2. When a child can travel without a car seat

A child can travel without a child car seat in some circumstances.

Taxis and minicabs (private hire vehicles)

In a licensed taxi or minicab:

  • children under 3 years of age can travel without a child’s car seat or seat belt, but only on the back seat
  • children aged 3 years or older can travel without a child’s car seat if they wear an adult seat belt

Unexpected journeys

If the correct child seat isn’t available, a child over 3 years of age can use an adult seat belt if the journey is all of the following:

  • unexpected
  • necessary
  • over a short distance

You can’t take children under 3 in a vehicle without a seat belt or the correct child car seat (except a taxi or minicab).

No room for a third child seat

Children under 3 must be in a child car seat. If there’s no room for a third child seat in the back of the vehicle, the child must travel in the front seat with the correct child seat.

Children over 3 years can sit in the back using an adult belt.

Vehicles without seat belts

Children under 3 must be in a child car seat. If there’s no seat belt, they can’t travel.

A child over 3 can travel in a back seat without a car seat and without a seat belt if the vehicle doesn’t have one.

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