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.