-Second-hand and shipping don’t need to be substandard if you seek one-
If you are new to motherhood, then you have surely started noticing the budget-adjustment in your current daily living. Unfortunately, you realise that rumours ring true saying that children are indeed expensive, especially if you have to pay for those big-ticket items such as a child car seat. Having just started a family, your finances are also very differently channelled now. This also means that buying expensive items definitely leaves a dent in your wallet and may even require you to dig into your savings. Left in this stressful financial situation, you can’t help but wonder if it’s safe and legal to buy a second-hand or imported child car seat for your little one to save some money. No need to wonder about it, though, simply read on to find out for yourself.
Imported child car seat:
A child car seat that is imported or shipped from other countries such as Australia, Germany, or America have their child car seat regulations and were designed for vehicles of these specific countries. This means that you may be faced with some compatibility issues with the seat, seeing that we have our own versions of these vehicles sold and driven in South Africa. So, you may have purchased a German child car seat but drive an Asian car, for example. Speaking of child car seat regulations in South Africa, we also follow the European child car seat regulations that are not used in countries such as Australia or America. Child car seats sold and bought need to be compliant with the NRCS (National Regulator for Compulsory Specification), (Act no. 5 of 2008) in South Africa - if not, then they are illegal.
Second-hand child car seats:
It has been legal to buy and sell second hand South African-manufactured child car seats since 1995. This is the ideal option if you wish to save some money. The thing about child car seats is that they are designed to be used in a one-time fashion, meaning that one child car seat can only handle one vehicle accident. Buying or selling a child car seat that has been in a vehicle accident or has any damage to it is illegal and strongly advised against. Easier said than done, though, as anyone can fall victim to buying a child car seat if they do not know whether it has been in a vehicle accident or has damage to it. This can put your little one in a hazardous situation. Child car seats also have a recommendation of any period between six and ten years, so that is something you should also have a lookout for, as plastics and materials deteriorate with time, and get damaged from wear and tear. We would also like to mention that child car seat designs, capabilities, and characteristics have evolved with time, too. Old child car seats use the ECE R44/01 and R44/02 standards that are no longer valid. Child car seats that are ECE R44/03 are sufficient in its standards but ECE R44/04 are more advanced, recent, and therefore relevant and significantly safer.
Taking these points into consideration, we hope that you do some research before deciding to buy or sell a child car seat. We encourage any mom reading this to invest in a reliable child car seat to ensure that your children on the road are safe always.
Written by: Ashley Roos