Booster seat legislation

Everything you need to know about booster seat rules and legislation

Whatever stage your little one is at, you always want to keep them safe on the move by using an appropriate booster seat or car seat. However, the laws around booster seats and car seats can sometimes be confusing, and it’s difficult to know which one you should use. To help, we've pulled together all the rules and regulations you need to know about when your child should use a booster seat.

What is a booster seat?

Booster seats raise a child’s body to a suitable height so that they can be secured using an adult seatbelt. Unlike child seats, they don’t have their own fastening system and solely use the seatbelt to secure the child. Simple to use, there are two types of booster seats available:

  • Backless booster seats: these don’t have a back or headrest and help to position your child to fit into the car's seatbelt.
  • High back booster seats: have a back and a headrest that offer padded protection for a child's head and neck. High back models are viewed as a safer way for your child to travel as they offer greater side impact protection and are more comfortable for long journeys.
What is the law on booster seats?

So, when can you use a booster seat to transport your child? Here are the current laws you need to know:

  • All children must travel in a car seat (including booster seats) until they are either 12 years old or 135cm (150cm in the Republic of Ireland) in height, whichever comes first.
  • Backless booster seats: Any new backless booster seats can only be used by children who weigh 22kg or more. If they weigh less than this, they’ll need to either use a car seat or a high-back booster seat (see below).
  • High back booster seats: On the other hand, booster seats with backs can be used by children weighing between 15-36kg. Again, before they reach this weight, they’ll need to use a car seat.

By following these laws, you can ensure that your child always travels in an appropriate seat. Plus, by sticking to the weight guide of your chosen car seat and buying from a reputable retailer, you can be sure that the model will have been tested appropriately with child safety ratings and will be approved for safe use for as long as recommended.

If you want to learn more about booster seats and car seats, head over to our Car Seats Buyers Guide. Once you’re ready to find your new seat, head over to where you’ll find a wide range of seats, all from top brands.

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