How to fit a child's car seat

Fitting a car seat should be easy, right? However, it’s important to make sure that your little one’s car seat is installed safely and securely so that they are fully protected in the unfortunate event of an accident.

Follow our easy step-by-step guide for extra peace of mind.

But firstly, a couple of important things to note:

  • Before installing any car seat with a seat belt, inspect the entire length of the seatbelt and buckle for any signs of wear and tear or damage. If you find any damage, do not use this belt to attach your car seat.
  • The back of the child seat needs to be in contact with at least two-thirds of the vehicle seat, if it's not remove the headrest.
Group 1 Car Seats: 9-18kg (9 months-4 years)
  1. Put the child’s car seat on the seat you want to fit it to and rotate the seat by 90 degrees so that the front of the seat is facing towards you and where the seatbelt pulls out from.
  2. Pull the seatbelt out, pinching the shoulder and lap parts of the belt together. Make sure that the belt does not become twisted.
  3. Pass both parts of the belt under the armrest of the child seat closest to the rear of the vehicle.
  4. Pass the belt through the hole in the back of the seat that is closest to the rear of the vehicle.
  5. Bring the seatbelt around the back of the seat, making sure that it doesn't twist. Pass it behind the harness, ensuring that the child's seat harness is sat on top of the seatbelt and not trapped on the back of the seat.
  6. Pass the seatbelt through the remaining hole in the seat. This should be the one closest to the front of the vehicle.
  7. Turn the seat so that the back of the child seat is flat to the backrest of the vehicle car seat.
  8. Pass the seatbelt down towards the remaining child seat armrest with the lap belt going under the armrest and the diagonal portion coming over the top of the armrest.
  9. Click the seatbelt into the relevant buckle in the vehicle. Pass the diagonal portion of the seatbelt through the red retaining clip on the front of the seat on the buckle side of the vehicle.
  10. Check that the seatbelt hasn't twisted anywhere and that it is still routed correctly and smoothly as it passes through the child seat.
  11. Apply pressure to the base of the child seat while pulling the shoulder belt up from the buckle to remove any slack from the lap belt and hold it in place.
  12. The shoulder belt should be placed resting between the headrest of the child seat and the top corner of the car seat towards the seatbelt anchorage point.
  13. Test whether the seat is installed securely by pulling the harness of the child seat in a sharp motion towards the front of the car seat. There should be no excessive forward or sideward movement. If there is excessive movement, repeat the tensioning process until the child seat is secure.
Group 2 & 3 Car Seats: 15-36kg (4-12 years)
  1. Place the seat onto the vehicle seat you want to fit it to. You can adjust the headrest by pressing the red button on the back of the headrest to raise or lower it as required.
  2. Pass the lap belt underneath the child seat armrest on the non-buckle side of the vehicle. Pass the shoulder belt through the retaining clip on the headrest of the child seat on the non-buckle side of the vehicle.
  3. Pass the seat belt over the child's lap and chest placing both the lap and diagonal sections of the seatbelt underneath the armrest on the buckle side of the seat.
  4. Click the seatbelt into the relevant buckle in the vehicle.
  5. Finally, check that the seatbelt is in the correct position across the child and that the routing is flat and smooth.

You are now all ready to hit the road and embark on those fun family adventures with the kids! For some help on which car seat to buy, take a look at our Car Seat Buyer’s Guide.

As always, feel free to pop into your local Halfords store if you need any advice on which child’s car seat to buy or if you have any questions.

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