Choosing and buying a car seat

Cars come in all shapes and sizes, just because yours might be on the smaller side it doesn’t mean you can’t have the car seat that you want. You should always have your child’s best interest at heart and not fall for cheap or second hand car seats.

Cheap car seats

When I say cheap I mean brands that you don’t know or seem too good to be true, there are many online retailers and auction sites that are advertising unique car seats that are not available in most high street shops. They may be safe but unless you have proof and have read good reviews stay clear. Many who have bought cheap car seats have noticed that the car seat did not perform well in the result of an accident. Fortunately no babies were in the car seat at the time.

Second hand car seats

It is not advisable to buy a car seat that has already been used; this is usually because you don’t know the history. If it has been used in a car crash and this information was not passed on to the second owner it could prove fatal as it is no longer safe to use. If you are being given one by a trusted family member or friend and can guarantee that it was not involved in an accident then it is fine to accept. Many people sell their car seats after their child has grown out of it because they were very expensive to buy, the most common and sought after car seat on the market today is the Maxi Cosi car seats.

Isofix or non-isofix

Since 2007 all new cars that are manufactured need to have an isofix point in the rear of the vehicle. Isofix car seats are deemed much safer than the standard seat belt harness as it leaves little room for error. With isofix car seats you simply click in the car seat to the isofix points that are built in the rear passenger seats. No need to mess around with seat belts.

Car seat base

If you have a little extra money to spare it may be worth purchasing a car seat base, it comes in handy when you have a smaller car. Car seat bases stay in the car and the car seat clicks into the base effortlessly. Car seat bases can be attached using the seat belt or isofix car points so you can have them in virtually any car.

You should always have a car seat demonstration as not all car seats are compatible with certain makes and models. Also the front passenger seat may need to be brought further forward for the car seat to sit snugly in the back. It’s also a good time to try out a few and see how easy it is to install yourself. Most places offer fitting for free and also ensure you are able to do it yourself. Some places also won’t sell you car seat unless you know how to fit it and the car it is being used in is compatible.