Hiring and buying child car seats

Hiring a baby capsule:

Many people choose to hire rather than buy a baby capsule, as hire rates, are generally very reasonable. Baby capsules can be hired from a number of sources including Plunket and private hire companies. Baby capsules are only safe if they are fitted correctly into your car – and this sometimes means you will have to buy a strap or bolt from the hirer to ensure a safe fit.

As capsule hire is very popular, make sure you book in well in advance to have it correctly fitted so you’ll be able to transport your new bundle of joy home on the big day!

Buying capsules and child restraints:

  • A child restraint must meet an approved standard. Child restraints certified for use in New Zealand will show an ‘S’ mark (New Zealand Standard NZS 1754), or a tick (Australian Standard AS 1754), or an ‘E’ mark (European Standard ECE 44). Restraints that comply with the United States Standard (FMVSS 213) must, in addition to any other markings, display the New Zealand Standard ‘S’ mark, to show they have been certified for use in New Zealand.
  • Before you buy the child restraint, check that it will be suitable in you car – this is particularly important if you have a small (two-door) or older vehicle.
  • If you are going to buy a second hand child restraint there are some things you should note. Restraints that have been in a crash will not be safe so don’t buy. Check the date of manufacture and for a ‘do not use after’ date. Don’t  use a restraint that is more than 10 years old. Look for cracks, wear and damage or any other sign of deterioration.
  • The New Zealand Transport Agency has more information on child restraints.

Car accessories:

Though not strictly necessary, these accessories generally make life easier while you’re travelling in the car with your baby:

  • Car window sun shade
  • Mirror that attaches to your rear facing capsule so you can still see your baby from the driver’s seat
  • Head support for your young baby – this will stop his head rolling around as you drive

If you need more detailed information on the suitability of car restraints, go to  New Zealand Transport Agency.


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This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot NZ.

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