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Top Tips For Buying A Used Car Seat & The Launch of Car Seats For Kids #CarseatFullstop

Today marks the last day of the 67 days #CarseatFullstop has been sharing information about Wheel Well and encouraging you all to donate your second hand seats at your closest Volvo dealer. I hope you have found the campaign beneficial, I know I learned a ton of important safety information about my own children and road safety. Please keep sharing the links, the more people we reach, the more children’s lives we can save! 

In case you missed it, Wheel Well receives donated child safety seats to create a “seat exchange” where lower income families can receive child restraints in return for an affordable donation. The seats are thoroughly cleaned and checked for defects before they’re put into stock. They encourage parents to return the seats once outgrown to perpetuate the cycle. In addition, Wheel Well heads up the Car Seats for Kids campaign which launches in October , Transport month. They take the campaign to shopping centers and other drop off spots around the country, they also provide valuable advise on choosing the correct seat for your child as well as it’s correct installation. AND they rent out car seats so that visitors can keep their kids safe on our roads too. 


If you don’t have a car seat to donate, but you do have the means and the will to help, why not go onto Gumtree and buy a second hand seat or two and donate those? That way you are helping get seats to Wheel Well for those who really cannot afford them and helping another family by buying their used seat and allowing them to invest in the next seat up for their kids.

Buying second hands seats isn’t as straightforward as buying a new seat, even though it is a necessity for many. If you do your research, ask the right questions and know what to look for when you view the seat, there is no reason another child can’t get many safe and happy travels from a second hand seat.

Although, according to SA car seat expert Peggie Mars, there is no evidence that car seats actually expire, there are definitely parts of the seat that can perish, age or wear away. They may also become obsolete with new safety discoveries. To be safe, you should steer clear of a seat that is older than around 5 years.

Seats are recalled all the time!

When I visited Peggie at Wheel Well, she showed me the piles of car seats she had that had been donated. Some of them too damaged to be refurbished, baring in mind that when Wheel Well refurbish the car seat, they take the entire thing apart, clean the fabrics, replace the sponge linings and check for defects and weaknesses. Some of the seats have been recalled due to safety issues and these are also dumped and not refurbished for reuse due to safety issues.

Tips for buying a second hand seat:

1. Make sure you know the car seats ENTIRE history

Ask the seller if they are the original owner of the seat and if they are, request the entire history of the seat. Who has used it, how old it is, how many kids have used it, has it been in an accident.

2. Make sure the seat has never been in an accident

Even a minor bumper bashing is a no go. The seat can be damaged from the force exerted on it in a bumper bashing or bigger accident. Most car seat manufacturers advise that a car seat never be used again after being in an accident.


3. Make sure that all the parts are present

And in good working condition. Request the owner manual that came with the original purchase of the car seat. Also check for cracks in the plastic, frayed harnesses or any other damage to the seat.

4. Make sure the seat is not expired

This is usually clearly labelled by the manufacturer on the seat, along with the model number and date of manufacture. 

5. Google & research the car seat

To ensure it isn’t a recalled car seat. You can also call the manufacturer with the model number of the car seat to check if you are not certain.

Do you want to donate a car seat for October’s Car Seats For Kids campaign? 

Visit Wheel Well for more information on where the drop off points will be this October. 




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