Taking children in your hired car? Here are the rules.
According to EU regulations, children up to 1.50 metres tall must use an approved and appropriate child car seat. Appropriate in this context means suitable for the height and weight of the child.
What is an approved child seat?
Approved child seats include baby car seats (0 to 13 kg), child car seats (13 to 18 kg) and booster seats (18 to 36 kg). A child seat must of course comply with European safety standards. Approved child seats can be recognised by the label indicating ECE R44/03, R44/04 or i-Size compliance.
Dutch regulations less strict
In the Netherlands, the regulations are a little less strict: a child seat is compulsory for children up to 18 years old who are smaller than 1.35 metres. Also, children are allowed to sit in the front as well as in the back. It is advisable to carry babies and small children in rear-facing seats as long as possible – i.e. in the opposite direction of travel. This gives them better protection in the event of a frontal collision.
Use of seat belts
Children taller than 1.35 metres may use a booster seat, but must wear a car seat belt at all times. Car seat belts for both children and adults should always be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Only then do they offer optimal safety.
Seatbelt extender: yes or no?
No, you may not use a seat belt extender with a child seat, as the quality of these is not always reliable.
Seat belt clip: yes or no?
A seat belt adjuster or clip prevents the shoulder belt from pressing on the neck. A seat belt clip often forms part of a seat booster, but they can also be bought separately. You may only use a separate seat belt clip for children up to 1.50 metres tall who are heavier than 36 kilos and for adults who are smaller than 1.50 metres. A separate seat belt clip may only be attached to the shoulder belt and not to the hip belt.
Use of airbags
If you are carrying a child in a rear-facing child car seat in the front of the car, you should ensure that the airbag is disabled for this seat. Your car’s instruction manual will show you how this is done.
As with the Netherlands, other EU countries sometimes have slightly different regulations for the carrying of children in cars, particularly with regard to minimum height, weight or age.
Book in time!
Are you taking children with you in your hired car? Take a look at our child car seats. You can supply and indicate your preference on the booking form under ‘Options’.