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Baby seats in hire cars

31 replies

bonym · 07/02/2005 12:26

Hi - we have booked to go to Sardinia for a week in July when baby will be 3mths old. We are hiring a car and the travel company have said they can arrange an infant car seat for us. My only concern is that it may not be to the standard we would expect, or even be forgotten completely - I am probably worryinng unnecessarily and we could of course take our own, but don't really want to take extra stuff if not essential. Would be grateful to hear others experiences ( I think the car hire company they use is Avis). Thanks

OP posts:
crazy · 07/02/2005 12:31

We went on holiday last summer and had the same problem, I had heard horror stories of people getting there and the hire company didn't have any seats left. Also be careful, and do confirm with them that it is a baby seat, as our firm only had ones for children 20lbs up.

We decided to take our own, sorry don't mean to put a real dampner on things!! Hopefully other people will have more positive stories!

We're going to Sardinia in June by the way looks fab doesn't it.. Where are you staying?

maretta · 07/02/2005 12:32

We had a dreadful experience in Portugal with car seats. To cut a long story short, we had to cancel our initial reservation, (pretty sure that was Avis) and went through three other companies before we were (sort of) happy.

I don't think the standards are the same in Europe and I would say definitely take your own.

LadyPenelope · 07/02/2005 13:06

I hired one when returning to the UK, and even then didn't think it was up to much. I'm sure it was safe but it was so basic and my dd looked really uncomfortable in it (there were no head rest sides/wings on it and it didn't seem to go back enough so she was always doing the rubber neck thing while going to sleep.) After that we always took our own.

bonym · 07/02/2005 13:09

Oh - looks like we may to be laden down with stuff then - guess it's worth it for peace of mind.

Yes, crazy, Sardinia looks great - we're staying in a place called Chia on the South coast - beach looks wonderful - they have a lagoon where you can apparently see Flamingos and sometimes dolphins! You'll have to post once you've been and let me have any tips of what to see/where to go!

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mrsflowerpot · 07/02/2005 13:16

We've taken ours with us every time except once. You have no guarantee that the seat will be clean for a start (friends hired one that smelt of sick), and what we found the one time we did hire was that they would not help us fit it in the car because then they would be liable if there was an accident and the seat was incorrectly fitted. They wouldn't even tell us how to do it (this was in Paris however so high stroppy factor ). Took us ages to figure it out and even though we were pretty sure it was secure, we still couldn't be 100% confident we'd done it right. Lots of airlines don't count infant seats as part of your baggage allowance, it's worth checking.

SofiaAmes · 07/02/2005 22:20

Take your own. If there are extra seats on the plane, they will probably even let you bring it on the plane and put it in an empty seat for your baby to sit in during the journey.

Don't count on the ones provided by the car companies to be adequate for a 3 mo. old.

Caligula · 07/02/2005 22:45

Yep, another vote for taking your own. The ones we were provided with were broken and crap. Had to threaten to buy a new one and charge it to them before they (two days later) provided us with an unbroken one.

hatsoff · 07/02/2005 22:50

we too have had nightmares - the worst was getting an upright toddler seat for a 5 month old when we went to the US. We ending up slanting it using blocks of wood jammed behind it. Not very happy

mckenzie · 07/02/2005 23:15

dont believe. i asked for and was given written confirmation from the hire company (a large well known one but not Avis, cant remember the name though) that the car seat would be suitabel for a 3 month old baby weighing whatever it was DS weighed at the time but when we arrived at the airport the desk clerk just shrugged at the letter and said 'tough'. They only did 'child' car seats and that was that. Nearly ruined our holiday as we had to stay at our villa for the week with no form of transport to get out and about.
Please take your own baby seat with you!

highlander · 07/02/2005 23:30

haven't read other posts, sorry if repeating. We hired a car from Europcar when DS was 10 weeks. We got one that didn't recline and had no bloody infant headrest.

Buy a big bag and take your own - my sister always did. I wish I had listened to her!

SkiBunnyFlummy · 07/02/2005 23:33

We have hired a car on holiday 3 times. Asked for baby seat every time. It was forgotten twice. And the time we got one it was knackered. Just held baby on my lap. Figured my protective motherly arms would be about as strong as the straps of a car seat. Who knows if they would or not. I guess less likely to leave an orphan behind that way.

