What is ISOFIX?
Find out more about ISOFIX fittings and their benefits
When shopping for a car that’s going to be entrusted with the safe transit of your little ones, their safety within their seats is paramount. Whilst the general safety rating of the car, something we’ve talked about here is vitally important in narrowing down your search, the practicality of fitting suitable and compliant restraints is equally vital. This is where ISOFIX comes in.
What is ISOFIX?
Designed as a universal car seat fitting system, ISOFIX makes the installation of children’s car seats easy as well as, crucially, safe.
If you’ve ever been shopping for car seats for your children, you may well have come across ISOFIX. Whilst it’s not the only way to safely install a car seat, many cars now have ISOFIX points fitted as standard, corresponding with attachments on your car seat for what in theory should be a simple installation.
How do I find out if my car has ISOFIX points?
Was your car registered after February 2013? It should have ISOFIX points, as it was at this point that ISOFIX points were made mandatory on all new cars.
Another way to check is by looking for ISOFIX labels between the base and the back of the rear car seats.
You’ll also be able to spot the points themselves on most models, usually presenting as plastic sockets, either with or without plastic covers.
Are ISOFIX car seats a legal requirement?
There are only two ways to safely and legally install your child’s car seat, of which ISOFIX is one. Therefore, if you’re in a car without ISOFIX points or your child seat isn’t an i-Size seat (which all have ISOFIX fittings), you’ll need to secure the seat using the diagonal seat belt and any other methods of securing it that the seat requires.
Is ISOFIX safer than a seatbelt?
By being able to secure the child seat directly to the car quickly and easily, for many, ISOFIX feels like a much more foolproof way to safely fit a child seat than relying on a seatbelt alone. It has been suggested that seats fitted via ISOFIX points stay put better than older-style seats in the event of an accident.
What are the laws for carrying children in your car?
- Seatbelts are required by law for children younger than 12, or if they’re over 12 but under 135cm in height.
- You can buy a child seat based on the child’s weight or height
- Children under 15 months must be secured in a rear-facing child seat away from active airbags
- Backless booster seats manufactured after March 2017 must only be used by children weighing over 22kg, or those taller than 125cm.
- Backless booster seats manufactured before March 2017 children can be used by children weighing 15kg or over.
- Only child seats approved by the EU, indicated by a big ‘E’ on the label, can be legally used in your car.
- Children are not allowed to travel on anyone’s lap whilst in transit.
Find a child-friendly car at EMG
We understand that choosing a child-friendly car requires thorough research, and a good deal of test driving, both in the traditional sense, and by putting it through its paces with the prams and child seats that you use.
At all of our EMG branches, whether you’re in the market for one of our used cars, or a brand new model, we’re more than happy to talk you through each car’s suitability as a family vehicle.