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Fitting 3 car seats into a Vauxhall Astra (or anything else) can it be done?

(11 Posts)
Thatsnotmyfairy Tue 09-Sep-08 19:57:23

Hi all

Am in need of some help. Having just upgraded from our tiny old car to an Astra in the hope of having some more space for mindees, I've just found out that my passenger side airbag can't be disabled.

I have just managed to squash a Graco 0-9mth seat, a Maxi-cosi Tobi and a Britax evolva 2-3 into the back seat but it's a real squash. Also, my daughter's seat (the Maxi-cosi) is in the middle which the maxi-cosi website says it shouldn't be.

So does anyone know - when the website car fitting guides say you can't put a childseat in a certain position in the car, is that for safety reasons or could it just be because they know, for example that the seatbelts in that spot aren't long enough (as happened when I tried to put the Graco in the middle seat).

Could a booster seat for a 5 year old go in the front with an airbag? The Vauxhall manual says it can as long as the seat is right back, but the Britax website says it can't.

It's so annoying because you can buy a range of Vauxhall car seats which, somehow, disable the airbag but they cost a fortune and I've no idea what kind of reputation they've got. All seems like a bit of a scam to make you buy them.

Please, if anyone has any thoughts, let me know otherwise I'll have to move all the seats back into the old car and have all the hassle of buying a new one with an airbag that can be disabled!


CostaRicanCod Tue 09-Sep-08 21:35:14


AtheneNoctua Wed 10-Sep-08 11:11:42

I have an AStra too. I have put three seats across the back but it is indeed a serious cramming job.

I would not put a 5 year old in the front seat! I don't think I'd put a ten year old in the front seat. Could you disable the airbag somehow? Even if you had to take the car to Vauxhall to have them disable it.

Booster seats are much bigger that big car seats. Can any of the kids in the back move from car seat to booster seat?

It is also worth keeping in mind that mindees parents might not be happy with their child sitting in the front -- air bag or no air bag.

I once went to pick up DD from her childminder. The childminder got home with car full of kids as I pulled up. DD was in the front seat. And the next time I dropped her off I asked her not to put DD in the front seat again. The airbag was turned off. But that is still the most dangerous seat in the car and I didn't want DD to ride there. She said fine. But, I always knew that I'd never know whether she really accommodated my request or not.

navyeyelasH Wed 10-Sep-08 13:49:34

The most dangerous seat in a car is apparently the middle back one. Makes sense to me.

AtheneNoctua Wed 10-Sep-08 14:45:22

Only if you are not wearing a seatbelt. The fron passenger seat absorbs more impact generally speaking. Assuming everyone has a seatbelt on, I'd rather have my DD in the middle in the back, which I would think is probably the safest seat because she would be protected from side impact as well.

nannynick Wed 10-Sep-08 15:33:11

I would have thought middle rear was the safest position. a site by ROSPA, confirms that, though does say that it depends on car manufacturer.

Thatsnotmyfairy Wed 10-Sep-08 19:31:06

Thanks everyone for your replies. AtheneNoctua, I took the car to a Vauxhall dealership yesterday and they told me they couldn't /wouldn't disable the passenger airbag because it's a safety feature. The only way to disable it is to use a Vauxhall car seat but as I said I've no idea what their safety record is and certainly wouldn't feel as comfortable with one of those as I would do with a known and respected make. But that is apparently the only way to do it. Shocking really.

It's interesting what you say about the front seat aswell. When DD was born we were told by the seat fitter at Toysrus to put our Graco seat in the front seat because that was where it fitted best, so from 0-9 months that was where she went. I would hate to think I was putting her at a higher risk than she would have been if she'd been in the back.

All seems like a bit of a minefield trying to find the least dangerous combination and arrangement of seats so thanks everyone for the input.

navyeyelasH Wed 10-Sep-08 22:57:53

nannynick that's only if the middle seat has a three point harness - I was thinking of models with a lap belt in that seat (like mine has). Apparently they can cause terrible spinal injuries shock. So a booster cushion in middle seat would be worse that booster cushion in front passengers seat assuming car had lap belt and no airbag. I think?

Tommy Wed 10-Sep-08 23:04:38

we have a Citroen Berlingo and have 3 car seat across the back - no problem. We can also turn the airbag in the passenger seat off and on as necessary. It also has a huge boot - great car grin

FourArms Thu 11-Sep-08 07:21:33

You might find that the Vauxhall seat is actually a Britax seat (or similar). I know the Renault ones we looked at were actually Britax.

You can switch the front airbag off manually in Renaults and Fiats too I think.

SillyMillysMummy Thu 11-Sep-08 16:42:30


I beleive the vauxhall seats are actually britax and they contain a transponder that automatically switches off the airbag, it may be that you can pick up just the transponders themselves, I know when i had a mercedes you could pick up the transponders off ebay (people just removed them from the bottom of the seats) sit them underneath your own car seat and it switched the airbag off. Mercedes used britax too

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