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When it comes to buying car your child's car seats do you follow a brand or do you do a lot of your own research?

(22 Posts)
Fishwifemark2 Wed 16-Mar-16 11:18:20

I am an MBA student at Falmouth University collecting research for my final project based on car seat branding for today's Millennial parents.

I wonder if you can please help me with your thoughts as there is a lot of chats about car seats here by completing a very quick survey for me.

The survey should take no more than 5 minutes in total to complete, 10 at the most, and it will close on 31st March 2016.

The survey is completely anonymous and the data will only be used for my MBA project and any additional research personal to me.

All contributions are appreciated.

Thank you, Jessica

moggle Wed 16-Mar-16 13:24:51

Nice survey! I often find that student surveys are badly designed and/or worded, yours was nice and clear. Good luck with your project.

Fishwifemark2 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:37:21

Thanks for the feedback, moggle. You have made my day :-)

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 17-Mar-16 14:00:11

High five returned

Jenijena Thu 17-Mar-16 14:04:44

"It was recognised by other mums"

Hmmm... do fathers not come into car buying decisions?

There's also a typo on that page (length)

BertieBotts Thu 17-Mar-16 14:26:03

Is it OK to make an additional comment? I will just leave it here and then you can take it or leave it I suppose.

There seems to be a lot of focus on branding but I feel like my approach to car seat brands is different from my approach towards other types of branded product. For me a car seat is primarily a safety device. Therefore the safety is the most important aspect. That doesn't mean that I would only buy the safest, but I would expect a minimum level of safety, which IMO isn't there in some of the very cheap brands of car seat. So I do tend to stick with certain known brands because I feel like a good brand is an indicator of quality and safety. I'm not suspicious of all new brands I encounter, but if I can't find information about this brand's performance aside from the information they are giving out themselves then I would be less likely to buy that seat.

But conversely the first car seat I ever bought was the Mothercare own brand one. At the time, this was manufactured by Dorel who make Maxi Cosi car seats and it was basically a clone of one of the safest newborn seats on the market, the Cabriofix, just with different pushchair fittings. (It isn't any more.) And not all well known brands make good quality seats with good safety ratings. It's not about whether I'm buying a well-known brand or a highly regarded brand, it's whether I personally consider that brand to be safe and of good quality. I'd also happily skip to a new brand - and have done - if I felt that the newer, less familiar brand had a better combination of good safety and other features that I liked.

Fishwifemark2 Thu 17-Mar-16 20:12:27

You are right, Jenijena, I'm pretty sure that dads do come into the car buying decisions. However, it's mostly mums that respond to surveys and so I've been struggling to get much feedback from dads. I'll be making this very point in my final analysis.

Fishwifemark2 Thu 17-Mar-16 20:19:40

Many thanks, BertieBotts for the additional comments. It's very useful, I hope you don't mind if I add them to my final report?
You'll be pleased to know that the results of the survey have shown exactly that point you make. Buying car seats is much more of a 'reputation for safety led' decision than just brand alone, however Maxi Cosi have built their brand on their safety message, and that's why we trust their brand. So in that sense it is still a brand-led choice.

Jenijena Thu 17-Mar-16 20:24:02

I'm sorry, but that sort of discriminatory wording completely put me off completing your survey, and would (I suspect) put a man off your survey even more.

chocomonster Thu 17-Mar-16 20:32:44

The other factor which I don't think really came up in the survey is the feel of the seat- one that came with a travel system we bought just felt cheap and tacky and plasticky. Although I didn't come across any evidence that the seat was unsafe, we weren't happy with it and replaced it with a well known brand which felt a lot sturdier. Not entirely rational as I could find reviews on which? so no data to compare actual performance, just didn't like the quality 'feel' of the travel system seat.

chocomonster Thu 17-Mar-16 20:34:37

Oops. Should have read that I COULDN'T find reviews. Sorry!

motherigloo Thu 17-Mar-16 20:37:59


From one ex Falmouth student, to another!grin Just a bit jealous of your being down there!

BertieBotts Thu 17-Mar-16 21:14:39

I totally agree that it's a brand led choice smile But it's very different to how I tend to view brands in terms of, say, food products, or clothing, toiletries, stationery, things like that.

I actually wouldn't buy Maxi Cosi on principle because I think their products are overpriced. The mothercare seat was a fluke (and not at all overpriced) But I do definitely consider them decent in terms of safety. I probably wouldn't even bother to check the safety rating of a seat they produce because I trust them. I would tend to default to Britax unless another product was outstanding, as I think their products are just as safe but they are much more reasonably priced. They produce premium items as well, but they also have a line of extremely basic, budget friendly but still very well tested, good quality items. And again, I trust them.

