Car seats for Children and the laws

On the 1st March the law is changing and will come in to force for any new car seats that are bought from that date.

Your child must sit in a car seat until they are 12 years old or 4 foot 5 inches tall, depending which comes first.

If your child is under 15 months old then they must be in a rear facing car seat (height based car seats known as i-Size) and need to be changed to  a bigger one
once the top of their head is level with the top of the seat, this show only be done if the baby can hold their own head for more than half hour at a time.

If your baby weighs less than 9 kg, they should travel in a baby carrier rather than a child seat.

Once your child is older and bigger, you can sit them in a backless booster seat, but only when they weigh about 15 kg, which is usually around the age of three and a half.

Some exceptions are:

  • If your child has disabilities or a medical reason for not wearing a seat belt you must have a doctors letter
  • Can travel without a car seat if in a taxi or mini cab if they travel in the rear seat and wear an adult seat belt if they are aged 3 or older or without a seat belt if they are under 3.

You have two types of car seats ones based on height or weight.

For weight based:

  • 0kg to 9kg – A lie flat baby carrier, rear facing baby carrier or rear facing baby seat using harness 
  • 0kg to 13kg – A rear facing baby carrier or rear facing baby seat using harness
  • 9kg to 18kg – A rear or forward facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield
  • 15kg to 36kg – A rear or forward facing child seat, like a high backed booster seat or booster cushion using a seat belt, harness or safety shield

If this is not adhered to then you could face up tom £500 fine if a child under 14 does not wear a seat belt or child restraint. Anyone over 14 must pay the fine themselves.