Generally speaking, all of us are aware of the regulations on how children should travel in cars. This is the most common and hence the most well-known form of travel: children should be seated in a form of child restraint system that has been certified and is suitable for their physical characteristics; it must be properly fitted and comply with the provisions of current legislation, which can be referred to in the article "Changes to the Highway Code". What is quite possibly not as clear is how children should travel in other means of transport, a situation which is fairly likely in the summer months when traveling to a vacation spot, for example, or making local trips once there in a different vehicle.
In a hire car
Although the rules are exactly the same as for private vehicles, in the case of hire cars there are two main points you need to check: that the car hire company has properly certified child restraint systems and that these are in a good condition. What you cannot do is demand that the car hire company provides child restraint systems on the spot, so you need to check this out in advance before booking. More and more car hire companies are offering child seats for their rental fleets.
We recommend you read the article: ‘What safety measures do car hire companies in Spain offer children?’
Traveling by air
When traveling by plane it should be borne in mind that up to the age of two children can travel on their mother or father's lap using a special harness which is affixed to the adults seat belt. For children over the age of two the standard seat belt can be used although some airlines have a list of compatible CSRs that can be brought into the cabin and affixed to the seat. The best advice is always to get this information well in advance to avoid any last-minute surprises.
We recommend you check out the infographic ‘Child restraints for planes and buses’
Traveling by motorcycle
During the holidays it is possible that for short journeys, whether in a village or on the beach or wherever you're spending your vacation, you have the chance to use a motorcycle. The law for children in this respect could not be clearer: children under the age of seven may not be taken on a motorcycle under any circumstances. Children aged seven and over may do so if accompanied by a parent, guardian or properly authorized person, and in all other cases the minimum age is 12.
They must always wear an approved crash helmet suitable for their physical characteristics, and children must always travel pillion with their feet on the footrest or pedals. Children may only travel on motorcycles that are officially two-seaters, which should be shown on the relevant vehicle registration certificate.
Traveling by bus
In the case of interurban bus services the law is quite anomalous in that they are only obliged to provide seat belts and bus companies are not required to provide parents with any kind of CSR to seat their children properly. More and more companies are offering parents these facilities or safety systems that are more suited to small children. However, parents can take their own CSR, provided that it is possible to affix it to the bus seat.
If the child is over three years old and less than 1.35 m tall, it is mandatory to use a seat belt when traveling by bus or a CSR suitable for the childs weight and height. For children aged over three, there is a gap in the law as the Highway Code does not specify anything in this respect.
Finally, you can find all the information you need on this topic in graphic form in the infographic: ‘The use of child seats in different modes of transport’