Certain international testing that covers the safety of child seats in head on and lateral collisions, ease of use, ergonomics, and the use of dangerous chemicals in the materials from which they are constructed, comfort, cleaning and their manufacture.
In the most recent tests, 11 ”low cost” seats from all groups were tried out. The results, which we would advise you to be aware of and can be accessed in our section headed seat comparisons shows that a lot of the seats analyzed had a very low safety level in impact tests and a worrying lack of information with regard to safety advice.
Of those seats analyzed on this occasion, only one achieved a “satisfactory” rating and 4 models only achieved the minimum, “acceptable” rating. The other 6 seats didn’t even achieve a rating of “very unsatisfactory” by the authors of the report.
It is noted at this point that although the range of “low cost” seats (under 70 euros) seems extensive, many of them only differ in small details, there are seats exactly the same sold under different brand names. Most of these seats are sold online and so added to their low quality they are not properly regulated or provide proper instructions on how to assemble them and install them in a vehicle. Ultimately a lack of clear information can affect safety, since correct installation on a Child seat is absolutely fundamental.
MAPFRE FOUNDATION recommends that when you purchase an approved system of child restraint, adjusted to the weight and height of your child, you buy one that has gained high marks in one of these studies. Although all the approved seats offer a high level of safety, they don’t all offer the same level so we advise you read all the available information on studies and their results before buying any seat. This way you will increase your knowledge with regard to the safety offered by the various child retention systems on the market.
Here you can see the results of the first tests in 2014 and here a résumé of the seats tested in the second test.
If you are thinking about saving money, think again and always choose one of the safest seats (one that has achieved high marks during testing).