Child Car Seat Rules: What are the rules regarding child car seats in different parts of the world?

Child Car Seat Rules: What are the rules regarding child car seats in different parts of the world?

Here at Rhino Car Hire we understand you want your children to be safe wherever they are in the world, so we have compiled a handy break down of the Child Seat regulations for the most popular travel destinations around the world. Whether you are hiring a child car seat from one of our Car Hire suppliers or bringing along your own, the regulations below should give you peace of mind as to what the law in various locations requires.

In general children must normally use a child car seat until they are 12 years of age or 135cm tall, which ever comes first. However as you will see from the table below this can change depending on the country you are visiting.
 

Country

Car Seat Rules

Can I use a UK approved seat?

Germany

Requires a car seat/child restraint for children less than 150cm tall or younger than 12 years of age, which ever comes first.

Yes

Spain, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark

Children less than 135cm in height must use a car seat/child restraint.

Yes

Ireland

All children less than 150cm in height or weighing less than 36 kgs (79ibs) must use a child car seat or restraint system.

Yes

Italy

All children under 150cm in height, regardless of their weight must use a child car seat.

 

Canada

Canada has ten provinces and the child seat safety law varies for each one, so please check the province you are travelling to carefully. In Quebec for example:

A child whose sitting height is less than 63cm should use a car seat.

 

Australia

From the ages of 4-7 years old a child must be in a child car seat or booster seat.

Children in Australia should continue to use a booster seat from the ages of 7-16. 

No. Car seats need to meet Australian standards which are different to UK standards.

UAE

It is not uncommon to see children not using car seats in the UAE however they should and the guidance is as follows:

A child should use a car seat or child restraint up to the age of 6. Children up to the age of 12 should use a booster seat.

There are lacks in the law regarding child car seats in the UAE. Using a UK car seat is a safe option when driving.

South Africa

Children should use a child car seat suitable for their weight and height up to 6 years of age. From the ages of 6-11 a booster seat is recommended.

 

In the USA each state has its own child seat laws. We have included some of the most frequently visited states in the table below:
 

USA state

Car Seat Rule

Can I use a UK approved seat?

Florida

Children under the age of 5 must use an appropriate child restraint system:

Children under the age of 3 must use a child car seat.

No*

New York

Children under the age of 4 must use a child seat, unless they weigh more than 40 pounds. Then the child may use a booster seat. Children under the age of 8 must use an appropriate child restraint system.

No*

South Dakota

Children 4 and under and weighing less than 40 pounds must use a child seat.

No*

California

Children under the age of 8 or have reached 4ft 9 inches, must be in a car seat or booster secured by a seatbelt.

No*


* In a nutshell the safety testing for European and USA child car seats is different and technically a UK car seat would not be legal in the USA due to it not having undergone these safety standards. It is unlikely that you would be stopped and checked in the USA but the best advice may be to have a USA standard car seat when travelling. USA seats must meet the FMVSS 213 requirements.

Additional notes:
  • If a car does not have back seats or there are no seat belts in the back seats, a child may travel in the front of the vehicle as long as the air bag is deactivated.  
  • In many countries taxis are exempt from needing to provide car seats for children. In France, Italy and Spain for example, there is no requirement to use a child car seat in a taxi.
  • Car seats should be UN approved to R44 or R129 standard.
  • A child restraint system refers to a booster seat or similar approved device. It does not include a standard car seat belt.  
If you are unsure whether to take your own car seat when hiring a car or not, why not check out our car seat blog – To hire a car seat or take your own?

 
Posted: November 21, 2016 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

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