Thousands of parents risking a £500 fine - and their children's lives - by not buckling up correctly

Picture posed by models. Stock generic picture of a car seat in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

A set of new laws surrounding child car seats and booster cushions were introduced a year ago – but up to a fifth of parents in the UK might be on the wrong side of these regulations.

The rules state that children must use a car seat until they are either 12 years old or 4ft 5in tall – whichever comes first. But a survey conducted by insurance comparison site found one in five parents said they rarely or never use a car seat while driving with their children.

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All car child seats must be EU approved, and fitted with either ISOFIX points or a three-pointed seatbelt – and babies under the age of 15 months must be in a rear-facing car seat, for extra safety.

Failing to buckle your offspring up can land you with a £500 fine – one that's been handed out 4,600 times since 2016 – but the survey suggests that the problem is a far-reaching one.

In's survey, 88 per cent of respondents admitted they were unsure which child seat they should be using – while a third said they neglected to use one because they didn't feel their child needed it.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, said: "Crash impact films show what a difference having the correct car seat can make to your child's protection.

"And while the rules might be confusing, they are in place to make sure children are as safe as possible."

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