Automotive magazine WhatCar? has given guidelines for new parents on child seats, such as where to buy and what not to do when making a purchase.
A study by Whatcar.com revealed that 80% of major UK retailers that sell child seats have in-store experts who can guide customers towards the correct option for them and also demonstrate how to fit the seat safely.
The research also showed that buying online, second-hand or from catalogue and warehouse retailers, such as Argos, could result in the wrong products being purchased. Buyers won’t be shown how to install the seats properly.
Specialist retailers, such as Mamas & Papas and Mothercare, were able to demonstrate and advise customers, as well as offer free car seat fitting. Mamas & Papas also offered a booking system to reserve time slots to get seats fitted correctly.
When those compiling the study visited Argos, there was a wide variety of seats on offer but staff were unable to properly recommend which seat to choose and how to fit them.
When questioned, a spokesperson for Argos said: “As a responsible retailer, Argos takes customer safety extremely seriously, especially concerning products designed for children.
“We have stringent processes in place to ensure that car seats in our range comply with the required EU safety standards. We offer a wide variety of car seats and fitting advice is included online but we do not offer that as a service in store.”
Also included in the study is a look into the new European regulations, called i-Size, that will aim to give a better guideline on what seat to buy for your child.
Jim Holder, editorial director of Whatcar.com, said: “There is a wide range of seats available and few parents really understand their categorisation. With the new European safety regulation, i-Size, coming into force at some stage in the future, the decision-making process is about to become even more clouded.
“With that in mind, it will be even more important to take the time and effort to make the right choice. That means physically going into the best specialist retailers, spending time with the trained staff to get the best advice and trying the seats out in your car yourself, rather than relying on catalogue descriptions or online reviews.”
The study is in full detail in WhatCar? Magazine’s latest issue.
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.