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Child Car Seat Law Changes


I must have been living under a rock as changes to child car seat laws, specifically booster seats, are due to come into effect early next year and I didn’t know (they’d originally been scheduled for December 2016).

What’s changing with car seats?

Currently, by law, children in the UK must use the correct seat when travelling in a car until they are 12 years old (or 135cm tall). However, the new regulations will mean that the backless booster seats (that even my five-year-old twins are using and have been for at least a year) will only be approved for older children.

The new rules about backless booster seats aka booster cushions (there are two of these in my pic) means that their usage will only be approved for use for children taller than 125cm who weigh more than 22kg.

Currently, by law, children in the UK must use the correct seat when travelling in a car until they are 12 years old (or 135cm tall).

Will you need to buy a new car seat?

This will only apply to new products, so if you want to make a purchase after the changes you’ll only be able to buy a backless booster for kids over 125cm (or 22Kg). You’ll still be able to use existing backless booster seats after the regulation changes for children under 125cm or 22kg without being in any trouble.  However, after reading up, high-backed booster seats are a safer option – with experts agreeing that booster seats are unsuitable for small children – so we’ll be changing in any case as we currently have one high back and two backless. However, getting three car seats wedged into the back seat of an estate or 4×4, let alone a standard-sized car, is going to be a tall order. Will let you know how we get on…

If you are thinking of making a new purchase, here are some stockists:

Boots stock a huge range of seats for a variety of budgets

Mamas & Papas have a number of car seats on sale right now and Halfords are offering 20% off ALL high back booster seats when you trade in any booster cushion (just use voucher code: Saferseat).


About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on Epsom & Ewell Families and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.


  1. The trouble is fitting three seats in a row on the back seat. I’d be interested to see how you find it. We have a large estate car but can’t fit two high back boosters with the rear facing baby seat. Safety is obviously paramount but we can’t really afford to buy a new car!

    • This is exactly the conversation husband and I are having right now. We’ve got a Volvo XC90, which can be configured to be a 7-seater but that wouldn’t work on a daily basis (and obviously most people don’t have a 7-seater!) so trying to work out how we’ll manage to get three high back boosters in the back. I think a trip to Halfords to see if there are any ‘slim fitting’ versions. I’ll let you know how we get on. If there aren’t any options for x3 then there’s certainly a niche in the market.

  2. Louise Lambert on

    There is definitely a gap in the market for more cars with three proper seats in the back. We have a toddler seat and a high backed booster in the back (I am currently wedged in the middle!) and the other twin sits in the front on another high backed booster. Looking at new cars so I can be promoted back to the front seat! The problem with three in the back is that they’re not meant to touch as in an accident if they’re touching the impact will go through all three (this is what Halfords told me anyway). We do have the backless boosters but use them for the nanny’s car, friends etc. and will carry on doing so for the odd short journey. (I didn’t realise this would still be allowed for children under 125cm so thanks for the helpful article Fran!)

    • So basically any family with three children is going to have to compromise in some way unless they have a 7-seater. I do wonder if high back boosters can be made slimmer? It does make sense about the impact going through all three if they are touching. Hmmm…

  3. We can’t get the boys high back seats and Nancy’s seat all on the back seat. When we all go out as a family in my car (XC60) it’s either a logistical nightmare, finergs getting crushed trying to get seat belts on or we take the easy option and put one of the boys in the front (airbags off!) and I go in the back!!

    • We’ve got EXACTLY the same issue in the XC90 if we don’t use the seats in the back (which we tend not to use as we need the boot space, plus not sure if you can actually put high backs on those types of seats). We need to design slim fit models! Shall we go on Dragon’s Den? There are a lot of families with three kids that must all have the same problem…

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