In the market for a new child car seat? Our latest testing has uncovered four new Don’t Buy car seats.
We’ve just published reviews following the results of our latest round of child car seat testing for some of the most popular child car seats on the UK market. But four car seats did so badly in our tests that each one ended up with a score of less than 40%. Any car seat scoring 40% or less becomes a Which? Don’t Buy.
Find out which four seats we’ve rated as Don’t Buy car seats and why.
What made these child car seats Don’t Buys?
All of the seats we’ve just made Don’t Buys have been approved for sale in the UK, but they’ve scored poorly in our tests for a number of reasons, including:
- Poor crash test results
We test each seat in the different modes you can used it in – whether it’s a dedicated baby or toddler car seat (Group 0+ or Group 1) or a multi-group seat that’s meant to last for many years (Group 1/2/3). As we expect you to use a seat in all the ways it’s designed for, we combine the crash test results from all the different modes and work out a worst-case scenario. Seats that get a poor crash test result indicate a high risk of injury, so we make them a Which? Don’t Buy.
- Poor performance in a particular mode
Some car seats span more than one group – these multi-group seats can seem like a great way to save money and the hassle of buying another car seat. But our tests highlight those models that aren’t great in every mode they’re designed to be used in, so may not be the best choice. If you’re forking out for a seat designed to last from 9kg-36kg, you’ll want one that helps to keep your child protected the whole time. This isn’t always the case.
- Being difficult to fit
An incorrectly fitted car seat can reduce the protection it offers when you need it the most. Our car seat experts carry out more than 500 fitting and usage tests each year to make sure seats are simple and intuitive to install. Any that are too tricky will be downgraded, and some that are so difficult to install, where there is a high risk of getting it completely wrong, are made a Don’t Buy, even if crash test results are good.
Any car seat scoring 40% or less will become a Don’t Buy. Our child car seat reviews always explain in full exactly why a seat has been made a Which? Don’t Buy.
Which? 0% Don’t Buys
0%-rated car seats will have performed so badly in parts of our crash tests that we will automatically downgrade the total test score to the lowest possible rating and make it an automatic Don’t Buy. This can be because the seat is not up to withstanding the forces of a crash in a particular setup, or because part of the seat breaks or detaches during the crash tests.
A good result in any other part of the tests cannot compensate for such a poor result.
How we test child car seats
Our car seat reviews are unique and thorough. We crash test every car seat we review in both a side-impact and a front-impact crash – two of the most common car crashes your family could be involved in.
Our tests can reveal big differences between seats. Some protect babies and children well, but others expose them to the risk of serious injury. The best child car seats will provide protection from both front- and side-impact crashes.
Each car seat tested endures a front crash, equivalent to a head-on collision at around 40mph, and a side crash, equivalent to two cars crashing into each other at 30mph. We repeat these tests with the seat installed in the different ways it can be used.
Best Buy child car seats
Thankfully there are car seats you can rely on. Best Buy car seats are those that offer excellent crash test protection, they’re easy to install with a low risk of getting it wrong.
We currently have 40 Best Buy car seats to choose from. These range from as little as £90 for a baby car seat approved to the latest car seat rules, up to £400 for an extended rear-facing child car seat.
Whatever your budget or needs, compare our Best Buy child car seats.
Child car seat reviews
Our latest testing covers some of the biggest car seat brands available. Follow the links below to take you straight to the car seat reviews and see which ones are Best Buys, Don’t Buys or worth considering:
Britax Romer Advansafix III
Britax Romer Baby Safe i-Size
Britax Romer Baby Safe + i-Size base
Britax Romer Baby Safe + Flex base
Britax Romer Evolva 123 SICT SL
Cybex Aton 5
Cybex Aton 5 +i-Size base
GB Idan + i-Size base
Joie Every Stage
Kiddy CruiserFix 3
Kiddy GuardianFix 3
Nania Beline SP Luxe
Nuna Pipa Icon
Nuna Pipa Icon + PipaFix base