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Car seats for rent/Which car rental companies have decent car seats

(20 Posts)
LittleVikingChick Tue 22-Oct-13 19:53:52

Just back from holiday in the North where we rented a car and infant seat from Avis. The quality of their seats was appalling and I was very disappointed with them. They managed to cough up one ok-ish seat that also worked rear-facing after I made a fuss. Have made a complaint, but guessing nothing will come of this.
So question is: For future holidays: Does anybody know if there are any car rental companies that have good/top quality car seats for rental int the UK? Or is there anyone who rents out just car seats (again good/top quality ones)?

bundaberg Tue 22-Oct-13 19:57:21

i have a friend who always used to go with hertz, but tbh i think it's kind of pot luck unfortunately sad

LittleVikingChick Wed 23-Oct-13 19:44:48

Thank you bundaberg :-) Anyone else?

StuckOnARollercoaster Wed 23-Oct-13 20:10:35

Wish I hadn't clicked this now. Am travelling alone with DD next week so just don't the hands to take car seat as well and we have prebooked with Avis.
Am going to bury my head in the sand and hope that as its a new airport that office has been kitted out with brand new decent equipment...
But on the off chance it's not - what do you do on a late night arrival? I suspect pfb instincts will kick in and I am ready to kick up a fuss! Off to Google what the law is regarding child seats in the country we are going to!

lagoonhaze Thu 24-Oct-13 19:35:36

Stuck email them. How old is your DD?

LittleVikingChick Thu 24-Oct-13 20:16:37

It may very well be worth e-mailing them and asking what type/model they will have available for you. It mostly pays off making a polite fuss :-) If they do have a better seat you will be the one that gets this seat.
Our son is eight months, and weighs 8,7 kg. We wanted a rear-facing seat and requested the baby seat (0-13 kg) as we know that most infant seats (9-18/25 kg) in the UK is forward-facing. When I saw the baby-seats they had I was shocked. They looked like baby-bathtubs with some fabric inside and the internal belts looked like the type of straps you would have on a high-chair. When I made a fuss they found an infant seat that could be installed both rear facing and forward facing. They had never installed them rear-facing though, and no instructions came with it, but we managed to install it somehow anyway. However, the seat was old and tatty looking and did not have the anchor-belts and the ground-pole that our own seat (BeSafe iZi Plus) has, so in my opinion this was only a half-decent seat. Also seats should not be much older than 4-5 years as the materials decays over time and safety is reduced.
Our problem now is what to do in the future. We are thinking of buying a seat to have in the UK and get someone to drop it off at the airport for us whenever we are over (we live in Norway, but my husband is English so we are over a few times every year). Or even better, we find a rental company that have top of the range seats :-)
Which country are you traveling to?

kangarooshoes Thu 24-Oct-13 21:19:12

They're really poor. If you can take one, I would. How old is your child?

Could you post on here if UK holidays, if anyone could lend you a better one for a week or something?

Try this?

LittleVikingChick Fri 25-Oct-13 05:42:10

Hi Kangarooshoes,
He is eight months now. I will try your link, thank you :-)

kangarooshoes Sat 26-Oct-13 19:55:46

8 months- could you not carry your infant carrier with you?

I made a fuss over a backless booster for my four year old (I'd inquired in advance and checked they did high backed boosters), and got offered a high backed with a hole in it... I ended up buying a new seat, abroad, as it's too big a risk. sad

LittleVikingChick Sun 27-Oct-13 15:21:27

Kangarooshoes, we have already replaced the small carrier with a 0-25 kg BeSafe iZi Plus. It is too big to carry anywhere easily. It is supposedly safer in the bigger seats as soon as they are big enough for them (8-9 kg) and can sit up themselves. This requires the bigger seat to be rear-facing though. If you upgrade to a forward-facing bigger seat you are better off in the smaller seat for as long as you can use it. We thought about bringing our old seat over, but decided against it as Avis advertise that they have good quality seats and illustrate it with photos of seats from Britax that I would be happy to use. But as often, difference from advert to reality was big.
The old seat has been sold and he is soon too big for it anyway. But found a few companies that will rent out seats, so might try this.

LittleVikingChick Sun 27-Oct-13 16:31:00

Kangarooshoes, just realised that it was you who sent me a link to a 'rent-a-seat' :-)

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 27-Oct-13 16:40:56

Since our first awful experinecewith Hertz, we have always taken our car seats (from birth to now, ds1 is 8 and in a high back booster) with us.

