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To want to put 3 car seats in the back of a normal car?

(59 Posts)
bonzo77 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:26:12

Because it seems I’m the only one. It appears that the options are:

7 seater: what we are currently doing but don’t want.

Or: compromise on car seat safety (we currently use 1HBB for 8yo, 1 ERF to 25kg but using it forward facing for 5.5yo and 1ERF to 18kg for the 2.5yo. I could theoretically use 2 booster cushions plus the 25kg ERF, but I feel that’s quite a compromise. 2 HBB plus the 25kg ERF would only save us about an inch but I think would be acceptable in terms of safety.

Or: put a child in the front meaning either I or DH have to go in the back if All out together.

The reason we want to downsize is to get a car that will be free in the London ultra low emissions zone by September 2021. I know we are planning silly early and if we leave it later then the car seat requirements will have changed due to children growing. But I think we will find it increasingly difficult to Sell on our current non Euro6 diesel.

Today I tried the seats in various combos in a Skoda Octavia, roomster and yeti. The last two were hopeless and the Octavia would have worked with booster cushions + 25kg ERF.

Seriously. What do people do?

SEsofty Mon 11-Jun-18 12:35:38

They get a seven seater. Then wait until only need booster/ none to go back to normal car.

Another way in which the world is set up for families of four

SheepyFun Mon 11-Jun-18 12:37:37

Talk to the in car safety centre ( - friends in your position tell me that they are able to tell you which combination of car seats will fit in a given car, or which car you'd need for your car seats. We only have one child, so haven't used them myself, but have occasionally transported three children (and two adults), and getting the car seats in has been, well, interesting. We have a large family estate, and I don't think we could use it with three children regularly.

SEsofty Mon 11-Jun-18 12:39:10

And remember the rule is 135cm or twelve. So if tall your eight year old could be out of a seat in less than a year

bf1000 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:40:48

There is a car seat system which allows 3 car seats in a row along back. It's a row of seats and you can alter as children grow but it would replace what you have now and it's not cheap.

It's called multimac

poorbuthappy Mon 11-Jun-18 12:43:12

The issue is getting a car with 3 full size seats in the back, rather than with 1 either side and a middle smaller seat.

We have 3 (1+twins) so had a few years of 3 car seats...

Obviously does change by year but this is a good place to start.

stargirl1701 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:44:56

Skoda Superb Mk 3 has 3 sets of ISOFIX in the back as an option.

bostonkremekrazy Mon 11-Jun-18 12:47:00

We have 3 in ERF, 1 HBB, 1 in a booster seat - we put 1 in the front and an adult sits in the back.

Housemover18 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:50:48

I would absolutely put one car seat in the front and on the occasions when you are all in the car either you or DH sit in the back - is that really such a hardship? It’s only for a few years and then the car seats get smaller. Safest is to put the RF car seat in the front with airbags off (this is actually debatable but I researched extensively and concluded this was safest). This means that the HBB and other seat are in the back for now so there should be plenty of space for the adult...

SwayingInTime Mon 11-Jun-18 12:52:04

I have been in a few different cars with my three (as don’t own one) and always been able to fit a hbb, booster with no back and then a five point harness toddler car seat. Not that comfy for the oldest one in the middle though, and a complete pain to do up seat belts.

ZibbidooZibbidooZibbidoo Mon 11-Jun-18 12:53:38

In 2021 your 8 year old will be 11, possibly 12, depending on when their birthday is. It’s possible they will have reached the height threshold for getting rid of the HBB before then.

bonzo77 Mon 11-Jun-18 12:54:32

@SEsofty: I think you’re right that the 8 year old will be out of car seats in the next year. I really wanted to keep him in the HBB for as long as possible, but that might not be. I could live with a seven seater, but need to change the current one, and our budget isn’t great and for some reason getting the same again (diesel but 6 months newer for Euro6 diesel) is means spending £9k, and older petrol ones are like hens teeth.

@SheepyFun I’ve used incarsafetycentre before. They used to be really helpful and I got our first ERF seat there. When I went to get the second they really didn’t seem to know very much, fitted the seat wrong and gave me incorrect information about something. Luckily I already knew which seat I was after and use the fitting video to fit it myself. Feel disinclined to go back to them.

@BF1000 multimac has come up as an option. Possibly need to look again, there’s something about it that doesn’t sit right with me but that’s probably unreasonable.

@poorbuthappy I looked at that website. I think you still need to try the actual seats on the car you want to buy, but it seems that is a good starting point.

mishfish Mon 11-Jun-18 12:55:06

I have done the whole 3 car seats in the back and it was a complete pain in the arse, but my youngest two were younger. Have you looked into the multi Mac system?

dimots Mon 11-Jun-18 12:55:44

I bought a Honda FRV for this reason. It has 3 proper seats in the back. They don't make them any more tho. I think maybe the Renault Mégane senic also has this?

dimots Mon 11-Jun-18 12:58:00

Trouble with most cars is the middle seat won't accommodate a car seat at all. Nor can an adult fit in the middle between two car seats - I've tried and I can't do it and I'm not big

dimots Mon 11-Jun-18 12:59:35

I believe it is legal to put a child over the age of 3 in the middle back seat without a car seat if there isn't space to fit one. Whether you're happy with this is another question

poorbuthappy Mon 11-Jun-18 13:00:19

Yes you do still need to try the seats in the car, but unless it's 1 of the cars mentioned you have no hope! (Allowing for the change of spec obviously)
The long drawn out conversations I've had with many many people about this is ridiculous!

We have had a Touran, Galaxy and S-Max...

AppleAlpaca Mon 11-Jun-18 13:02:19

YANBU we spent ages trying to find a car for the same configuration.
We currently have them wedged in a C-Max but it's so tight that we have to leave the HBB with the seatbelt done up so DS climbs into the seat and we tighten the belt.

keepingbees Mon 11-Jun-18 13:03:27

We bought a Picasso when I had my 3rd DC. A 5 seater but has 3 separate back seats which would each take a car seat comfortably.

Pollaidh Mon 11-Jun-18 13:05:58

Not sure even putting an adult in the middle backseat is possible. We have a fairly large car of the x-over/SUV type, and once the 2 Britax 4+ car seats are in, there's no space in the middle for even a very small child. The seats slope outwards for side protection, and so although you could squeeze a small child's bottom in between, there isn't any space for their head higher up.

We've had a number of adults/children insist they can 'squeeze in' on the back seat and they've all had to give up.

greenjojocat Mon 11-Jun-18 13:06:17

We have the same problem with twins and older SDD. We had an S Max until it broke, now we have a Zafira which isn't as spacious inside but can still get everyone in plus food down the back seats for a larger boot.

Mytrainwaslate Mon 11-Jun-18 13:06:44

Two Way elite for smallest ERF, then booster cushion for oldest in the middle- no need for side impact protection if in the middle seat, and then a slim HBB belted for the 5.5 yr old. Take any 'wings' off the HBB on the side of the middle of the car- again, you don't need SIP if the impact isn't coming from that side. Don't use isofix, that wastes valuable width, and you need a car at least as wide as Octavia/Focus/A4.

greenjojocat Mon 11-Jun-18 13:06:59

Fold not food!

Mytrainwaslate Mon 11-Jun-18 13:07:16

Bubble bum for the oldest in the middle.

teaandbiscuitsforme Mon 11-Jun-18 13:07:54

Multimac is forward facing only so no good for your youngest.

I'm sure I've seen the Mondeo recommended for 3 across. Have you search on the 'Car Seat Advice uk' Facebook page?

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