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Do you need a child car seat in a taxi?

Parents unsure whether you can be fined for not using a car seat

Parents are confused about whether or not you need to use a child car seat in a taxi, our latest survey reveals. 

With the summer holidays in full swing, and many families heading to the airport or train stations, our survey reveals parents are unclear about the rules for using car seats in taxis. We asked more than 1,500 parents with children up to the age of five if they could be fined for not using a car seat in a taxi with their young children.

While 37% thought you could be fined, another 36% thought this statement was false and 27% said they didn’t know. In fact, the current rules mean you can’t be fined. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a car seat in a taxi. Read on to find out why.

The law on child car seats – find out all you need to know.

Car seats in licensed taxis and minicabs

You won’t be fined for not using a car seat in a cab or taxi, but if your cab firm can’t provide a car seat, we’d always suggest taking your own.

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 they sit on a rear seat. Children older than three can travel using the adult seat belt to strap them in. Children under three can travel without using a seat belt. However, this doesn’t mean it’s the best way for such young children to travel.

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), or use your own car seat. Holding them on your lap isn’t the best option because in the event of a serious crash your body weight may crush the child or, even worse, they may be flung out the car.

Before you travel, check with your taxi firm when booking to find out if it supplies child car seats. If they don’t and you use your own, some firms will even keep them for you to use when they pick you up on your return (although you may be planning to take it with you, of course).

Can you use a UK-approved car seat in Spain? Find out the answer to this and more in our guide to car seat laws around the world.

How to check if your local cab firm is licensed

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 (TfL), if you live in a London borough. You can check whether your local taxi firm is licensed by checking the TfL 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 or take your own.

Minibuses and coaches don’t have to provide child car seats, so if you feel uncomfortable about your child travelling without one, then we’d advise you to use your own where possible.

10 essential child car seat fitting checks – follow our simple guide on how to check your car seat is fitted correctly.

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