Welcome to the next installment in our second hand child seat series! This post is looking at how we can use second hand seats as safely as possible.
Whenever possible, your child's car seat should be purchased as a new product, from a retail store who are able to give you good advice.
In purchasing from a retailer and taking advice, you can be sure the seat you buy is suitable for your child, compatible with your car and you will be shown how to fit the seat. You will also know that your seat is brand new, and can be confident that the seat will do its job should you be involved in a collision.
Sometimes though, financial hardship can leave no choice but to buy a second hand seat, or a family member or close friend offers you a seat that you know is in perfect condition. In this situation, what can you do to ensure the seat is used safely?
Our Good Egg Expert has put together 10 things to do before you decide to take a second hand seat!
Only buy from family or close friends
Is the seat from someone you would trust with your child's life, such as a close friend or family member? Don't be tempted to buy a seat from a friend or family member to spare their feelings!
Only buy a seat you 100% know the history of - if you have any doubts about a seat, don't use it!
How much is the second hand seat?
Can you buy a brand new seat for the price of a second hand seat? There are many options available, and a benefit of buying new is being able to get advice and seat fitment - check out our blog on top seats for under £100!
Find out the make and model of the seat.
What seat is it that you're buying? Is it a well known brand? Be aware that there are fake seats out there!
Check the ECE approval label:
Does the seat carry an approval label? A seat must carry a label for R44.03, R44.04 or R129 iSize.
Check that the seat is suitable for your child
Does the seat accommodate your child's weight and height? If the seat is forward facing, don't move up until the rear facing seat is fully outgrown! Our chart will help you find out if the seat is the correct group:
Check the seat will fit your car
Some child seat manufacturers have fitting lists or online fit finders to help you find out what is compatible with your car. Research what will fit your car - does your car have issues with buckle crunch? Floor storage boxes or forward anchor point?
Research the seat
- Is the seat still currently available?
- Has there been any recalls on the seat?
- If it isn't available in shops now, why not?
- Is it an old seat that is no longer manufactured?
If the seat is currently available, visit a store to see it close up as a new product - what does it look like new and what items comes with the seat. Ensure the second hand seat has all parts present and instructions!
Inspect the seat
Once you know what the seat looks like new, inspect the second hand seat - is the seat shell plastic, foam protection under the covers and harness in good condition, with no marks, rips, dents or tears? If the seat shell, foam or harness is damaged in any way - don't use the seat!
Are safer seats available?
Check out what your options would be buying new, is a safer seat available, or a seat that is more compatible with your vehicle or easier to fit?
Get the fitment checked!
If you decide to take the second hand seat, get the fitment checked at a Good Egg Clinic or with your local road safety team (if they do car seat checking). We won't be able to confirm your seat is safe without knowing the history, but we can confirm if the seat is fitted and used correctly!