Can You Rent a Car Seat With a Rental Car?
Hey there, fellow parents!
Are you planning a family vacation and wondering if you can rent a car seat with your rental car? As a mom of three, I know the feeling of wanting to ensure my children’s safety while on the road. That’s why I’m here to guide you through this process.
Let me tell you:
Renting a car seat is possible, but it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your child. With so many options available, it’s easy to feel lost in all the technical jargon and installation requirements. You should make sure to have a basic understanding of seat types, installation, and proper child securing.
But don’t worry! I’ve done my research and have plenty of personal experience with renting car seats during our family vacations. In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know about renting a car seat with your rental vehicle.
Warning: After reading this article, you might become an expert on choosing the perfect rental car seat for your little ones!
Can You Rent a Car With a Car Seat?
As a mother, I know that traveling with a baby is hard. You will have to carry all of your baby’s essentials and constantly worry about their comfort and safety.
That said, using a child car seat is one of the best ways to protect your baby inside a car. In case of unfortunate accidents, it spares the child from impacts and getting thrown off.
It also eliminates the hassle of bringing your seat on the flight to your destination. Some people rent child seats to spare their own from damage while traveling as well.
Renting a car seat is pretty straightforward. If you’re renting a vehicle, you can simply contact your dealer and ask if they’re offering car seats for their rentals.
It’s better to request a booster seat when making your car rental reservation. That way, you can look around for alternative options ahead of time.
Online car rentals and travel websites usually don’t include these details. So, you would need to get in touch with the rental company directly.
Car Seat Rental Cost
The price of a booster seat will vary from company to company. The type and condition of the car seats may also play a role in their price tags.
Generally speaking, rental companies charge around $10 to $15 per day for a single booster seat. So, if you have multiple children on board, be sure to take that into consideration.
Fortunately, most companies have a maximum charge cap for their booster seats. This way, you won’t have to worry about racking up charges while on vacation.
Currently, the companies with the lowest seat rentals are Alamo, Enterprise, and National at 66$ for maximum use. The rental companies, Avis and Budget, charge $70.
The highest rates that I found are on Thrifty and Hertz, costing over $98 per seat. Although, keep in mind that you don’t have to pay these charges unless you exceed the maximum rate.
Can You Rent a Car Seat Without Renting a Car?
Apart from your rental car company, you can also reserve from a local baby gear rental service. These organizations will provide you with more options than car rental companies.
I recommend rental institutions like Baby’s Away and BabyQuip as they provide clean and safe units. Some shops will even deliver the baby’s booster seat directly to you!
The advantage of baby equipment rental companies is that they typically have several seats available. You won’t have to worry about reserving ahead of time to get a slot.
Another good thing about these businesses is they employ experts to ensure your child’s safety. They’ll walk you through the installation and securing procedures.
That said, there are ways to acquire a car seat without renting one. If you have an AAA membership, you can get a free car seat from particular car rental companies.
However, as far as I know, it’s only applicable to companies under Hertz Global Holdings in Canada and the US. So try to inquire about this with your dealer if you can.
What Type of Car Seat Should You Use?
If it’s your first time using a car seat for children, it’s a good idea to learn about the different types of car seats. After all, you will need to switch the type of seats as your child grows.
1. Infant Seat
The design of an infant seat caters to newborn children aged one year and below. They work best for a child weighing between 20 and 35 pounds.
These seats face the rear end of the car for maximum safety. This model will protect your child from powerful impacts and traumas in case of accidents.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to use an infant seat when traveling with a baby. They suggest using it until your child exceeds the recommended height and weight limits set by manufacturers.
2. Child Seat
A child seat, also called a convertible seat, is your option if your child’s height, weight, and age are no longer suitable for an infant seat. Its orientation is forward-facing, unlike an infant seat.
The weight requirement for this type of car seat is between 40 to 80 pounds. That’s typically children from ages one and above.
One advantage to a convertible seat is that you can alter its position depending on your child’s size and age. You can install it rear-facing until your child is ready for the front-facing orientation.
3. Booster Seat
A booster seat is for kids who have outgrown the height and weight limits for infant and convertible seats. They face the front and are generally taller.
This car seat’s design is for children 40 to 80 pounds and above. However, experts recommend only using it in seating positions equipped with shoulder and lap belts.
Some booster seats offer a 3 in 1 option. This feat allows you to switch between infant, convertible, and booster seats, depending on your child’s needs.
How to Install a Car Seat for Infants?
Although you can book a car seat with your rental car, these deals don’t include installation. But they do give out instructions and guidelines about its mounting procedure.
The installation process can be confusing if you’re new to car seats and boosters. So, here are some steps to follow when mounting a car seat:
Step 1: Select a Car Seat
Before anything else, confirm that you have the right car seat. Ensure that your child’s age, height, and weight coincide with the seat’s requirements.
Step 2: Locate the Appropriate Seat
You can’t install a booster seat in just any seating position in your car. Instead, locate the chair with a top tether anchor—they typically have a car seat sign at the back.
Step 3: Mounting the Car Seat
Once you locate the tether anchor, place the car seat upright. Pull the seat’s tether strap over the headrest and hook it on the anchor.
Step 4: Strap the Car Seat
You use either the seatbelt or the lower anchors to strap the car seat in place. Both are secure and safe to use for any type of car seat.
If you want to use the lower anchors, simply hook the anchors to the bars of your vehicle seat. For seat belt strapping, thread it through the forward-facing belt path and buckle it.
Step 5: Secure the Car Seat
After installing, check that the car seat isn’t wobbly. To do this, try pulling and pushing the seat side to side and front to back.
The ideal movement clearance for optimum safety is less than 1 inch. If the car seat moves over 1 inch, tighten the strapping and anchor points.
Rental Car Seats Safety Considerations
The primary disadvantage of rental car seats is that most of these seats have been through several users. So, there’s a health and safety hazard that comes with them.
However, there are safety measures you can take to ensure your child’s security. One such measure is to pick a seat that meets the standard of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 213.
Finally, check the condition of the car seat you receive for damages. Never use a unit with missing pieces or one that’s already been in an accident.
Traveling with children can be stressful for us parents, but there’s nothing that can beat the fulfillment of watching them enjoy a vacation to the fullest!
Thankfully, car rental companies do offer car seats to go with the vehicle. With this knowledge, you can ensure your kids’ safety and comfort as you travel.
Be sure to share this post to help other parents out there!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
1. Should you travel with a car seat?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommend traveling with a car seat. It’s a crucial tool for your child’s safety.
2. Do airlines charge you for car seats?
Luckily, children’s safety seats and strollers don’t count as part of your baggage. So, you can bring your car seat and check them in most airports for free.
Last Updated on March 26, 2023 by Danny Reid