Driving Abroad This Summer? Are Your Kids Safely Restrained?

Tue 17th Jul 2018

New research has revealed that a worrying number of British drivers are putting their children’s safety at risk by not meeting the standards for child car safety when driving abroad.

Thousands of UK drivers hire cars when travelling on their summer holidays, and whilst the same drivers have appropriate car seats when driving at home, the research conducted by mifold and BRAKE reveals that over a third of British families have been stranded on holiday without access to a suitable child car seat.

The survey of 2,000 parents also found that 56 per cent of parents admit they are not clear on the rules and regulations of travelling with kids outside of the UK, with 17 per cent of parents alarmingly allowing their children to travel in a car on holiday without being suitably secured.

The UK has some of the least stringent rules in Europe when it comes to car seats and child restraints with children under 12 and under 135cm requiring some safety restraint. In Spain however, children under 18 or under 135cm require protection and are only allowed to sit in the rear seat. In the United States it is best to check the local laws as each State has its own child car laws. The laws apply whether driving your own car, a hire car or even travelling in a taxi.

To keep your children safe when driving abroad please consider the following advice from aboutdrivingabroad.co.uk


  • Always take the time to buckle your children into the back seat. Don’t rely on them doing so themselves

  • Don’t start the car until everyone is buckled up

  • Ensure that children are aware that they’re not allowed to unbuckle their seatbelt until you say so, no matter how much they cry

  • Your car should have the correct restraints for any child travelling. Make sure the restraint is suited to the child’s size, age and weight

  • Always make sure that your children get out of the car at the side facing the pavement. This is important when travelling abroad as it will be a different side often, so they should be made aware of this

  • Many countries have laws in place about when children are allowed to travel in the front. Make yourself familiar with these if you plan to have your child in the front at any stage