I think we probably all have driving safety at the front of our minds with the treacherous road conditions we’ve been having. And when there are children in the car being safe becomes even more crucial. I saw my sister-in-law and her children the other week, and it reminded me about the law change last autumn relating to children’s car seats. With the new rules my sister-in-law has had to get a booster seat for her eldest, as he’s under 12 and hasn’t quite reached 135cm (4ft 5in) tall, and the law now says he shouldn’t just use an adult belt.
Before September 2006 only babies and children under three had to have a special car seat, but the new UK law means that anyone under 12 (with certain exceptions, such as height) needs some kind of child restraint or booster. The government’s road safety site explains it all (if you find the table slightly baffling, most questions are answered in the FAQ). It’s something to bear in mind when you are renting in the UK – at Avis, we made sure we had sufficient stocks of child seats well in advance of the change.
The law change is to help protect children better if they are involved in a collision. Normal seat belts are designed to fit an adult across the strongest areas of the body (shoulders and hips), but they catch a child in exactly the wrong place. They don’t always hold a child in properly in an accident and, worryingly, can even cause injuries.
I’m glad to say that at Avis UK we offer high-quality baby and child seats that you can book along with your car, with most costing £23.50 including VAT per rental. At present I’m afraid we can’t absolutely guarantee that we will have the exact seat in stock (we’re looking into that at the moment), but over 99 per cent of requests are fulfilled. We’ve also reduced the price of our booster seats from £23.50 to £5.88 per rental as we knew there would be a lot more demand. Otherwise, you are welcome to bring your own.