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Child car seats in taxis – are you breaking the law?

Parents confused by the rules over using child car seats in taxis, Which? survey finds

Taking a taxi to the airport with your children this holiday? Make sure you’re clear on the rules regarding child car seats in taxis before you travel.

A Which? survey has found that parents are confused about whether they need a child car seat in a taxi or not and the consequences if they get it wrong.

We surveyed more than 5,000 parents with children up to the age of 12 and asked whether they believed they could be fined if they don’t use a car seat for their own children when travelling in a taxi.

Here’s what they told us:

Safety rules for children in taxis

The correct answer is that you won’t be fined if you don’t use a car seat for your child in a taxi or private hire vehicle. But, if your cab firm can’t provide a car seat for your baby or child, the current child car seat law states that in a licensed taxi or a private hire vehicle (minicab) there are certain safety rules you need to follow:

  1. A child can only travel in a taxi or private hire vehicle if he or she sits in the back.
  2. Children older than three can travel using the car’s adult seat belt. Children under three can travel without using a car seat, but this is not something we’d recommend.
  3. If you have a child under three and need to get to the airport in a taxi, check with your cab firm when you book to see if it will provide a child car seat, or consider taking your own.

Child car seats law in the UK – find out all you need to know to avoid a fine.

The good news is that despite continued confusion among some parents, more are getting clued up. There’s been a small percentage increase (4%) of those who knew the right answer compared with when we asked the same question last year.

Hiring a child car seat abroad

Once you hit your holiday destination, hiring a car seat abroad to use in your hire car may not be child’s play.

Each year we hear holiday horror stories of car hire companies providing parents with shabby car seats that aren’t the correct fit for their baby or child. Of course, any car seat is better than no car seat at all. But if you’re travelling with a little one in a hire car when you head off on holiday, it could help you to do your homework in advance on the car seats the company you’re using has on offer. Particularly, double check that none of them are models we’ve named as Don’t Buy child car seats for safety reasons.

You can also download and take along our 10 essential car seat fitting checks to give you the heads up on tackling a different type of seat than you’re used to.

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