Fishwifemark2 Thu 17-Mar-16 21:17:02

Jenjena, thanks for the feedback. Maybe the word 'mums' at the very end of the survey should have said 'parents'. I can't change it now as it could make the rest of the result invalid, however I can and will mention this in my analysis.

poocatcherchampion Thu 17-Mar-16 21:17:41

I have up the survey too I'm afraid because the safety of the seat is the only factor to me - although I get what you are saying about it bring linked to branding.

-- I couldn't be bothered to go through each box saying I didn't care about everything else--

Fishwifemark2 Thu 17-Mar-16 21:24:51

BertieBotts, thanks once again. It's interesting as what you say actually validates my initial hypothesis.
Would you buy a car sear from a brand you had never heard of before if you could see that the seat was at least as good as a Britax or Maxi Cosi in quality and was much cheaper?
If not, what would you have to know about that unknown brand first before you felt you could trust it to be safe?

Fishwifemark2 Thu 17-Mar-16 21:26:47

Poocatcherchampion how do you determine the seat is safe? What do you check to tell that?

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 17-Mar-16 21:39:16

For me, the safest seat was the one that fitted both my car and my daughter.

She was 15 kilos at less than two years. Tall enough and heavy enough for a high back booster. But her ability to sit in one... No chance.

I also have an old car. Which is good, as it will accommodate a bigger-based seat. But the belts are short.

I needed a seat that was tall/height adjustable for dd. I also wanted it to recline. As she still sleeps in the car.


I did look at some safety reviews. But soon realised, they all have to pass the tests, or they can't be sold. I had a budget of about £100, as it was an insurance claim.

Priorities were...
Less than £100
Not black (fades and gets too hot in sun)
Fits child
Grows with child
Fits car
Ease of fitting
Washable cover

Not as important
Brand name
Friends choices

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 17-Mar-16 21:43:15

I did reject a cheap brand, purely on sight. On display, in the asda. Could have been mamia? Not sure.

But the cover wasn't very thick or padded
It barely reached the edge of the plastic all round
The edges were roughly hemmed, not well finished

I did think the whole seat could easily be made the same. Cheap and not finished off. If the belts were sewn to the same standard as the cover, I would not trust them!

poocatcherchampion Fri 18-Mar-16 18:52:20

Op - we are erf-ers so the likes of halfords and mother care didn't come into it. We read the research into rear facing and tracked down the experts such as the in car safety centre. They securely fitted our seats, chosen to match our car and children's ages.

I did choose a brand I had never heard of. I also have seats from britax and maxi cosi but not because they were familiar. But because they were recommended. (3 DC)

I couldn't be less interested in whether black was a good colour for heat etc, windows/ air con will deal with that.

I was unlucky enough to be hit by a lorry on a motorway and the car seats literally saved my children's lives. What else matters?

BertieBotts Fri 18-Mar-16 22:36:19

Probably nania. That is a brand I don't trust!

OP I would definitely consider an unknown brand if I felt it was as safe and good quality. To convince me it would have to have good safety test results or be recommended by an expert that I trust - for example in this case the in car safety centre or similar. I think I put a medium score on the expert opinions column because I don't trust all experts. It's hard to say what makes an expert that I trust but generally if what they sayis backed up by evidence and research it's a better bet than someone who is effectively just giving their opinion. Some of it is gut feeling and whether their advice matches up with other trusted sources.

I have to say I am a little suspicious of car seats being too cheap. If it's right at the bottom of what seems possible then I'm wondering how the manufacturer is making a profit. Obviously, all seats have to meet safety standards, but there's a difference between doing the minimum you need to do to pass inspection and making a quality product which is going to surpass safety tests. Some of the cheapest seats on the market pass the legal tests but failed Which? testing which is only 10mph faster. These seats were then recalled, but if that independent test hadn't been done and publicised, I'm not sure they would have.

BertieBotts Fri 18-Mar-16 22:42:08

In fact I did buy the at the time brand new brand Kiddy Infinity Pro seat for DS when he outgrew his infant seat. It convinced me because of crash tests and the explanations on their website of the different safety features. I didn't have a car at the time and there was no erf seat which was easy to transfer between cars or fast and lightweight to fit. The Kiddy wasn't cheaper than other group 1 seats but I felt it was an ok price point (iirc I paid about £140 for it) - it wasn't as high as other top range seats. And it was both safe enough and practical for my needs.

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