Car Seats Buying Guide
Choosing the right car seat
You can choose your car seat based on the child's weight or height.
Weight-based car seats must be rear-facing until
your child weighs more than 9Kg.
Weigh yourself with and without your baby
in your arms to find your baby's weight.
Height based car seats are known as 'i-Size'
(the new European standard) seats.
They offer better protection against accidents and must
be rear-facing until your child is over 15 months.
You can switch to a forward-facing seat after this,
but many parents prefer the improved support for your
baby's head and neck that a rearward facing seat gives you
You could check your child's clothes for a height band on the
label but to be absolutely sure, measure their height.
There are 5 groups of car seat and it's all about choosing the right group to ensure your child's safety,
whilst adapting to your lifestyle too. Our handy guide below has lots of information to help you choose.
Group 0+ (up to 13kg/29lbs) >
Car seats in group 0+ are also known as infant carriers. They offer optimum protection with
soft padded headrests and side impact protection. With this added comfort and security,
your baby will be truly as snug as a bug. They feature a handy carry handle making
it easy to transport your baby, plus a sun canopy to stop the glare getting in babies eyes.
Many come with removable newborn inserts that can help the seat grow with your baby.
These handy little seats can often be transferred from car to pushchair in one easy step,
meaning you won't have to disturb baby.
We advise to check your pushchairs compatibility before you buy -
you may need adaptors if buying separately.
To be used rear-facing, they are suitable from birth to approximately 12 months (0-13kg).
Seats are fitted using standard seatbelts but many are compatible with a belted base
or Isofix base for easier fitting.
Group 0+1 (up to 18kg/40lbs) >
Group 0+1 seats offer some versatility as they can be used rearward or forward facing,
depending on the seat. An ideal seat from birth to approx. 4 years (0-18kg),
It's recommended that you keep your children rearward facing for as long as possible
as this will give added protection and support because of their relatively large head and
weak neck muscles at this age.
This group is one of the more popular choices as it features car seats with plenty of padded support
and protection, plus a multi position recline feature so your baby is able to sit back and relax.
Seats are fitted using standard seatbelts or some can be fitted with the isofix system.
All seats have a built-in harness to secure baby.
Look for seats with removable, machine washable covers for ease and practicality.
Group 1 (9kg/20lbs to 18kg/40lbs) >
Group 1 seats are the 'inbetweeners'. They're forward facing so your little
one can enjoy the view and see Mum or Dad! Your baby/toddler is secured
by a 5-point safety harness plus the seat features an adjustable seat
position for added comfort and support.
Suitable from 9 months to approx. 4 years.
Seats are fitted using standard seatbelts or some can be fitted with the
isofix system. All seats have a built-in harness to secure baby.
Group 1,2,3 (9kg/20lbs to 36kg/79lbs) >
Car seats in group 1,2,3 lead on from your rearward-facing seat.
They truly 'do everything'. Look out for seats with adjustable headrests so they can
grow with your child. Other features can include recline, a washable cover and
even cup holders and a speaker system for your child's entertainment!
Some models will convert into a booster seat, plus with loads of safety features
and a comfy seat there isn't much else you could ask for!
Suitable from 9 months to approx. 12years (9-36kg).
Seats are fitted using standard seatbelts or some can be fitted with the isofix
system. All seats have a built-in harness to secure baby, which can be removed
as baby gets older.
Group 2,3 (15kg/33lbs to 36kg/79lbs) >
Group 2,3 seats are classed as high back boosters as the back will support younger
children's heads and hips. The seat can then be converted easily into a booster,
plus many seats have removable covers making it easy to clear up life's little spillages!
Suitable from 4 years to approx 12 years (15-36kg)
Booster seats and cushions >
Booster seats give your child a little more height yet they are lightweight
and easy to transfer between cars.
Available in bright, fun colours plus some feature your child's favourite characters.
Boosters also ensure the correct positioning of lap and diagonal belts.
Combination car seats >
Some combination car seats can cover a
number of groups, for example from
group 0+ to group 2, so you'd be able to use
the same car seat from birth
right until your baby is 25 kg.
Under this new regulation, (Introduced at the beginning of April 2015) your child's height
not weight is the deciding factor to determine what car seat is needed and this could vary
from seat to seat.
