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26 Jul 2019

Do I need to use a child car seat in an Uber?

Make sure you're not breaking the law when you bag that cab

Taking your child in a Uber? Do you need a child car seat or not?

We asked 3,286 parents this question.

  • 21% admitted they didn't know.
  • 38% believed you could be fined for not using a car seat with your little one in an Uber or private hire vehicle.
  • Only 41% knew the right answer, which is that children can travel without a child car seat, but they must travel on a rear seat in the car.

See our shortlist of the best child car seats

Kids in Ubers: three things you need to know

  1. Whether you're taking an Uber or another private hire vehicle, the law states that if the driver doesn't provide the correct child car seat, infants can travel without one.
  2. But the child must sit on a rear seat and if they're over three years old they need to wear a seat belt.
  3. Children under three years old are not required to wear a seat belt, but must also travel on a rear seat.

Child car seat laws in the UK

Child car seat laws around the world

Do you need a child car seat in a minibus, coach or van?

  • On a coach, children can legally travel without a child car seat or a seat belt if neither is available.
  • If travelling on a minibus, all children must travel in seats behind the driver and if a child is three years old or older, a child car seat must be used if there's one available. If there's no child car seat, or it's unsuitable for the child, then an adult seat belt should be used.
  • When transporting a child in a van, a child car seat must be used by law just as when travelling by car. Unless the child is over the age of 12 or taller than 135cm, in which case an adult seat belt will suffice.

When else can a child travel without a child car seat?

If you're driving the car, it's always your responsibility to make sure that all child passengers are sitting in a car seat, whether or not they are your children.

But there is one exception. If there's an unforeseen emergency and it's only a short distance, then a child aged three or older can use an adult seat belt for the duration, but they must sit in the rear of the car.

However, children under the age of three shouldn't be transported without a car seat in a car, under any circumstances.

If there's no room for a third child car seat in the rear of your car and you've got three little ones to transport, one of the car seats can be used in the front passenger seat, but only if the airbag for that seat is deactivated.

Or any children aged three or older can sit in the back and be secured using the adult seat belt.

But we would always advise using a car seat for children where possible so that you're not putting your child's life at risk.