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Child Car Seats: Are Laws the Same Overseas?

If you’re planning a trip abroad with children and a car seat is required, it is wise to plan ahead and check if arrangements can be included in your car hire, or take your own on the flight.

In the UK, it is required by law that parents and drivers see that children use a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall - whichever comes first. EU-approved child car seats must also be used in the UK, which are labelled with a capital E in a circle.

But when making your holiday plans, if you’re planning to rent a vehicle overseas, it is advisable that you ask ahead if a car seat will be included and that it ensures the same safety guidelines that you’re used to in the UK.

UK Child Car Seat Laws

If a child’s car seat is installed in a front seat, it must be rear-facing and front airbags must be deactivated.

A car seat must be used only with a diagonal seatbelt, with the exception of car seats designed to use a lap seatbelt. i-Size seats, for example, remain securely in place without the use of adult seatbelts.

i-Size child seat laws form a part of a new European regulations, which have been slowly phased in throughout the UK since 2013. These include height and weight-based seats, which must be rear-facing until a child is over 15 months old and weighing more than 9kg.

For more information on i-Size child car seats, see our previous blog here.

Child Car Seat Laws Overseas

Though child car seats are widely used by law in the UK, due to safety measures that offer drivers and parents peace of mind, the laws of your holiday destination may not be the same. For example, European Laws are similar to those we are accustomed to in the UK, with children under the age of 12 and 1.5 metres required to travel in a car seat in the back of the car unless there is not a back seat.

A quick check before travelling will ensure you’re abiding local law, and this is something you could do online or ask your travel company when booking. The fundamental concern here is children’s safety in the unforeseen event of an overseas road traffic accident. Whereas this may be the last thing on anyone’s mind when driving on holiday, a child’s car seat is something you can tick off your list of precautions.

Are you worried about road traffic accidents when driving abroad? Read our blog here.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have extensive experience in pursuing claims for people injured in an accident on holiday.

If you or a member of your family was injured in a road traffic accident overseas; Slater and Gordon No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you with your claim for compensation. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9046, from abroad on +44 20 7657 155, or contact us online.