SamN · 07/02/2005 23:36

we've also had terrible experiences despite having called the car hire companies several times to check. They just seem to think whatever they have kicking around should do, even if it looks ten years old and isn't suitable for the age/weight of your child. Plus the staff won't know how to install it properly and will just leave you to try to figure it out. We always take our own now.

SkiBunnyFlummy · 07/02/2005 23:37

Don't forget you don't have a car seat: on a bus, in a taxi, on a train. But you still go places. Don't let it spoil your holiday if you don't get one, just take a deep breath and try not to torment yourself of what could happen. Its unlikely to and you can't 'safety proof' the whole world.

Skribble · 08/02/2005 12:30

Not sure if they still make the polystyrene baby seats. We had a rearfacing from birth one it was very light and snug ideal for taking on plane only cost about £20.

Safer to buy even a second hand one here to take than waiting to see what you get I think most concentrate on child seats.

If you are going to be out and about a lot I would use some thing , the driving can leave a bit wild, even yours when driving on right on unknown roads.

bonym · 08/02/2005 12:40

Oh yes - we had one of the polystyrene ones for dd but that what about 7 years ago now - I've not seen them anywhere this time around? Wonder why?

OP posts:
misdee · 08/02/2005 12:46

werent they called babynest or soemthing.

Palmwoods · 08/02/2005 12:58

This sounds horrible! I've just booked a hire car in France, and requested a car seat - I'm just about to cancel the car seat and take my own!

The country I did find helpful was Australia. We hired a baby car seat from Queensland Ambulance (which was cheap - $5 a week or something) and the hire car company fitted it for us into the hire car for us.

bonym · 08/02/2005 13:13

Found one ! here

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ixel · 08/02/2005 13:19

This isnt exactly the same, but I have a quick related question! Ds is now ready for a stage 2 carseat. WE dont have a car, so we need one for friends and relatives cars, and easy/light enough to carry on the train when getting picked up. I know that all seats dont fit all cars. Is there one that is pretty much generic though? Is there an easy answer? Someone else must have been in this position?!!

eidsvold · 08/02/2005 20:58

we bought for dd a Britax eclipse and it can be fitted to any car - secured by seat belts... have had it in a renault, daewoo and now a ford.

We were lucky - we hired a car and car seat whilst in Australia for three weeks. Despite dd's age she still needed a reclining, rear facing one and I just emailed the company explaining her needs and they guaranteed it.

We arrived - it was clean, fitted and was perfect for dd. It was Avis that we used.

Skribble · 09/02/2005 01:18

Ixel (sorry continuing hijack as it seems relevent).

Stage 2 seats will fit most cars its the rearward facing ones that need long belts.
A 2 piece polystyrne one e.g. £17.99 Index light for carrying about and easy to fit but not great for sleeping in.
A solid recliner seat e.g. £39.99 Index more secure and lies back for sleeping but to bulky for carrying and not quick to fit in car.
Argos has a "babystar" £34.99 one that separates in 2 not sure if foam but it does have proper harness.

myermay · 09/02/2005 08:24

Message withdrawn

katzguk · 09/02/2005 09:10

ixel we got one from kiddiecare that is very useful we've now left it at my sisters house ffor when we visit there since we have to fly. Its a lightweight graco one which should have been £100 but they had it for £50 and it goes from 9 months to 11 years

Gem13 · 09/02/2005 09:18

Definitely take your own. My brother arrived at a car hire place late one night in Germany and the only car seat they had left was covered in sick They had no choice but to take it and clean it up before they left to drive to their friend's house.

ixel · 12/02/2005 16:16

We've just bought one in the half price sale at Toys r Us. But now I'm worrying that its not good enough. We tried ds out in it before we bought it, and he seemed fine. It says suitable from 9kg (he is 12kg), but its one that uses just the car belt, not an integral harness. Do you think thats good enough? The ones in Mothercare of a similar design say from 15kg. But this is a Graco (although I dont like their buggies, they are an established name, so it should be ok).Its a foam one, which is great for taking on the train etc, but I'm also starting to think it isn't strong enough.
Any opinions would be appreciated!

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