It is legal to buy or sell a used child car seat in Australia, but do you want to? Here’s what you need to know when buying or selling a used child seat restraint.

While you wouldn’t think twice about hand me down clothing and buying or selling a used toy or maybe a bike, it is certainly a different kettle of fish when it comes to child seat restraints.

For a start, this is the crucial bit of gear that could save your child’s life in an accident, so you want to make sure that if you’re selling you are not getting rid of a dud, dangerous seat. And if you’re buying, you certainly want to make sure that it is safe for your little one.

The solution to ensure the below criteria is met is simple: only buy, lend or swap from people you know well, like family or friends, as you can be sure that the details you get are honest.

Now that’s not going to possible for everyone, though also keep in mind child seats are not terribly expensive to buy new.

What to know when buying or selling a used child car seat restraint

1 – Know the complete history of the seat.

2 – Check the age of the seat; this might be in the form of the receipt of purchase for verification.

3 – If it is over six years old it will be approaching the end of its useful life. Child restraints are made from plastic which can weaken and lose their strength over time, particularly left in a hot car through summers and exposed to UV light. The general rule of thumb is that at ten years or a bit before the seat should be turfed.

4 – Check for damage. A damaged seat is no good, particularly if it is not clear how it was damaged. Damage can have different effects on the seat, meaning that it won’t work as it was designed to from the factory. If it has been in an accident, it should be thrown out.

5 – The buckles and belts should all be in proper working order, not frayed, and certainly not torn. Check for any rust on metal parts which is a bad sign.

6 – Check the child car restraint meets AS/NZS 1754, version 2000, 2004, 2010 and 2013 – there will be a sticker somewhere on the seat’s shell.

7 – Check for any recalls on the specific make/model/number, which can be found on the seat itself, and then verified at

8 – It should be complete, with everything that came with it or at the least everything you require from the factory to fit the seat properly into your car – isoFIX anchors that are working, anchor points and so on.

How to dispose of a child car seat properly

If you find that the seat should not be used, it needs to be thrown out. However, don;t just put it on the sidewalk at hard rubbish, as an unsuspecting punter might grab it to use it. So, cut the straps and remove the padding, and throw away any loose parts.

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Practical Motoring

The team of journalists at Practical Motoring bring decades of automotive and machinery industry experience. From car and motorbike journalists to mechanical expertise, we like to use tools of the trade both behind the computer and in the workshop.

1 comment

  1. Grays online (Perth, WA) have several on their auction at the moment. All “used” but they refer to their Sales terms of definition for the meaning.
    It appears they do not have to provide any history of them.
    Its up to the buyer to inspect before purchasing.. that’s their “get out of jail free” card

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