“I need a car seat as an extra one for the grandparents. I don’t want to pay a fortune as it’ll only be used occasionally. I know, I’ll have a look on eBay!
Wow there’s 3,983 for sale – loads of choice!
This one looks a good one – £10, collection only, and it’s just around the corner so I know it’s a good area. And a childminder is selling it! Perfect! They wouldn’t sell anything dodgy, because they really care about children to do that job… Looks in great condition!”
The scenario you’ve just read occurs nearly every day. Someone buys a second-hand car seat from an online site or a car boot sale. The picture/item looks great, and the owner says it’s in good condition and hardly been used.
However, you really don’t know very much else about it at all, do you?
The scenario in question refers to a real advert. Let me tell you that this actual seat, when checked over by our team, was found to be safety standard tested to R44.03, which has not been reproduced since June 2006. This seat was thirteen years old at least, and there have been two more safety standards in operation since then. Since all seats have a production date written on them, we found that this one was actually made in May 1998! It’s 21 years old!
The lifespan of a car seat is around 5 to 6 years due to wear and tear on the harness, buckle and plastics etc. All these things deteriorate, especially when kept in cars, sheds, garages and lofts. You also wouldn’t know if it had been damaged having been involved in a crash, as we simply can’t see inside the seat.
The question you need to ask yourself is, “Would I trust this clean and attractive but 21 year-old seat to protect my baby if I had a crash, just to save a bit of money?”
By the way, you can buy a brand new one tested to R44.04 with side impact protection for £29.99 if you shop around!