Rules can be confusing so we’ve pulled together everything you need to know about booster seat laws in the UK, and to give you the information to help you buy the best booster seat for your little one.
Booster seat Regulations
In the UK it is a legal requirement to use a child car seat or booster seat until the age of 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall, whichever comes first.
Changes to booster seat laws in 2017 mean that new booster seats must have high backs for children between 15kg and 22kg (or 125cm), and backless booster cushions are now only being manufactured for children weighing more than 22kg or taller than 125cm. However, evidence does suggest that high-back booster seats provide extra protection for the head and chest in a side-impact crash.
What is a booster seat?
Booster seats are quite simple, they help to position your child to fit into the car’s seatbelt. Designed especially for children that have outgrown a car seat. They raise the child, so the car’s seat belt is positioned correctly across their body. These include a back rest and are sometimes called high-back boosters. Booster cushion seats also known as backless boosters raise the child, but they do not include a back rest.
Backless booster seats can be temptingly cheap and although they can be convenient, they offer very little protection in a crash, particularly if you’re hit from the side. Our car seat experts recommend using a high-back booster seat instead, whenever possible.
High-back booster seats for older children
A booster seat is better than no seat at all, however some parents prefer to keep their child in a toddler seat for as long as possible because they're kept secured in the seat. A Group 2/3 seat uses the car's adult seatbelt to keep a child in place. Our experts recommend using the lowest group seat for as long as possible.
Fitting a booster seat
Always consider the fitting system before purchasing your new seat – belted or ISOFIX. ISOFIX is a term associated with cars that have an internationally standardised car seat fitting system. This automatically locks your car seat onto two metal clips built into the car which makes it much easier to install car seats into your car. Belted is basically the seat belt which is built into the car and is used to secure booster seats by threading it through the seat or around both the seat and the child. These are the best ways to hold the child in boosters.
When to replace a booster seat?
Booster seats are designed to keep your child safe while driving. However, they don’t last forever and may need to be replaced at certain times.
Here’s when you’ll need to replace your child car seat:
- It’s expired – You may not be aware, but a booster seat comes with an expiration date on the label or owner’s manual to make sure that it’s safe to use.
- It’s damaged – If your booster seat has been damaged or involved in a crash then this needs to be replaced.
If you need any extra help finding the right booster seat for your child then you can check out our full range here.