Parents Confused By Child Car Seat Laws Says Survey

Mon 5th Nov 2018

The UK laws on child car seats are confusing parents to such an extent that four out of five parents have said that there needs to be more accessible and widely available information.

The survey by Co-op Insurance worryingly found that 42 per cent have admitted that they were ill-informed about the laws on how to fit and position the seats.

With the laws relating to child seats, and the use of, relating to height and weight and also age, it is no surprise that there is confusion.

Speaking about the issues, Co-op’s head of motor insurance, Nick Ansley said: When it comes to car seats, parents of children all ages are clearly confused by how to best keep their children safe in the car.

“We not only want to bring attention to this, but want to help parents become better informed and equipped to be the safest they can be on the road, especially when they have precious cargo in tow.”

In a bid to clear up the confusion, Co-op says that parents must always use a child seat suitable for a child’s size and weight, must use a back booster for a child’s size until they are twelve years old or 150cm tall (whichever comes first). If a forward-facing seat is placed in the front of the car, the parent must make sure that the seat is as far as possible from the dashboard. Where ISOFIX mountings are available then its best to choose a car seat which is ISOFIX compatible. Never allow a child to travel unrestrained and never hold a child in your arms and finally if a rear-facing child seat is in the front of the car then the airbag must be switched off.


Reasons why parents don’t understand/feel fully informed about child car seats:

  • The maximum age a child needs to be before they don’t need a seat – 16 percent of parents

  • The different car seat groupings (1,2,3) mean – 15 percent

  • What i-size means – 14 percent

  • If a child has to be a certain age and weight before they no longer need a seat – 12 percent

  • Whether or not a child should use a car seat on public transport – 10 percent

  • Whether or not a child should use a car seat in a taxi – 10 percent

  • How long a child needs to be in a rear-facing seat for – 9 percent


“Child car seats and seat belts are there to keep people as safe as possible. If the worst was to happen and a vehicle was involved in a collision with children not belted in, then the consequences are likely to be much more serious than if a child was strapped in,” added Co-op’s Ansley.