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Car seats, car hire and car insurance regulations

(9 Posts)
Aspergallus Wed 06-Dec-17 18:40:39

Wonder if anyone can help me find some information...

A few years ago I booked a hire car from the airport with a car seat for our baby DS.

On arrival at the airport, there was no car seat and we were pointed toward the small print that the car seat was booked "subject to availability". Destination very similar to UK law, so illegal to drive without the car seat. We were really stuck and one of us had to go searching for a shop to buy a car seat while the other waited at the airport.

I complained to the car hire company about how pointless the "subject to availability" statement is -you either need a car seat or you don't, it's not some optional upgrade or preference. My complaint was upheld since, when they listened to my telephone booking, it was clear I had not been warned that my booking was not absolute.

A year or so later I read that this issue had been dealt with by a regulatory body and that it was not longer considered acceptable to state that car seats would be subject to availability, since their requirement is a legal necessity. It stuck in my mind of course because of my own experience.

Unfortunately I've now run into this problem again. As a result of a car crash (my stationary car sustained collateral damage -I have no fault in the accident) my car needs to be in the garage for around 2 weeks and although my car insurance includes a courtesy vehicle, they say that car seats are subject to availability and are leaving me without for this time.

I'm struggling to find the recommendations I previously read, and wonder if anyone else is familiar with them. Thanks in advance!

dontcallmethatyoucunt Thu 07-Dec-17 21:16:08

Have the seats been in a crash then? You need a new one anyway.

Aspergallus Fri 08-Dec-17 17:59:05

No, I don't need new car seats. Not that kind of crash.

I have found the recommendations from Trading Standards.

AveEldon Sat 09-Dec-17 10:50:26

why can't you take your car seats out of your car and put them in the hire car?

Waterdropsdown Sat 09-Dec-17 10:59:15

If the seats were in your car in any kind of crash your insurance company will pay for new ones. Better safe than sorry as you can’t see the damage that can be done to them.

Migraleve Sat 09-Dec-17 11:04:59

No, I don't need new car seats. Not that kind of crash

Not what kind of crash?

ANY kind of impact will but stress in your car seats. You DO need to replace!

Aspergallus Sun 10-Dec-17 22:17:31

Look, I really am competent to decide whether I need new car seats, but to stop the point being made over and over....

My car was parked up and entirely stationary. I was in it. Two cars crashed about 20 metres away. One rolled toward me after the collision and hit me at very low speed causing cosmetic damage. Low enough speed that I had time to think about reversing away, but then (annoyingly) decided it would stop before reaching me. In fact, I thought no damage at first, but as the front of the car that hit me was already seriously smashed up from the actual crash it marked the bumper quite badly. As I was in the car at the time, I know there was no impact felt inside the car. If I had to replace the car seats after that, I'd have to replace them every time I went over a pothole.

I have no car seats because the car seats I own 1) do not fit in the courtesy car and 2) insurance and recommended garage say the provision of car seats is subject to availability.

I am aware that this subject to availability statement, when car seats are not exactly optional, has drawn a lot of criticism from Trading Standards and wondered if anyone here had the specific documents/statements regarding this.

Migraleve Sun 10-Dec-17 22:23:54

Look, I really am competent to decide whether I need new car seats, hmm ok.

Aspergallus Sun 10-Dec-17 22:31:14

Hah! An eye roll! Well done you.

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