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AIBU to think car seat buying should be easier than this!

(19 Posts)
carseatconfusion Thu 20-Feb-14 15:29:36

DH had a car crash the other week with DS ERF Besafe Izi in the back, which has cracked on impact.
Our car insurance offers £100 towards a new seat, which I was planning on putting towards another Besafe Izi. However I got a letter saying that the £100 would come in vouchers for Halfords.
Halfords doesn't sell Besafe seats so I looked at their website and decided to buy the Joie ERF but then when I looked at 'Which' it has done really badly in the safety tests. So I then chose the Recaro Monza Nova IS as it's one of the 'Which' Best Buys in the 1-2-3 class.
But then I read that Britax have recently run tests on seats with impact shields (which the Recaro is) and that they have been deemed unsafe if the car rolls over. This has been disputed by several makers of seats with shields though :s
ARGGHHHH I'm just trying to buy the best seat for my DS (who's 2 1/2) but feel completely confused!! AIBU to think the safety ratings etc should be more apparent for each seat rather than having to pay a 'Which' subscription and then cross reference! I've been at it for 2 days and I still haven't managed to choose.
I know no seat is 100% safe but I just want to know I've made the most informed choice.

vj32 Thu 20-Feb-14 15:37:07

Yep, its a nightmare. Just been through this, complicated by the fact that DS is only 2year 9 months but very nearly 18kg so we had to buy a seat with an adult belt not a harness. Makes me mad.

Plus Which give points for easy fitting which isn't that important if you are going to keep it in the same car all the time and get it properly fitted in the first place.

carseatconfusion Thu 20-Feb-14 15:45:55

vj32 Glad it's not just me! Which one did you choose?
Surely it should be as simple as each seat showing it's independently verified safety ratings and features. Or am I missing something?

carseatconfusion Thu 20-Feb-14 15:50:20

I think my biggest dilemma is whether to go for an ERF that's not got as good safety ratings from or a FF that has got an excellent safety spec but is still a FF with the issues of neck impact etc.
Plus the safety shield aspect in a roll that I'd never heard of - maybe I should just step away from Google?!
Anyone with got any thoughts?

carseatconfusion Thu 20-Feb-14 15:55:55

typos! brain is bambozzled

vj32 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:07:56

We got a Recaro Monza Nova Seatfix from Kiddicare in the end. I investigated ERF but there is only one seat on the UK market that faces RF after 18kg with a harness, one goes up to 25kg but you have to go to Milton Keynes to get it! (We don't live near MK and I'm 36 weeks pregnant so that wasn't going to happen.)

Because DS is so young for his weight/size I thought the one we bought had good protection around the head and neck. Its isofix as I didn't like the idea of him being thrown forward by the weight of the seat as well as his own weight in an accident.

I try and keep calm about the whole thing telling myself that I drive a safe relatively new car and that we rarely do long journeys or travel at high speeds.. we mostly just drive in the local area so the chances of being in a major accident are small.

DS2 when he is here is going to go ERF up to 18kg, already have a plan...

Oldraver Thu 20-Feb-14 16:19:36

I would go back to your insuramce company and tell you you want a like for like car seat and not Halfords vouchers

carseatconfusion Thu 20-Feb-14 16:32:34

I have tried Oldraver but unfortunately the policy does state £100 max towards a car seat, although I can't see anywhere about it being Halfords vouchers and not cash.

fairylightsatchristmas Thu 20-Feb-14 17:08:52

I would a) step away from google and stick to th Which reports. They're pretty comprehensive and in no way have an agenda (unlike Britax who don't sell an impact shield seat)
b) If you can afford it, get whichever car seat you actually want and put the Halfords vouchers to some other use, assuming you can't get the insurance company to cough up.

FWIW we have the Kiddypro impact shield ones and have been very happy with them.

MyNameIsKenAdams Thu 20-Feb-14 17:10:48

Find a store that does a decent erf seat and request vouchers for that store.

Mothercare has started stocking an ERF seat that is under £200.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 20-Feb-14 17:16:57

I think at 2 1/2 I wouldn't personally get a ERF seat as he would only get another year or so out of it. And a 2 1/2 year old is much stronger with a smaller head to body ratio than a 1 year old so needs it less.

We have an impact shield car seat for DD as ERF wouldn't work for us and we've been very happy with it. The one we had originally was from Kiddicare and the impact shield slotted onto the 'arms' of the car seat so I think there would be less chance of sliding out if the car rolled. But you do need to try it in the car as you need a long seatbelt. We changed cars and it wouldn't fit in the new one, so we got one by BMW with its own 'seatbelt' that goes round the impact shield and the seat fastens in with isofix. As there is no give in the seatbelt (unlike the car seatbelt that moves slightly before it locks) again we felt it would be safer in the event of a rollover.

MyNameIsKenAdams Thu 20-Feb-14 17:18:35

Depends though, they may have (or be planning on having) a younger siblibg so it would be needed for longer.

CrohnicallyFarting Thu 20-Feb-14 18:06:04

True! Just remember car seats have a shelf life of (I think) 5 years, due to the possibility of the plastics degrading.

carseatconfusion Thu 20-Feb-14 21:24:37

Thank you for all your replies.

I only have DS at the moment and whilst he will probably have a sibling in future it won't be until he's at least 4.

Crohnically Thank you for that info about 'shelf' life - I didn't realise that.

Think as DS will probably only be in a ERF for a short time before he hits the weight limit I'm going to go for the Recaro as it did so well in the safety tests. Still have a few niggles about it but guess I can only go on the facts I have!

Thanks again

McPheezingMyButtOff Thu 20-Feb-14 21:32:32

Have you investigated any of the cybex seats.

It may be worth a look.

slowcomputer Thu 20-Feb-14 22:19:52

Car seats do not have a shelf life of five years in this country. I had heard that and asked the woman at the in car safety centre in Milton Keynes. It is only in the USA, partly because it is a more litigious place and partly because they have more extremes of temperature. No car seats designed for UK use should have a use by date printed on them.

browneyesblue Thu 20-Feb-14 22:24:22

We had this with Aviva - they sent a voucher for Halfords, and the seat we wanted was out of stuck. The alternative was much more expensive at Halfords than at other stores.

We phoned Aviva, explained the problems we were having, and they were really helpful. They agreed to let us buy our own seat from our chosen supplier, we sent them the invoice to show we had paid, and they gave us £100 towards it (cheque, if I remember correctly).

It can't hurt to ask nicely if your insurers can do anything to help.

browneyesblue Thu 20-Feb-14 22:25:05

*out of stock

anothernumberone Thu 20-Feb-14 22:27:08

I have never owned one and I don't consider myself an ambassador for erf in any way but from what I have read they are magnitudes better in terms of safety performance than ff.

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