Car sharing is the new means of urban mobility. The facet is that many people support car sharing, especially in the city. How should children in these rented vehicles travel? Do they have to use a child restraint system? Do car hire companies currently offer this service? This is explained below.
Many companies have entered the world of car sharing. These companies offer the option of renting a vehicle only for the journey to be made. This is an ideal option for getting around town, especially for those who do not own a vehicle or do not use it on a daily basis. In addition, these vehicles can enter city centers, where mobility is restricted. We refer to electric vehicles that can be parked in regulated parking zones and that do not pollute.
They are hired by the minute or the hour. You just have to request the service through the application. The area where we are going to move around and where we can park it is also key when it comes to choosing one company or another.
WHAT DOES LEGISLATION SAY ABOUT THE USE OF CHILD CAR SEATS?
What happens if we want to travel with a child in one of these cars? We need to know that children must travel in car sharing cars just as they would in a private vehicle and must use the corresponding child restraint system, "approved and duly adapted to their size and weight" Children must always travel on the rear seats.
We must remember that if the child occupies a front seat and the vehicle has a front airbag, the child can only use rear-facing retention system if the airbag has been disabled.
What should we do in these cases? If we do not have a child restraint system, we must request this service from the car hire company, which will indicate the availability. Not all vehicles have this option, so the company will offer a limited number of rental vehicles with CRS.
In general, this service is usually offered through the application itself and, in many cases, at no additional cost, although it all depends on the company. The company must guarantee that the car seat is in perfect condition, that is, it must be approved, it must not have been involved in any accident, it must undamaged. Despite this , we must check that the child restraint system is suitable for the child's height and weight.
Once we have requested the service and checked that the CRS is suitable (in most cases, evolving car seats are offered so that they "fit" all children regardless of weight or height), we must ensure that they are correctly installed.Check it is correctly installed in the Isofix anchors. If so, check if the belt passes through the indicated slots. Check that it doesn't move and is stable. Also check that the harness is undamaged, not frayed, fits properly and closes securely.
If possible and feasible, it would be ideal to use your own child restraint system and to let the car hire company know. Why? We know how it has been used and it meets the child's height and weight requirements. As we have indicated, in general, evolving car seats are often used and are not specific to each child. Remember that the protection needs of a newborn child are not the same as those of a 5-year-old child.