Child car seats

Child car seats are designed to protect your child in the event of an accident. They are an essential piece of equipment and should be replaced if your car is involved in an accident.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) says that a child car seat fitted in a vehicle that is involved in an accident should be replaced, even where there is no visible sign of damage. The reason is that it’s possible for the seat to be weakened to such an extent that it will not provide the same level of protection in another accident.

Car seat replacement cover

If a customer with comprehensive cover has a child car seat fitted to their car and the car is either

  • involved in an accident
  • damaged by fire or theft or
  • stolen and not recovered

Sainsbury's car insurance will cover the cost of replacing the child seat with a new one of a similar standard. This allows you to replace the car seat without having to worry about the cost.

Who should use a car seat?

Gov.uk advises that children must normally use a child car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall.

Types of child car seat

The type of child car seat to use depends on the child’s weight.

Seat type Weight
Rear-facing baby seats babies up to 13kg
Forward or rear-facing baby seats children from 9 to 18kg
Forward-facing child car seats (booster seats) children from 15 to 25kg
Booster cushions children over 22kg

Other factors to consider:

  • Does the seat have an ‘E’ mark? This indicates that it has been checked and meets the United Nations Regulation R44.03 or later standard R44.04.
  • Purchase the correct car seat for your child’s weight and size.
  • Check that the seat is securely fixed before every journey.
  • For others driving your vehicle, make sure they know how to fit the seat and check it is still working correctly.
  • As the child grows replace the seat accordingly.
  • Is the harness secure? As a guide, one or two fingers should be able to be inserted between the strap and the child’s chest.
  • A child car seat should never be altered in any way.

For a more comprehensive look at child car seats, see our guide to buying a child's car seat (725KB)

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