Types of Safety Seats and Regulations for Baby Seats in a Rental Car

Safety seats for babies and children around the world

As several customers already ask us questions about the general regulations of the countries they are going to visit, we have made a general summary about baby car rental around the world, to make it even easier to find all the information you need before your trip.

The rental of baby seats is usually counted per day, although there are also car rental companies that set the price per rental, check the conditions we have made per country to ensure the conditions of each rental.

The sooner you book the seat the better, as it is on a first-come, first-served basis, and in case of high season you may run out of the seat if you leave your reservation until the last minute. For example, most companies in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates advise you to book at least 3 days in advance, otherwise, they are not sure you will have any available.

Remember that you can bring your own car seat and that most airlines allow you to bring your car seat as extra luggage and free of charge. We recommend that you check the conditions of your airline before booking.

Remember to return the child safety seat in the same state in which they were given to you, as there are usually penalties, up to several hundred euros in some cases, if you return them in poor condition or very dirty.

These are the big groups and areas:

Child safety seats in Europe

If you are traveling with children in Europe and you are renting a car, keep these tips in mind. In Europe there is a common regulation that does not allow children under 13 years old, weighing less than 36kg (79lb) or measuring less than 135 cm (4ft), to sit in the front seat of the car. In addition, it requires children who do not meet these two conditions to be carried in approved child seats and in the rear seats, with the exception of two-seater cars or if the rear seats are already occupied by other child seats.

There are three types of baby seats that you can rent with your car in the European Union, without much change between countries:

  • Infant Child Seat: from 0 to 12 months and/or from 0 to 13kg (29lb). They should always be in the back seat and facing away from the direction of travel.
  • Child Seat: from 1 to 3 years and/or 9 to 18 kg. (20lb to 40lb)
  • Child Booster Seat: from 4 to 12 years old, and/or less than 135 cm (4’43″), and/or up to 36kg (79lb).

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Child safety seats in the USA and Canada

Obviously, the United States and Canada are large countries, and each of the states has its own laws, although we can summarize that, unlike other parts of the world, both the United States and Canada are guided more by age than weight, although some states do establish weight or height limits, the general rule we have observed is the primacy of age over any other measure.

In spite of the great difference and diversity between states, we have dared to make this small common index so that you know where the shots go when visiting North America with children and if you need baby safety seats.

  • Up to one year of age or 20 lbs (9kg). Use a rear-facing baby seat in the back seat.
  • From one year of age or 20 lbs. to 4 years or 40 lbs (18kg). Use a rear-facing infant seat and if the child’s dimensions allow, move to a forward-facing seat, but always in the back seat of the car.
  • From 4 years of age or 40 lbs. (18kg), up to 8 years of age or minimum 4’9″ height (150 cm). Use an infant seat until the child’s dimensions allow you to move to a backless booster seat. Always installed in the back seat of the vehicle.
  • From 8 to 12 years of age. Use a booster seat until the child can sit comfortably without it, and the seat belt can be safely fastened.
  • At age 13, the child can sit in the front seat.

Child safety seats in Florida

Florida law is very strict and the penalties for those who do not comply with the safety of children while traveling are very severe. In Florida, all children under 5 years old must travel insured in an approved baby seat. All car rental companies will provide you with one that complies with the current regulations. The minimum penalties for this type of infraction are 60 dollars.

Child safety seats in California

In California, every child under the age of 8 (or 4’9″) has to travel in the back seat and with his or her relative baby seat, whether that is a full seat or just a booster seat.

Child safety seats in New York

In New York, regulations require that all children up to the age of 8 must be attached to a state-approved and licensed baby seat. The rental company that will deliver the car will assist you in choosing the model of the seat for your child.

Fines for violating these laws range from $10 to $500 depending on the state. And here we leave you with the general regulations by state: the United States and Canada.

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Child safety seats in the United Arab Emirates

In general terms, these are the rules to follow in the United Arab Emirates. A curiosity is that the child safety seats used in the UAE are governed by European safety regulations. So, please, review again European regulation.

Children up to 4 years old must have a child safety seat. Violators will be fined 400 AED.

To travel in the front seat, the passenger must be at least 145 cm (4’75″) tall and no less than 10 years old.

A minimum of 72 hours notice is required for the reservation of the seat in most companies.

Child safety seats in Asia

Regulations on child and infant safety seats in Asian countries are no longer based on the age of the child, but on weight and height, a condition that is also very common in many other parts of the world.

Anyone under 135 cm (4’9″) in height will be required to be secured with a child safety system appropriate for a person of that height and weight, and to use a booster seat to supplement the seat belt or an adjustable seat belt.

On the other hand, they require that children under age 6 always use a child safety seat. To give you an idea, the additional charge at Avis in Singapore is ¥540 / day (or ¥1,080 for up to 10 days)

  • Baby Seat: Up to 65cm (2ft) or 10kg (22lbs). Up to 9 months.
  • Child Seat: From 65cm (2ft) to (3’30″) 100cm or 9kg (20 lbs) – 15kg (33lbs). Between 9 months and 4 years.
  • Junior Seat: Up to 135cm (4’43″) or 36kg (79lb). More than 4 years old

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Child safety seats in South Africa

These are the safety measures for transporting in a vehicle with baby seats and lifters in South Africa:

  • Infants – up to 1-year-old: If you are under 1 year old and/or weigh less than 9 kg (20 lbs), you must sit in a rear-facing seat with the harness straps at shoulder level.
  • Children (up to 4 years old): If older than 1 year and/or weighs 10 kg (22lbs) or more, can sit in forward-facing seats with the harness straps at shoulder level.
  • Children (from 4 to 12 years): If you weigh more than 18 kg (40 lbs), you can sit in a forward-facing booster seat, which should be used both with the seat belt fastened. Make sure the lap belt fits under and firmly over the upper thigh/lap and the shoulder belt fits comfortably over the chest and shoulder. This will help prevent abdominal injuries.

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We hope you liked this article. Now you can continue reading our article about the differences between Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Payless, Sixt, Thrifty, Dollar, Alamo, National, and more, or use our search engine below to book your car.

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