The Basics

What are the different types of car seats?

There are 4 main types of car seats which all meet the different safety needs of your child as they grow and develop. Each car seat is designed for a specific stage of development to keep your little one as safe as possible. Children must use a car seat until they're 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first.

Some car seats cover more than one of these categories by being adjustable, for example the sides can expand or the head rest can move up and down, which changes the position the child is held in the seat. These are sometimes called ‘combination’ seats or ‘multigroup’ seats.

Carrycot

These seats allow the baby to lie flat in the car. They are sometimes called side-facing or lie-flat car seats. Combines the safety of a car seat and the sleep comfort of a carrycot.

Infant Carrier

These seats are rear facing and lie your child in a semi lie-flat position. They are designed to be removed from the car with your child in it for easy travel. They are often compatible with pushchairs.

Toddler

These seats are designed as the next stage car seat on from the infant carrier, however some can be used from birth. They can be rear-facing or forward-facing, depending on the weight or height of child they are approved for, some have the ability to do both.

Child

These seats are designed for children that have outgrown a toddler seat. They help give your child a boost to help raise them up so they can safely use the car’s seatbelt.

Car Seat Installation

You can install a car seat in one of two ways. Either with a seat belt or an ISOFIX attachment.

Using the seat belt to install your car seat has been a more traditional method for a while. However, it can be tricky and tends to increase the risk of user error when installing your child's car seat.

If you want to ensure your seat is properly attached, we recommend using an ISOFIX base. ISOFIX car seats have anchoring points on the base which then simply plug into the anchorage points within a compatible car. The whole premise of ISOFIX is to reduce the risk of car seats being installed incorrectly, therefore increasing level of protection for your little one. With ISOFIX there must also be another touch point to the car to prevent any movement in a collision. These additional anchor points can come in the form of either a top tether, which is a strap from the back of the car seat that clips to a special point behind the car's seat, or a support leg which comes from the base of the car seat to touch the floor of the car.

Don’t forget to make sure that your car is ISOFX compatible. Read the vehicle owner’s manual carefully or contact the manufacturer.

Now let's look at car seat regulations