• Rules Around Carrying Children In Your Car

Rules Around Carrying Children In Your Car

A Guide to Proper Child Car Seats and Seatbelt Safety

From tiny toddlers to leggy teenagers, our cars can become family taxis as far as our kids are concerned, and us adults are merely their drivers. To keep everyone safe, particularly in the case of young children, there are some rules in place that are enforceable by law when it comes to carrying children in your car.As a retailer of used family cars here in West London, we’re looking into the rules around carrying children in your car, so that you can keep each journey safe and legal. Read on to find out more. 

Is it illegal to carry a child in a car?

No, it’s not illegal at all, but they must be secured in child seats that are required by law in accordance with their age, as well as their height and weight. 

What are the rules for carrying children in cars in the UK?

For children younger than 12 (or under 135cm if they’re over 12), child seats are required by law. You’re able to buy a child seat based on either their height, or weight. Children under 15 months must be secured in a rear-facing child seat, away from active airbags that you may find in the passenger side of your vehicle. 

Regardless of the child seat you’re using, they must be secured in the vehicle using ISOFIX fittings. Failing that, you can use a diagonal seat strap. 

From March 1st 2017, all brand-new backless booster seats are only to be used by children weighing over 22kg, or those taller than 125cm. For seats manufactured before this date, children only need to weigh 15KG. 

In all cases, you must only use child seats approved by the EU, indicated by a big ‘E’ on the label. 

When can a child travel without a car seat? 

A child can travel without a car seat when they are 12 years old, provided they’re over 135cm in height. They must then use a seat belt, which is required of all drivers and passengers by law, as we know. 

What happens if you don’t obey the rules around carrying children in your car? 

If found to be carrying a child in an unsuitable child seat (or not travelling in one at all) you could be risking a £500 fine. 

Can a child sit on your lap in a car?

Whilst it may be tempting to sit a small child on your lap whilst travelling as a passenger, it doesn’t provide the child with nearly enough protection - they need to be in an appropriate car seat.  

Are there any exceptions to the rules? 

There are some rare instances in which using the right child seat may not be possible, and therefore these occasions are exceptions to the rules. These instances are: 

In a taxi 

If a taxi driver cannot provide the correct child seat for their vehicle, children over the age of three can travel with an adult seat belt, while children under 3 should travel without a seatbelt. 

In mini buses and coaches 

As drivers of these vehicles aren’t required to supply car seats, children must travel in the rear seats to remain the safest if seatbelts are not fitted to the vehicle. If fitted, a seat belt must be used by children aged 3 and over. 

On an unexpected journey

If the journey is unexpected, necessary, and over a short distance, and the correct child seat isn’t available, children over 3 must use an adult seat belt, and children under 3 must travel without. 

Find a family car in West London 

Now you know the rules for carrying your children in the car, you can get on with finding the right car for your family. We’ve got plenty to choose from here at West Motors, so you can drive away safe and happy. Get browsing today

To save timely negotiation all our cars are heavily discounted upfront and offered nearer cost price, saving customers up to £2000 when compared to our competition. This ensures we are treating every customer the same. This fee is a compulsory fee and applies to all customers.

Variable admin fee is charged as listed below:

  1. Retail customers pay £199.
  2. Repeat customers purchasing a 2nd car within 12 months of the original invoice date £0
  3. Retail customers arranging finance using brokers outside of our immediate panel of lenders £499
  4. Trade customers making a purchase as the motor trade £549
  5. Export customers including Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland £599