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Going away by train/car hire - what to do about car seats?

(15 Posts)
fluffyanimal Fri 05-Aug-11 08:34:35

We're going away for a weekend by train and hiring a car at the destination. What should I do about car seats? Will I have to lug 2 car seats with me on the train? Or does anyone know of a better idea? TIA.

fluffyanimal Fri 05-Aug-11 10:11:09


RamblingRosa Fri 05-Aug-11 10:12:43

Almost all car hire companies provide car seats (at an extra cost). This year we got a Trunki boostapak but that's only an option if your DCs are 4+.

fluffyanimal Fri 05-Aug-11 10:23:54

Oh do they? Cool, thanks, will look into that.

MindtheGappp Fri 05-Aug-11 13:30:01

You can either take your own car seat, or hire one with the car.

Lizcat Fri 05-Aug-11 13:39:16

Be aware that so of the car seats for even some of the very large hire companies can be truely appalling.

fluffyanimal Fri 05-Aug-11 13:44:11

Lizcat, appalling how? Old fashioned? Uncomfortable? Dirty?

Lizcat Fri 05-Aug-11 13:48:48

Even worse than that ill-fitting and unsafe.

RamblingRosa Fri 05-Aug-11 13:54:21

It's true. We've only had a hire car one once and it was in pretty poor nick. IIRC the straps on the 5-point harness had broken and been tied back together in a knot shock. Trunki boostapak was very good if your DCs are old enough for it.

fluffyanimal Fri 05-Aug-11 14:05:14

Hmmm, food for thought. Just seen the advert on MN right now about the BubbleBum, that would work for DS1 who is 5, but DS2 is only 2. <Panicky> Anyone got any positive stories about hiring a child car seat with a hire car?

RamblingRosa Fri 05-Aug-11 14:07:08

Have you already booked your car hire? My bad experience was with a smaller hire company. I reckon if you go with a big name like Avis or Hertz you should be ok.

Shanghai Fri 05-Aug-11 14:12:26

I've hired car seats a few times and they have always been pretty rubbish - sorry to not have a better experience to share!! I travel a lot so i have a car seat trolley (gogobabyz one) but that's far to expensive if you're not doing this frequently so why don't you try getting a cheap luggage trolley and bungy cords that you can attach the car seat for the two year old to so that you can wheel it. If you don't want to sit the two year old in the seat, you can always use a bungy cord to strap one of your cases onto the seat/trolley and pull that along all together - just a thought.
Personally I'd avoid car hire seats at all costs but it kind of depends on how far you'll be travelling as to how comfortable you are with that.

fluffyanimal Fri 05-Aug-11 14:21:26

Thanks Rambling and Shanghai. We are just going for a weekend, going by train because it's at the other end of the country and DS1 gets a bit carsick, but it's a reunion with old friends that we don't want to miss. Not likely to be doing this often. Haven't booked the hire car yet but online searches suggest Avis is the cheapest. Of course on their website everything looks fine but...

I may see if we can't find a way of transporting DS2's seat. I so don't want there to be obstacles to doing this. We nearly said no because we couldn't face the drive and train/plane was too expensive, until a friend had the genius idea of getting a family railcard, and suddenly it seems do-able again.

Lizcat Sat 06-Aug-11 10:25:34

Our bad experience was with Hertz I am afraid and from talking to other mums I think the car seats at hire firms are pretty bad, a good experience is the exception. After that one time we always took the seat with us even though it was often very difficult.

Amateurish Mon 08-Aug-11 13:00:27

DD2 is 2 and has used a boostapak in similar circumstances. It worked well. She's 15kg now so can use it. Normally she's in a stage 1 car seat but for short trips abroad in a hire car or taxi, I reckon the boostapak works well.

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