1. Using a child car seat or booster seat

Children must normally use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first.

Only EU-approved child car seats can be used in the UK. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle.

You can choose a child car seat based on your child’s height or weight.

Height-based car seats

Height-based car seats are known as ‘i-Size’ seats. They must be rear-facing until your child is over 15 months old. Your child can use a forward-facing car seat when they’re over 15 months old.

You must check the seat to make sure it’s suitable for the height of your child.

Weight-based car seats

Weight-based car seats must be rear-facing until your child weighs more than 9kg.

Which seat they use after then will depend on their weight.

Child’s weight Car seat
9kg or less Rear-facing baby seat
9kg to 18kg Rear or forward-facing baby seat
15kg to 25kg Rear or forward-facing child seat (booster seat)
Over 22kg Booster cushion

Fitting a child car seat

You must only use a child car seat if your car’s seat belt has a diagonal strap, unless the car seat is either:

  • specifically designed for use with a lap seat belt
  • fitted using ISOFIX anchor points

You must also:

  • deactivate any front airbags before fitting a rear-facing baby seat in a front seat
  • not fit a child car seat in side-facing seats

Children with disabilities

The same rules apply for children with disabilities unless a doctor says they’re exempt on medical grounds. They can use a disabled person’s seat belt or child restraint designed for their needs.