Your car and car seat must have Isofix, a system which attaches compatible car seats directly
to your car's frame using connectors. So it should be easier to fit an i-Size car seat correctly
than a seat that uses your car's seat belt system.
The i-Size regulation keeps your child rearward facing for longer - until they are at least 15
months old. So their necks and heads are better protected against any impact whilst they're
developing, than in a forward-facing car seat.
Belt Fitted >
Most Child car seats are fitted using the car's seatbelt. The seats always
come with detailed fitting instructions and the seat units have markers
showing where you need to pass the seat belts through.
Push your knee into the car seat for a firmer fit - the seat should fit firmly
against the car seat with little movement.
Belted Base Compatible >
Some Infant carriers (Group 0+) can be compatible with a belted base.
A car seat base can be belted into your car for ease of use and fitting.
Your car seat can then click into place with minimal fuss.
Isofix makes fitting a car seat quick and simple. If your car has Isofix points
(please check with your car manufacturer or dealer if you're not sure) you
can simply plug in a compatible Isofix car seat safely and securely to the
mounting points, reducing the risk of forward or sideward motion.
Not all isofix seats will be compatible with all isofix points in cars,
so please check before you buy.
Isofix Base Compatible >
Similar to a belted base these can be used with compatible infant
carriers (group 0+). The base clicks into place using the iso-fix
connectors - once fitted you can just click your car seat into place.
Many come with a support leg that tells you whether the base unit
is installed correctly. Isofix offers a much safer option with less
chance of incorrect fitting and a more secure fit in your car.
Top Tether >
Here the car seat is secured to tether points in the car with a fabric strip which
helps to absorb the force of a crash and stops the car seat moving forwards. You
often have to attach top tethers on rear-facing car seats to the car's front seat.
Only attach the strip to the top tether points in your car. They've been specifically
designed this way to withstand the force of a car seat moving in a crash.
UK law states that children travelling in the front or rear
seat of any car, van or goods vehicle must use a child car
seat until they're 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever
You can only use EU-approved car seats (labelled with a
capital E in a circle) in the UK. You won't be able to leave
hospital with your newborn baby unless your vehicle is
fitted with an approved car seat.
For more information on car seat regulations,
At present there are 2 regulations (R44/04) and i-Size
(ECE R129) running in parallel.
The i-Size regulation came into force in the UK at the
beginning of April 2015. The old weight-based system
(R44/04) is expected to continue until at least 2018 but
the date when this is to be phased out hasn't
been fixed yet.
Our car seats are all approved to the relevant
regulations, either R44/04 for weight based car seats
or ECE R129 for i-Size seats.
We sell seats, which comply with the R44/04
regulation and car seats that comply
with ECE R129 regulation.
Make sure you understand the
instructions before you fit your
car seat, having a few practice
fittings will do wonders for your
confidence and ensure you fit
the car seat correctly
Check the manufacturer's
website for any
Position the harness as low as
possible with the lap belt below
not across the stomach
The shoulder harness shouldn't
rest on child's neck.
Do keep your child in
a rearward facing
car seat for as
long as possible.
Rearward facing seats
ensure the airbag is deactivated
if fitting in the passenger seat
(Check the manufacturer's
handbook for details).
Place your forward facing
car seat as far
back as possible if you
have an active airbag
(the rear seats are safest).
Having 2 cars seats is
a good idea if you
regularly use 2 cars.
Adjust the car seat harness to
make a snug fit
and do check every journey,
what baby's wearing
can make a difference to the fit,
so re-tighten regularly.
Never use a car seat that's
been involved in any sort of
accident, however minor.
Before you buy car seat, please
check the manufacturer's fit
guide as our car seats may not
fit all cars or seat configurations.
Click here for Britax and
Maxi Cosi fit finders. If by any
chance the car seat doesn't fit
your car then you may return the
seat under the terms of our
Never buy or use a pre-owned car seat, you won't know if it's been damaged.
Make sure that anyone else
who'll be driving your child
round knows how to fit your
car seat correctly.
If they're using their car not
yours, make sure the car seat
Forward facing seats
position these centrally on
your vehicle's seat.
Using your knee press the seat
firmly in your car's seat and
tighten the seat belts.