How to decide whether to take or book kids’ car seats for your holiday abroad

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NEED help with a travel dilemma? In our Travel Challenge column, we aim to solve your globetrotting queries.

Send holiday hang-ups to travelchallenge@thesun.co.uk. Here’s this week’s question.

This week’s travel challenge has to do with kids’ car seats while on holiday
Getty – Contributor

Q — WE are going on holiday in July to Portugal with two kids under the age of eight and I’m trying to decide whether we should pack two car seats or rent them via the car hire company. What would you do?

A — This is a common query among parents and it is not as simple as a “to take or not to take”.

Car seats are bulky pieces of kit so it may not be ideal to take both with you, but there are lots of things to consider before deciding.

Experts at Rentalcars.com advise that you take your own car seats for a number of reasons.

First of all, it’s safer – you know the car seat and so does your child.

You probably spent a while researching the best car seats on the market when you bought yours, so you can rest assured in its quality and safety features.

It’s also cheaper – you won’t have to pay the daily rental charges and most airlines will let you take a car seat with you for free.

Both Ryanair and British Airways allow one to be flown free for children up to the age of 11, as well as a pushchair. It’s worth checking this with others airlines too.

If you do choose to hire a car seat, the availability and type you will be given on the day is not guaranteed.

Taking your own will mean you don’t run the risk of your rental company running out of the seat you need, and you will know how to fit it in the car you are given.


It’s worth calling the hire company in advance to check your car seat is compatible with the vehicle you’re hiring. Make sure that the car has four doors (which will make life a lot easier) and that there is room for both car seats.

Rentalcars.com also recommends double-checking the car seat you have is suitable for the country you are visiting.

Not all car seats are the same and regulations are different in countries around the world.

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