Child Seats

Morning All. Has anyone had families with small children come to stay? If so do you know the French Law on children and child seats or seat belts . They are not coming until next year but I need to get ready. Kind Regards all Maurice

Hi Nicole - I've removed your link as per our no commercial links policy (EXCEPT on your profile page) - hope this makes sense! Cx

And you can rent them from me! . I do all sizes from baby seats up to a simple booster seat, as well as other equipment such as high chairs, wooden cots (plus bedlinen), toys, scooters, ride-ons, bouncers, playmats - you name it! And I'm so cheap I may as well be a charity! Lol! The only reason I'm still doing it after six years is because I love meeting you friendly folk out there - it's certainly never going to make me rich! Depots in Montpellier, Marseillan and I am between Béziers and Pézenas. Pick-up only. :)

Bernhard's advice is to look at the AA advice which is brief, for the better detail go to the like Clare put up a few comments below.

Clare, you're marvellous. I should have thought to look there myself, doh. So it's definitely aged 10+ to go in the front, but allowable if the back's out of use for whatever reason. Superb. Mind you, knowing my contrary twerp, he'll turn 10 and say he prefers the back anyway, especially if the dog is strapped in next to him.

Some changes, so thanks Clare but we are legit here (phew) and I wonder if our acquaintance has updated his info sheet. Mind you, he is such stickler for precision that no doubt he has. Here is the link showing the law on the matter.

Oh gawd. I only know that when I had to use my licence, paper version, as identification but the card had to be on the copy too. It was turned down because I gave them a black and white photocopy and they sent me off to the nearest copy shop muttering some extremely obscene words!

On a practical side if you need something for 4 to 12 year olds these are great as they don't take up much space and not too pricey - good for occasional use! I ordered mine from to be delivered to France. It says the weight range but it's roughly 4 to 12 years.

I've seen that and it makes me insane. I'm a little bit of a 'by the book' girl - okay, more than a little, I once declared a jar of marmalade at Miami airport because it had whisky in it, hence my curiosity about what is stated by law.

When our agent's wife has occasionally collected our daughter, she is in the back seat anyway. Their children usually anyway. I have only ever seen the now 11 year old daughter at the front going to or from the supermarket which is a couple of minutes drive for them. I think there are two schools of thought, beside not knowing. One is fairly conservative and does not want a fidget at the front. The other does not care a fig and has their child at the front, no seat belt, with a cigarette in one hand and the mobile in the other doing 120 through villages. That's just the mothers, the fathers are beyond description. The latter make me very angry.

I think you're right about the not-knowing syndrome Brian. I'd seen what you'd written below and noted the "illegal" under 10. It was confirmation of that law really because if my insurer said "yes that's fine" but it turned out the legal age is 12 or 13 I don't think the law would give much of a hoot what my insurer thought. At the moment Twerp still gets safely manacled in the back seat.

OK, ask your insurer. We have an agent whose children are friends of ours. He is one of those very straight people who does everything by the book. He gave us a sheet of paper five years ago that had all the stuff I said at the beginning of this thread. Logically, if there is a child of 10 or more who remains under 15kg, which is highly unlikely but not unknown, booster seat takes precedent over age logically. Since baby carriers, child and booster seats are forbidden in the front of cars in all of Europe then back seat would be the logical conclusion. This bloke did not allow his daughter in the front until she was 10. Another of the same parent cum 'friends' group is a gendarme. His son is our daughter's 'beau'. His wife and he allowed the son, their oldest child, in the front to come to our daughter's 10th birthday party, whereby he is two weeks older than her and had never been in the front of the car before then that I had noticed.

I can only draw the conclusion what our insurance man told us back then that was as a parent who is on some committee or other influenced by his job is correct. Actual laws, well to be honest a lot of people do not seem to give much thought to them or obey them if they know them. Hence, I suspect, mass not-knowing-syndrome.

I mentioned to a friend the other day that Twerp was getting excited as his 10th birthday approaches because he can sit in the front. She said the law was 13 years old. I've done a quick search on SFN and someone posted in a different thread that her local gendarmerie I think it was had said 12. Other members thought it depended on height/weight etc. Is there a definitive answer to this law-wise or does it basically boil down to the opinion of your local copper?

With you. The plonkers on the quad bike were booked but no way they took it seriously. For repeat offences at least they should take away licences immediately, if not impound the car as well. As for the mayor in a nearby village who lost his licence for a series of drunken driving offences as well as collecting grandchildren from school pi**ed and no seat belts at all now driving about doing the same in his sans permis... What can you say other than totally ban him from road use including being a pedestrian probably.

I'd like to see people who drive around with unrestrained kids lose their licences. It makes my blood boil.

Gendarmes just stopped a quad bike on the D road here. Two grandparents on board, with a child on grandfather's lap at the front supported by the handlebar. Also no road number plates. The people have been staying at the gite in the next hamlet. Anyway, not only were they booked and can expect the book thrown at them but they are angry with the gendarmes for doing it. They are now sticking to the small lanes and tracks. Somebody has shopped them and it seems the parents who are adhered by an invisible umbilical cord to the pool at the gite have had a visit from the gendarmes with a social welfare bod this morning. Gossip spreads fast here and this one is a real cookie.

The road user habits with children are scary. The worst I have seen locally is a woman with a Yorkshire Terrier on her lap with it paws on the wheel and two pre-school aged children standing up on the passenger seat moving at around 80 through a 50 zone. It seems the same woman walked into the local gendarmerie to complain about her neighbour's horses farting in the field beside her garden. Double standards is putting it mildly.

Brian - thanks for this, useful to know. The number of kids I see standing up in their car on the school run is astounding. My girls are always complaining that we strap them in...err sorry girls but that's the law. Mind you worse than standing is when they are sat on someone's lap - including the drivers. Scary!

In France it is illegal for children under 10 to ride in the front of the vehicle, do not do what others do, especially if in a foreign car. Clearly children under 10 must be in the back seat and in a baby or small child seat if they weigh less than 15kg. Once over 15kg they can use a seat belt but must still sit on a booster seat. That should continue until they are big enough to be secure using a regular seat belt, the average 8 year old should be fine. If a child gets out of the seat belt you are required to stop immediately and secure the child again.