A Quick Guide to Booster Seat Law
The rules on child seats can sometimes be a little confusing for parents, especially as kids grow so fast! Halfords' quick guide to booster seat law is a handy resource if you're unsure what the rules are once your kid has outgrown their infant car seat.
An adult seat belt alone won't fully protect a child in the event of a crash, as they're too small for the belt to sit properly across their pelvis and shoulders. A booster seat raises your child up so that the belt fits them properly.
In 2006, the government introduced child booster seat laws to ensure that kids always use the right child seat when travelling in the car - read on to find out more about the law.
Car booster seat law
- Children must use the correct child restraint for their size and weight when travelling in the car. They must use an appropriate child seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm in height - whichever comes first.
- It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that all children aged under 14 are travelling using the correct child restraint.
- If you're caught failing to ensure that a passenger under 14 is wearing the right child restraint or seat belt, you could face a fine of up to £500.
Child booster seat laws - exceptions
There are a few exceptions to the booster seat law, but they are rare. A child aged over 3 may use an adult seat belt if the correct child seat is not available:
- in a private taxi or private hire vehicle
- for an unexpected but necessary journey over a short distance
- if there are two occupied child restraints in the rear which prevent the fitment of a third
However, you should strive to ensure that the right child seat is available at all times. A great solution to this is the Trunki BoostApak, a child's backpack that doubles as a booster seat so you can carry it around with you wherever you go.
When should my child use a booster seat?
It's recommended that you keep your child in their group 1 child seat until they reach 18kg in weight - that way they'll continue to benefit from features like recline positions and the safety harness.
However when they grow out of this seat the next stage seat is a booster seat. For optimum safety we recommend a high-back booster seat to provide added side impact protection.
These seats often come with other features such as padded head and armrests, and drink and snack trays for extra comfort and convenience.
See our booster seats buyer's guide for more help picking the right seat, or call into your local Halfords where the staff will be able to offer expert guidance.
Free fitting on booster seats at Halfords
At Halfords we are passionate about the safety of your child. That's why when you buy a booster seat or any child seat from us, you'll get:
- Free fitting and 16-point safety check
- A fitting demo so you can feel confident in doing it yourself
- Lowest price guarantee on all child seats
- Reserve & collect in-store available
- Free home delivery on all child seats*
What's more, we're the only retailer whose car seat fitting training is accredited by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. You're in safe hands with Halfords - order today.
*contact your local store to arrange free fitting if opting for home delivery