Is It Legal to Buy a Used Car Seat??

Updated on January 11, 2010
N.G. asks from Antelope, OR
10 answers

Somebody told me that it was against the law to buy a used car seat? I UNDERSTAND that people do it regardless but I was just wondering what the actual law is behind it?
thanks!

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R.C.

answers from Redding on

No, it isn't illegal. But every carsear does have an expiration date. Usually they're good for around 5 years. The last recommended day of use will either be printed on the user manual or on the seat.

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R.C.

answers from Redding on

No, it isn't illegal. But every carsear does have an expiration date. Usually they're good for around 5 years. The last recommended day of use will either be printed on the user manual or on the seat.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi~,

There aren't any laws against it-that I know of. You should just buy with caution. Don't buy any carseat over 6 years old and make sure you check the manufacturers website for recalls on make and model before buying. Inspect the carseat thoroughly for any cracks, or missing hardware. I have bought a used carseat but I bought from someone I knew. I would just be really familiar with the carseat before buying and do your research! Good luck

M.

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K.G.

answers from San Francisco on

No, it's not illegal. Check to make sure it wasn't ever in an accident. Even just a fender bender. And, make sure it's not on a recall list.

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S.B.

answers from Redding on

Dear N.,
It's not illegal to buy a used car seat or sell one. You just want to be careful about the definition of "used" and who you are purchasing it from.
I personally sold several car seats and they were indeed used, if you consider that after a week or two I didn't care for how they fit in the car or whether they were easy to transfer from one vehicle to another. My daughter was really tiny and I had a hard time finding carseats for her. If the store didn't have anything that would work better, instead of returning them, I knew plenty of moms who could use them. They were obviously in pristine condition and I still had the boxes, receipts, etc.
I don't know why someone would try to sell a car seat that was involved in an accident, but I guess maybe it happens.
Not all "used" car seats are unsafe. Just buy them from someone you trust and use your best judgement.

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D.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello Again N.,
I have several carseats that I have for my 2 cars becasue of the differant ages of the grandchildren. I have gotten them all used. I have just made sure that the straps were in good condition and if not I got replacements for them.
I have gotten mine from people that I know so have a history of the seat. I also made sure that even though they are all clean whenI got them that I sanitized them once gain.
Car seats are very expensive and not everyone can afford to buy an infant one and then toddler size thenagain child size one at $100 or more a crack! But please use caution and wisdom. Good Luck, Nana Glenda

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W.E.

answers from Sacramento on

It is legal to buy a used car seat. The problem with it is that you dont know if the seat has been in an accident. if it has, it is supposed to be turned in to either the highway patrol or the persons insurance company. they are legally bound to destroy it, as it is no longer considered reliable and may fail if in another accident. a lot of insurance companies tell people to get rid of the seats and they chuck them in a dumpster and someone comes along and pulls it out not knowing it has been in an accident. if you're thinking about buying a used seat, i would try and buy one from someone you know, who you can find out the history of the seat from.

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P.D.

answers from Fresno on

I couldn''t find the answer either- I think if it was illegal it would be easy to find the answer in black and white. hmmm. Anyway, one other thing besides knowing the history of a possible car seat, many of them actually have expiration dates.

B.S.

answers from Sacramento on

It is not illegal, but you need to make sure it comes from someone you trust.

Once a car seat has been in an accident, even a very minor one that appears to have done no harm to the seat, the CHP and manufacturers tell you to throw it away. Also, there are expiration dates on car seats so you need to make sure the seat is valid for the time you plan to use it.

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S.M.

answers from Stockton on

I don't believe it is illegal, but definitely check for recalls on that style. I would only buy one from a friend. Not on craigslist or ebay or anything. I don't know if it is worth it.
You could always ask your local fire department. They also help with installs to make sure they are installed correctly.

Next question: Do Car Seats Need to Be Only So Many Years Old?