Hiring Baby Seats in New Zealand

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Renting a car with your family can be a great way to explore the beautiful scenery in New Zealand. If you are travelling with young children or a baby, you will need to consider their safety while on your road trip. One significant way to ensure your child’s safety is to check if your rental car company provides a baby seat suitable for your child’s age and weight.

In this article, we will outline laws and regulations for baby seats in New Zealand, the different types of baby seats available, baby seat checks to conduct and advice for renting a car with a baby seat.

Baby Seat Regulations in New Zealand

Under New Zealand law, children under 7 years of age must use an appropriate child restraint/baby seat for their weight and size. There are strict rules regarding baby seats/child restraints based on seat position, age, and weight of a child.

We have highlighted the main age requirements for baby seats/child restraints:

  • Children up to the age of 7 must use an appropriate child restraint.
  • The type of appropriate restraint used depends on the child's age and weight.
  • Children between 7-8 years of age must be secure in an approved child restraint if available in the vehicle.
  • Children between 8-14 years of age must use seat belts.
  • Children over the age of 14 must use safety belts.

For more information, you can download NZ Transport Agency guide: Child Restraints Save Lives

Different Types of Baby Seats Available in New Zealand

In New Zealand, there are three different types of baby seats, and it's essential to consider your child's age, weight, and height when selecting a seat. To ensure your child's safety, make sure the seat you choose complies with the AS/NZS 1754 safety standard, which verifies that the seat has undergone testing and meets the essential safety criteria.

  1. Capsules
    In New Zealand children from birth to approximately 13kgs are required to be in a baby capsule. Ideally, this capsule is rear-facing and in the back seat. These capsules provide the safest mode of transport for babies.
  2. Car Seats
    Car seats are that extra step of safety for toddlers in the car. Built for children 9kgs-18kgs, these seats are also essential for children 5 and under.
  3. Booster Seats
    These booster seats are for children not small enough for a car seat, but not big enough for a regular seat. Usually suited for children up until they’re 11 years old or up to a height of 1.48 metres.


What to look for when Renting a Baby Seat:

When hiring a baby seat, it is important to be aware of the condition of the seat. This will give you peace of mind on your trip knowing that the seat is safe for your child.

  1. Compliance Checks:

    Each seat in New Zealand will be given standard compliance levels. These checks should be available on the packaging, or on the labels of the seat.

    The 3 standards are:

    Australian/New Zealand standard AS/NZS1754: This standard can be identified by a ‘tick’ mark.

    US standard FMVSS213: This standard is identified by an ‘S’ mark to show the seat has been certified for use in New Zealand.

    European standard ECE R44.04: This standard is labelled with a circle containing an ‘E’.

  2. Check the Locking Clip:
    This clip keeps the seat in place for both forward-facing and rear-facing seats.
  3. A Tether Strap:
    A tether strap stops the child seat from moving forward if there is a crash. Isofix standard seats all have a tether strap, however not all baby seats will have a tether strap. Seats without tether straps are still legal and safe to use, however, if there is a tether strap it must be used.
  4. Harness:
    Make sure that the harness on the seat can be adjusted correctly to make sure that your child is secure.
  5. Seat position:
    Check you can install the seat in the right place in the car before renting the seat. Never place a rear-facing baby seat in the front seat of a car with an active airbag.

You may be tempted to bring your baby seat for your road trip. We understand it is a seat your child is used to, and you are familiar with the setup. However, we recommend that you hire a baby seat for your trip around New Zealand just in case your baby seat does not meet New Zealand safety standards. 

By following the guidelines provided in this article, you can ensure the safety of your children and have peace of mind on your trip. At Mode Rentals, we offer baby capsules, car seats, and booster seats for hire, simplifying your road trip planning with young children; explore our range here.

Please note rules and regulations change with technology and research, a current list of New Zealand’s baby seat regulations can be found on the NZ Transport Agency website.

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