How to choose a seat

Many seats cover more than one group in order to extend their lifespan. Most parents plump for either a Group 0 or 0+, then for a Group 1 seat for a toddler, and finally a Group 2/3 model for a four-year-old.

Current thinking is that it’s safer to keep a child facing the rear of the car as long as possible and some seats enable you to do this well beyond the typical weight of 13kg (about 15mths).

Seats are fixed into place using either a seatbelt or the newer ISOFix mounting- points, which are fixed to the car chassis. ISOFix is considered safer but often involves a supporting leg that takes up a footwell.

All seats must conform to basic standards but that doesn’t mean they all offer the same level of safety. Check those crash-test results.

Always ask how easily the seat cover can be removed and whether it’s machine washable.

Finally, don’t overlook the importance of comfort – you’ll be glad you paid a bit more for plush padding on longer journeys.

BEST FOR...  LONG-TERM VALUE 

Maxi-Cosi Opal
£198, maxi-cosi.com
Weight range 0–18kg (Groups 0+ and 1)
Birth–4yrs

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BEST FOR...  TRICKY TODDLERS 

Kiddy Energy Pro
£169, kiddy.de
Weight range 9–18kg (Group 1)
9mths–4yrs

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BEST FOR...  COMFORT 

Jané Strata
£135, jane.es
Weight 0–13kg (Group 0+)
Birth–18mths

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BEST FOR...  SAFETY 

BeSafe iZi Combi X3 ISOFix
£339, hts.no/uk
Weight 0–18kg (Groups 0+ and 1)
Birth–4yrs

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BEST FOR...  STYLE 

Britax King Plus Cowmooflage
£135, britax.co.uk
Weight 0–15kg (Group 1)
9mths–4yrs

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BEST FOR...  OLDER KIDS 

Silver Cross Navigator
£135, silvercross.co.uk
Weight 15–36kg (Groups 2 and 3)
4–11yrs

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BEST FOR...  LARGE FAMILIES 

Multimac 1000
£1,049, multimac.co.uk
Weight range Birth–36kg (Groups 0–3)
Birth–11yrs

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Written by Alex Pell

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