What do you think the VAT rate is for child car seats?
Child car seats carry a VAT rate of 5% on them – according to Halfords that costs parents £31 million a year. That’s an extra addition for parents to pay for an essential piece of baby equipment – one that is a legal requirement.
The law states that all children under the age of 12 years or 135cm in height must legally use a child restraint suitable for their size and weight when travelling in a car, van or goods vehicle. There are very few exceptions to this law – to read more on the exceptions click here.
Why should parents pay extra?
You can’t put a price on your child’s life. Ask any parent and they will do everything they can to keep their child safe in the car, however the cost of child car seats can seem prohibitive to many parents, which is why so many are buying online or second hand.
Good Egg Safety has checked more child car seats than any other organisation and from 10,000 car seat checks, we have found an average incorrect fitment rate of 54%. This has risen over the last 3 years - along with the increased trend of buying online, but also second hand. Increasing numbers of parents are accepting hand me downs and buying from auction sites, as they want to get their child a good quality seat, but at an affordable price.
What would it mean to parents and carers?
Not having to pay VAT on car seats essentially means more money in your pocket – but it also means that parents and carers may be able to afford to get a better seat, or two seats so they don’t have to swap between cars, which carries a risk of incorrectly fitting the seat. It may mean parents and carers will be able to afford to visit a store for advice, rather than having to purchase online to get an affordable seat, which in turn will help keep their children safer.
When you think of how much you spend on seats through your child’s car seat years, 5% off each purchase would soon add up!
What’s happened so far?
Halfords have launched a campaign to have VAT removed from child car seats, and have written to the Treasury to raise this issue. The Treasury responded to inform them that the 5% VAT rate on child restraints is not an option to remove, as VAT changes are dictated by the agreement of all EU member states.
Yet this tax costs parents in the UK £31 million a year. That doesn’t include grandparents and other carers who may also purchase seats for children they look after. Halfords have responded to the letter with the following statement:
“We understand that the EU has a deliberately complex process to prevent the introduction of any new zero rates, however we believe it’s unfair that families are being charged VAT for essential safety equipment and we’re standing up for all families currently paying more than they need to” – Emma Fox, Commercial Director, Halfords.
What can you do?
Halfords are running a Zero VAT campaign, they have a petition set up here. You can sign the petition link to join the call for the 5% VAT rate on a legally required piece of baby equipment to be removed.