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Child car seat laws abroad: gen up before you head on hols

Find out the car seat rules you need to know for your sun-soaked destination before you set off

family packing car for holiday

Heading off on holidays in the next few weeks with your children? Don’t get caught out by the child car seat laws in your chosen country.

Laws on what child car seat to use for what ages of children and when can differ from destination to destination.

We’ve compiled the latest laws so you can sort out your child’s car seat needs before you set off, and you won’t fall foul of the law when you get there.

The Which? guide is unique because we’ve compiled it with help from our team of international car seat experts from other consumer organisations around the world.

Don’t hit the road without reading our unique guide to car seat laws around the world.

Child car seat laws

Our guide reveals the current rules for top European holiday destinations, including France, Spain, Portugal Germany, the Netherlands, as well as further afield in Canada and the USA. Did you know, for example, that the rules differ from country to country on when you need to use a child car seat in a taxi – important to know for when you step off that plane.

We’ve also compiled advice on hiring a car seat abroad, how to avoid ending up with a Don’t Buy car seat in your hire car, and our top five holiday car seat safety tips – bringing you a package of need-to-know info.


Not heading abroad this year? Check out the latest car seat rules for the UK so you can be sure your little ones – and big ones – are travelling as safely as possible, whether you’re heading to Land’s End or John O’Groats.

UK law states that children must use a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall (around 4ft 5in), which ever of these happens first. But many car seat experts recommend that you use a child car seat for all children under 150cm. This is the height limit in some European countries.

Car seat weight groups – check your little one is in the right car seat

Child car seat reviews

If you’re not keen on hiring a car seat abroad, head over to the Which? child car seat reviews where you can find crash test results for more than 150 child car seats to choose from to take on holiday with you.

Our unique reviews cover baby car seats, toddler car seats and car seats for older children; we crash test each car seat we review, and tell you the risk of injury in a crash, based on crash test data. Plus, our experts and parents reveal how easy each seat is to install and use.

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