September 21, 2016
Confused by the new car seat laws? Want to know what i-Size actually is? Our experts answer your questions, and explain what the new rules mean.
Q: I’ve heard there are new car seat regulations for the UK, is this right?
A: Yes, a new standard known as i-Size is being introduced for car seats. The new laws were brought in as part of a European wide safety initiative in 2013. They require that babies face rearwards for a longer period (at least 15 months), as this is the safest way to travel.
Q: What’s new about these regulations?
A: As well as the new mandatory rear facing age, the height of a child now dictates when they move onto the next seat size. Weight is still a factor to consider, but the primary guide is now in centimetres.
Statistically, users are more likely to fit car seats correctly when using the ISOFIX fixing method, rather than a seat belt. Therefore, use of ISOFIX is now required under the new regulations. The rules dictate that car seats now undergo mandatory side impact testing, a further safety measure. They also ensure that safety tests are done using the latest Q series test dummies (which are far more advanced than the current versions). To learn more about the changes, check out askforisize.com.
At the end of this year, the next phase of regulations will come into effect. These will cover booster seats in group 2/3, for older children.
Q: I love the car seat I have, but it doesn’t meet these new regulations. Should I switch to an i-Size seat now?
A: You have a little time on this. New and existing legislation will run side by side for the time being, to allow for the new standard to be put in place. By 2018 the i-Size regulations will be fully rolled out for all age groups. Though the date to stop production and sale of car seats meeting the old standard isn’t in place yet, we predict it will be around 2020.
Q: What do the laws mean for me when I’m shopping for a new car seat?
A: If it’s time to buy a new car seat, you may want to look for one that complies with the new i-Size regulations, giving you the chance to start using tomorrow’s technology today. Although you’re not required by law to have an i-Size seat in place just yet, having one now will mean you’re in line with legal regulations for years to come.