Where to Donate a Car Seat?

Old car seats are common in households where all the kids are grown up. Although they were travel essentials at some point, they quickly lose their value once your child can safely sit in the car without support.

Donating a used car seat is an excellent option if you want to give the product a new life at home with a baby. These items tend to be quite expensive, and many families will thank you for giving them away.

where to donate a car seat?

Below are some of the top options you can consider when deciding where to donate a car seat

  • Relatives and families
  • Neighborhood charities
  • Parenting classes
  • Pregnancy support institutions

Our article will also help you understand how to check the quality of the car seat you want to donate and explore the alternatives to donation.


Where to Donate Your Car Seat?

Large-scale non-government organizations and charities are rarely willing to receive used car seats as a form of donation. However, you will find multiple options if you narrow down your search to your community.

Below are some places that will happily accept car seats as a donation.

1. Your Inner Circle

Most people often forget to consider their family and friends when seeking avenues to donate their used car seats. There’s a high chance that some of them might have a toddler or are expecting a baby soon.

All you have to find out is if the model you currently have matches the body specifications of the child and ensure car seat safety.

You’ll free yourself from the item, and the people close to you won’t have to worry about spending money on such a product. 

2. Local Charities

Unlike their national or international variants, most neighborhood charities do not receive massive funding for their annual campaign. Thus, many are open to receiving items as a form of donation.

Although some may not accept it, most small-scale charities are open to getting car seats as donations. All you have to do is ensure its parts are in good condition for them to take them off your hands.

3. Parenting Instructors

Many organizations are now located in every neighborhood that provides courses on how to be ready when a child arrives. They cover various aspects of parenting, from babies to toddlers.

Among them, one notable course involves traveling with a baby. They may accept car seats, so they may use them for those classes. Since they do not require it for an actual baby, there’s a high chance they will take it from you regardless of the make.

4. Maternity Support Organizations

Ideally, every neighborhood has a women’s shelter that helps expectant mothers from low-income households prepare for motherhood. They typically rely on the benevolence of the community to remain operational.

Donating your car seats to them can go a long way to helping your locality. These organizations often use baby gear for demonstration sessions. They could even give it to a parent that might not be able to afford one.


Why Charities Don’t Accept Donated Car Seats?

Many mainstream charities will not receive car seats as donations. The following are the main reasons behind their disinterest.

Concerns of Safety

Like other baby items, car seats also lose their effectiveness over time. Therefore, getting one for your baby that has already gone through years of heavy use is a bad idea.

Furthermore, the components like the strap and cushion go through a lot of wear and tear. Thus, charities don’t want to accept most car seats as donations due to the chances of it becoming a safety hazard for kids.


Most large-scale charities receive heavy funding from their benefactors. It’s more convenient for them to give a new seat to a needy child rather than collect old ones.

Therefore, going through the ordeal of receiving old car seats as a donation and then spreading them is a hassle for them.

Legal Issues

Granting products to children in need is always a sensitive issue for big charities. So, they tend not to accept car seat donations as they run the risk of them malfunctioning and becoming a legal issue for them.


Things to Check Before Donating a Car Seat

Please ensure the following factors before you put up your car seat for donation to ensure that the organizations will accept them.


Most old car seats lose their utility due to years of dormancy. Ensure the product has at least functional safety straps and comfortable cushions so that whomever you donate it to can use it effectively. Having the instruction manual will also increase its value.

Expiry Date

Most organizations are particular about the validity of baby items before accepting them for donation. It’s best to sell your product for scrap if it’s past the car seat expiration dates, as no one will accept them.


Most booster seats accumulate dust, debris, and even infestations if they are kept in a garage or attic for too long. Thoroughly clean it and make it free from pests to ensure it’s fit for donation.


Manufacturers tend to recall old models of their products as they might become defective or develop safety issues due to them getting old. If your old car seat has been recalled, it will not be suitable for donation.


Other Ways to Recycle the Old Car Seat

Car seats exceeding their expiration date are highly recyclable because their construction materials have recyclability.

Firstly, take off the fabric from the cushion. Most of them are washable, so you can remove them quickly. Then cut off the harness straps to make the seat unusable.

Usually, the standard recycling center does not recycle car seats. If that’s the case in your area, check the local recycling plant in your community that might accept one past its expiration date.

Lastly, look for trade-in events to make money through a car seat trade. You can also consider going online, where you may find a car seat recycling center that will gladly accept your donated seats.



Knowing where to donate a car seat is vital as most charity organizations will not be open to accepting it. The most suitable option is for you to give it to someone in your inner circle who has a baby.

Otherwise, you can always give it to local charities or a parenting center. However, ensure your product is clean and has not exceeded the car seat’s expiration date before you donate it.

If your car seat is beyond repair, keeping it as memorabilia is best. On the other hand, you can always sell it for scrap!

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!