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Holiday car seat laws every parent needs to know

How to avoid a car seat fine abroad this year

The laws on what you can and can’t do with child car seats differ from one country to another.

Don’t fall foul of the local police on your family holiday this year. Check out our guide to local car seat laws abroad before you go, covering your own car use and what you’re required to do in taxis.

Best Buy car seats – choose a baby car seat that’s been crash tested.

Do I need a car seat in Europe?

If you’re travelling by taxi from the airport to a city in Spain, children are not required to use car seats, but if your journey from the airport takes you to an area outside of a city centre, then you’ll need one.

However, in France there’s no requirement to use a car seat in a taxi.

In Germany, regulations require car seats or boosters for children under 150cm tall or younger than 12 years old, whichever comes first. But in the Netherlands, all youngsters up to 135cm tall, no matter their age, must use a car seat.

An online search might unearth incorrect information on the right car seat regulations for each country. Instead, consult our handy interactive map with the latest car seat laws for popular destinations, compiled with help from our team of international car seat experts from other consumer organisations around the world.

Visit our guide to child car seat laws around the world to check out the penalties you could face if you don’t take heed.

Car seat rules in the USA and Canada

You can also consult our guide for advice if you’re heading further afield, to the USA or Canada. Across the Atlantic it gets even more complicated as the car seats rules vary from province to province and state to state.

The law on car seats in the UK

Just 11% of parents we consulted on their child car seat laws knowledge* knew both the height and age requirements for children in the UK.

If you’re stopping at home this year for a staycation, head to our dedicated guide on Child car seat laws in the UK to revisit the latest rules on car seat usage. Discover when you need to use a car seat and the fines you could face if you don’t. And get up to date up on the rules for travelling with young children in taxis.

*Which? survey of 5,147 parents with car seats and children up to the age of 12, February 2018.

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