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Florida car seat

(21 Posts)
carseatconfusionx Mon 03-Feb-20 22:28:55

We will be travelling to Florida in the summer and DD will be 3. She's really big for her age so is already around 18kg.

We were planning to hire car seats but have now found out that the hire company only do harnessed seats up to 18kg which obviously won't be suitable as she's above that weight. According to the law there, she can't go into a booster seat until age 4.

We then thought about getting a taxi from the airport and buying a car seat over there, but we would obviously need a car seat for the taxi journey. It seems from research that we can't take a UK seat with us as they aren't approved for use in the US.

So now we are left wondering what to do...

Are there any car seats which can be bought in the UK which are federally approved for use in the US? Or should we pay for a car seat from the US to be shipped over here and take with us? Or our final option would be to maybe get an Uber with a car seat which seems to be an option and then buy a car seat there.

Any help or advice would be appreciated! Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
Deanetta Mon 03-Feb-20 22:37:54

When you say rental company, do you mean car rental? There are companies that will just rent the car seat to you and will meet you at the airport to give it to you. I am pretty sure the company we used had one for an 18kg child:

Deanetta Mon 03-Feb-20 22:40:21

Actually maths isn’t my strong point.. does this one have the same issue? Is it worth speaking to as many of these companies as possible to see if they have a bigger one?

Deanetta Mon 03-Feb-20 22:46:24

How about this company?

PinglePongle Mon 03-Feb-20 22:50:10

Florida laws on car seats are different to UK but Florida is one of the only places that you can get Uber with car seat (extra 10 dollars) so I'd maybe do that and go to Walmart

Zodlebud Tue 04-Feb-20 10:09:41

Most of the big airlines let you take your own car seats for free. I have always just taken my own.

AllNewCheeses Tue 04-Feb-20 10:17:48

When we did this we ordered car seats online from a Walmart near the airport (v nearly 2 year old and 7 year old). We looked at hiring car seats with the car, but that was far more expensive than actually buying a new car seat each (particularly with the little one). We were in a group, so we could split up and one part of the group went to pick up the seats while the other waited at the airport. It worked out really well and the little one was actually suitable for travelling on the plane on the way home.

The thing you have to watch out for with taking your own car seats is that American seatbelts work differently from ours. Theirs "lock" in place when you pull them out, so a car seat made in one country might not only be illegal in the other, but actually be dangerous because of the different mechanisms.

dressingfortv Tue 04-Feb-20 10:29:07


Most of the big airlines let you take your own car seats for free. I have always just taken my own.

But the seat wouldn't be legal for use in the US.

And you could only use it on a British airline. On US airlines you have to have an FAA sticker on it. UK airlines a CAA sticker.

That being said, it's highly unlikely any police type person would check once it's in the. It would possibly invalidate insurance though.

dressingfortv Tue 04-Feb-20 10:30:44


* The thing you have to watch out for with taking your own car seats is that American seatbelts work differently from ours.*

We have latch which is the same as isofix.

carseatconfusionx Tue 04-Feb-20 12:28:38

Thanks for the replies. @Deanetta Yeah we are hiring a car seat with the car we are renting (or were hoping to). I didn't realise you could actually hire car seats on their own so I will look into that.
The problem with taking our own seat is that it wouldn't be approved for use over there and I'm a big worrier so I don't think I'd like the risk of anything happening there. As far as I know it would invalidate our insurance for the car so don't want to take that risk.
I'm thinking that maybe getting the Uber with car seat to the nearest Walmart might be the best solution at the moment. Has anyone used this service before? Just wondering if we would wait a lot longer than you would for a normal Uber.

OP’s posts: |
Deanetta Tue 04-Feb-20 15:44:09

Yes, I would definitely look into the car seat rental from a specific baby rental company (they also do things like toddler beds, high chairs, pushchairs etc).

We did it because Dollar were going to charge an insane amount to hire a seat... I think the seat rental company we found charged USD 75 for two weeks. The other benefit was that they met us at the airport when we had collected the car and installed it in the car for us.

Zodlebud Tue 04-Feb-20 17:49:35

Car seats for older children are carried free of charge in the hold, not on the aeroplane.

If your child is in a Britax Romer type seat then they are transferable between the two countries. I work in the USA in the summer and actually had them checked by the local police, albeit in New York State, not Florida. They checked heights, weight and how the child sat in it and said they met the right criteria. I was in a small town where if I was going to get stopped then the police would know who I was though 😂😂😂.

The harness type seats, however, are not compatible.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Tue 04-Feb-20 17:53:52

What about the UK seat makes it not legal in the US? If it's safe here surely it's safe there?

Zodlebud Tue 04-Feb-20 18:48:32

It’s something to do with the clips on the harness for baby car seats (I think the US ones have the normal clip with the red buttons plus an additional one on the chest whereas European ones only have one).

It’s also the way the seat fixes into the car.

This obviously isn’t a problem for Booster type seats where the child is held in place by the car seatbelt not the car seat strap.

dressingfortv Wed 05-Feb-20 00:46:22

Yes US seats need a chest clip. Deemed unsafe in the UK.

BritWifeinUSA Wed 05-Feb-20 04:14:57

@Zodlebud but she’s going to Florida, not New York. Road safety laws are a state matter, not a federal matter.

Purpleartichoke Wed 05-Feb-20 04:20:08

I would preorder a seat for pickup from Walmart. One of you stays at the airport with the kids while the other goes and picks up the seat.

Purpleartichoke Wed 05-Feb-20 04:21:04

Hiring car seats is not recommended because you have to trust that the seat has never been in an accident.

AllNewCheeses Wed 05-Feb-20 11:00:33

@dressingfortv - I know about Latch, but the seat we bought for the 2yo used the seatbelt to secure it into the car. It was this aspect that would have been unsafe in the UK, because it relied on the locking mechanism that US seatbelts have but UK ones don't. We couldn't be sure that the car we were hiring had Latch

dressingfortv Wed 05-Feb-20 11:39:53

@AllNewCheeses I'd be shocked if you got a hire car without latch. Even dh's shitty old truck has it. grin

BertieBotts Wed 05-Feb-20 11:43:24

You can't use latch over 18kg so that is immaterial. OP needs a seatbelt (and possibly top tether) fitted seat. US seats must be able to be fitted in multiple ways as that's part of their standard so this isn't a problem.

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