find products reduced by up to 50%.

You can have your car seat installed by a member of staff when you buy it. However, Babies R Us staff failed 11 out of 12 undercover fitting tests in our undercover car seat investigation, so we'd advise that you check the installation yourself when you get home.

Some branches offer a 'take time to pay' scheme, whereby you can order an item and have it delivered four, eight or 12 weeks later, paying in instalments before the final date - great if you're preparing for your due date.

Babies R Us offers free standard delivery on orders over £29.99, and you can place an order online and collect it from a store just 20 minutes later. It also has a price-match policy, and often offers online-only 'package deals' where you can save money by purchasing two or more products within a range.

If you join the Babies R Us Mother and Baby Club you'll receive money-off vouchers and exclusive offers worth more than £200, plus a Toys R Us Gold Card, which will earn you one point for every £1 you spend, resulting in more money-off vouchers.

Particularly good for: wide range of baby products and brands, Mother and Baby Club

Baby Things 4 U ?


This independent retailer stocks a wide range of baby products, including child car seats. It has one shop in Warwickshire but mainly trades online, and prices are competitive.

Most of the UK gets free delivery in a one-hour time slot on orders over £50, but if you want your item to be delivered on a specific day you can just call the store to arrange it.

Baby Things 4 U also allows customers to buy and sell items using its free marketplace.

Particularly good for: flexible delivery options, free marketplace

Boots ?


Boots sells a wide range of larger baby items on its website and offers car seats by a variety of brands including its own.

Boots.com has a dedicated 'Offers' section where you can find current deals on mother and baby products. You can order before 2pm and then collect from a store after 2pm the following day, and home delivery is free if you spend over £45.

The Boots Parenting Club, which is for parents 'from bump to baby's second birthday', means you can earn 10 Advantage Card points for every £1 you spend on baby products (compared to four points per £1 for normal Advantage Card holders). As every point represents 1p, that's effectively a reward of 10%, which you can then use when you're next shopping in Boots. You'll also receive free magazines, gifts and special offers.

Particularly good for: Boots Parenting Club, click and collect option

eBay ?


While we would never recommend buying a second-hand car seat because it may have been damaged in a previous crash, you can filter eBay results so you only see new, unused items.

If you find a car seat that's being sold locally and is collection only, you're likely to get a real bargain. You can't search by postcode on eBay itself, but MoneySavingExpert.com has developed a local eBay deals mapper, which allows you to find out what's being sold in your area.

As well as being able to buy from private sellers, eBay recently relaunched its Baby and Toddler shop. Several retailers and brands have joined forces with eBay to sell through here, including Argos, Babies R Us, Debenhams, Mamas & Papas and Mothercare, offering a mixture of full-price and discounted items.

Particularly good for: some retailer discounts exclusive to eBay, bargains can be had when buying at auction (particularly if they're local and collection only)

Halfords?


Halfords sells a wide range of child car seats and travel accessories, and has a price-match policy against several of the biggest car seat retailers. The retailer discounts different products each month and also has one-day-only flash sales online. If you subscribe to Halfords' email list, you'll be notified when these happen.

Halfords offers a car seat fitting service. To take advantage of this, you can either buy in store or reserve your car seat online and collect it from the shop within an hour. Alternatively, if you're buying a product that's only sold online, you can order it and then collect it from the store once it arrives. However, Halfords staff failed 10 out of 12 undercover fitting tests in our undercover car seat investigation, so we'd advise that you check the installation yourself when you get home. 

Home delivery is free on orders over £30.

Particularly good for: RoSPA-accredited child car seat fitting service, one-day flash sales

John Lewis?


Its 'never knowingly undersold' policy means that John Lewis will match all national high street competitors' prices, both online and in store. The department store runs clearance sales after Christmas and in July each year.

John Lewis offers a car seat fitting service. However, John Lewis staff failed nine out of 12 undercover fitting tests in our undercover car seat investigation, so we'd advise that you check the installation yourself when you get home. 

John Lewis offers free delivery on orders of £50 and above, and a 'click and collect' service in John Lewis stores and selected branches of Waitrose. If you're pregnant, you can order a product in advance and then arrange for it to be delivered three weeks before your baby's due date.

Particularly good for: wide range of baby products and brands, variety of delivery and collection options

Kiddicare?


Until July 2014, Kiddicare operated 11 stores in the UK. It now has just one flagship store in Peterborough, but you can also shop online.

Kiddicare stocks products from pregnancy to five years of age. It's competitively priced (and will match other retailers) and offers an interest-free credit option if you'd rather pay in instalments.

Kiddicare offers a free fitting and safety check service whether you bought the seat from there or elsewhere. However, Kiddicare staff failed nine out of 12 undercover fitting tests in our undercover car seat investigation, so we'd advise that you check the installation yourself when you get home. 

Kiddicare offers a VIB (very important baby) personal shopping service, and you can ask questions about Kiddicare's services and products via the online community.

Delivery costs differ depending on where in the UK you live, but for most of the mainland it's free for a next-day one-hour time slot if you spend £30 or more. Plus, if you change your mind, Kiddicare will refund or replace your item up to 365 days after purchase.

Particularly good for: speedy free delivery, free child car seat fitting and safety check for everyone

Mamas & Papas?


Mamas & Papas sells an extensive range of products for expectant parents and children from newborn to six years old. The nursery retailer sells several own-brand child car seats, but also stocks a few other makes including Maxi-Cosi and Stokke.

Mamas & Papas offers a car seat fitting service. However, Mamas & Papas staff failed 11 out of 12 undercover fitting tests in our undercover car seat investigation, so we'd advise that you check the installation yourself when you get home.

The chain holds seasonal sales, with discounts of up to 40% on child car seats, ranging up to 60% off selected clothing. If you order online, you can get free standard delivery when you spend more than £50 or click and collect from a store within an hour of ordering.

Mamas & Papas offers a two-year guarantee on its own-brand products and a 365-day returns policy. Spot a product cheaper elsewhere and Mamas & Papas will match the price or, if you've already paid, they'll refund the difference within 14 days.

Particularly good for: extensive range of own-label products as well as other brands

Mothercare?


With more than 1,000 stores worldwide, Mothercare is a major player in the child car seat market, price-matching its competitors on many products. It stocks all the major brands and also makes its own range of car seats.

If you're in store, staff will weigh your baby to ensure you buy the correct car seat. Many branches have parking bays where you can have the seat fitted by a trained car-seat fitter. However, Mothercare staff failed nine out of 12 undercover fitting tests in our undercover car seat investigation, so we'd advise that you check the installation yourself when you get home.

As well as traditional post-Christmas and July sales, it sometimes runs half-term price promotions. Mothercare's babyplan scheme allows you to spread the cost of your purchase over six months without paying any interest, while its 'baby & me' club gives subscribers more than £100 in money-off vouchers.

Order online and you'll get free delivery if you spend over £50. You can also collect your order from a store.

Mothercare holds expectant parent events four times a year, with visits from midwives, feeding experts, nutritionists, sleep experts and maternity fashion advisers. Stores also have 'Mumspace' areas where a variety of activities are held, including baby massage, music classes, dancing and storytelling sessions.

Particularly good for: everything under one roof, interest-free payment plan, in-store events

Child car seat reviews

Remember, it's always worth checking out our child car seat reviews before choosing which brand and model to buy. Which? members can log in to read them, but if you don't currently subscribe, you can take out a £1 trail to Which? to access all our online content and helplines and receive the monthly Which? magazine.

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