We've bought car seat bags from Sunshine kids and just pay to take the extra bags.

It's worth it for peace of mind.

LittleVikingChick Sun 27-Oct-13 20:05:47

IWish..., we also thought about that, but would prefer to rent if we vould get good quality seats. As we go to the UK a lot we are also considering to buy a seat and leave with our family over there.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 27-Oct-13 21:13:28

That would potentially save a lot of luggage charges if you travel regulalry and as long as you can be 100% sure that it could be brought to the airport for your arrival.

Your ds will go through a few different sized car seats over the years so factor that into your thinking too. Also, will you only ever fly to the uk and into airports near to where the seat would be kept or might you go elsewhere too?

We have chosen to keep ours in high back boosters even though they could legally just sit on booster seats now. I haven't found anywhere where we've been visiting (all within europe) that can guarantee the high backs, so even as they get older this is still an issue.

ToddleWaddle Sun 27-Oct-13 21:21:50

Always bring our own.
Use the Sunshine Kids( not great quality but big)bags as well and chuck in some clothes etc with!
Have seen some stored in various car rental companies and was pretty horrified. You really have no idea of their history.

LittleVikingChick Mon 28-Oct-13 09:11:50

IWish, we mostly travel to this airport yes, the problem is asking somebody to meet us at the airport. We are crossing our fingers that there will be a new ferry between Norway and England so we could take our own car with our own seat.
Anyway, we need to give this some more thought. Interested to see what Avis has to say to my complaint. Probably nothing interesting.
Does anybody have any experience with these baby-equipment rental companies though?

StuckOnARollercoaster Fri 01-Nov-13 15:30:40

Good luck Viking.
I've sent an email to Avis and had a reply back so have my fingers crossed that my experience on Tuesday will be better than what you had to experience.
Like was said up thread as kids get bigger so do the carseats and iI really don't want to be trying to manage DD, her buggy, both our luggage and a car seat.
It seems crazy that the best option for you is a new ferry and I am considering how much easier it will be to drivefor 2 days next time rather than air travel and a hire car...

LittleVikingChick Mon 11-Nov-13 21:25:03

StuckOnARollercoaster - Would be interesting to hear your experience once you´re back.
I´ve been reading a bit about this online and it seems like there are many people with the same experience as we had. There seems to be a lot of car seats being lugged around airports by parents traveling with children. In addition to having to pack another (large and bulky) piece of luggage, I just can´t settle to the idea of my car seat being bashed around by luggage handlers, I would think that this could also damage the seats the same way as in a collision.
I really cannot see why the car rental company cannot offer us decent car seats. I guess as with anything they do it because they can get away with it.

StuckOnARollercoaster Fri 15-Nov-13 21:08:42

Hi - an update.
Experience with Avis was ok in the end. The babyseat was a Recaro with Avis branding on the removable cover.
The guy that showed me the car didn't really know the car seat worked but fortunately it strapped in exactly the same way as my car seat at home. (Have never used a car seat so maybe they all strap in the same way - over lap, into belt point then around the back)
The seat was clean and seemed to be in good condition.
The worst bit is that the style of babyseat didn't have any size adjustment like my car seat at home - so it was probably luck that my 5 month old DD fit but what if she was a bigger baby or a tiny newborn?
I am in a real dilemma about the future - they only do 2 car seats - the infant carrier and then a child seat and as DD will need the child seat next time, will it be adjustable enough to ensure a safe fit? It all depends on whether I'm alone or with DP, but I guess I will have to try it if I'm on my own as I wouldn't be able to cope on my own with DD, pram, luggage and a car seat.
The airports I go to, usually can only rely on Avis or Hertz being there and local companies. I prefer to use Avis or Hertz and there isn't often a massive price difference so I may try Hertz for a comparison. Fortunately our next trip is a longer one in the summer so we are going by car, but I will have to face this issue again in about a years time.

LittleVikingChick Tue 19-Nov-13 09:17:14

Good to hear that your experience was not all bad.
A shame though that the rental companies don´t invest more in this. I´m sure it is a money issue, but we would happily pay more for better quality. Our problem is also what to do in the future. I saw several car seats being delivered to other customers at Avis while we were waiting for our car and they all looked crap.
I think we are going to call up one or two of the other rental companies at the airport before we book next time. I see that Sixt advertise in a way that it seems they have some sort of routines for maintenance and check of the seats. We might try them next time. But will probable call them in advance to ask some control questions.

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