How Much Does a Car Seat Cost?
While every car seat is different, it is suggested by CarSeat.org that children stay rear-facing until they are at least one year old or up to 35 pounds. Some newer car seat models even have the capabilities of keeping a child up to 45 pounds rear-facing. Overall, there are three main types of car seats: infant car seats, convertible car seats, and booster seats.
How much is it?
- An infant car seat can accommodate a rear-facing infant that weighs up to 22-35 pounds. A car seat of this type can cost $60-$400. The Evenflo Discovery 5 can be purchased for $60 while the Britax Chaperone will cost around $190.
- A convertible car seat can accommodate a child 30-65 pounds. This type of car seat, such as the Cosco Scenera or the First Years True Fit, will cost $50-$500.
- Some booster seats are backless, such as the Graco Turbobooster, and will cost $20-$40. Other booster seats have back and head protection as well as features such as cup holders and arm rests. This type of the booster seat, such as the Recaro Vivo, will cost $50-$200
What is going to be included?
- All infant and convertible car seats will come with a 5-point harness to give your child optimal protection.
- Infant car seats are also sometimes called carriers. This is because the car seat can easily be taken out of the base and carried around without bothering a sleeping baby. These types of car seats can also often time be snapped into a matching stroller.
- Convertible car seats will sometimes come with cup holders and/or detachable trays. This allows the child to play or eat in the car if necessary on long trips. (This is not a recommended habit, however.)
- Booster seats give the child a couple-inch boost so that he can fit into the car’s built-in seat belt system.
What are the extra costs?
- Infant car seat systems that include a matching stroller will cost quite a bit extra.
- Some parents choose to buy an extra base for the infant car seat to install in a second car. This makes taking a different car much easier.
- Accessories such as cup holders that can attach to the sides as well as specialized cleaners can be purchased to ensure that the car seat can last a lot longer than average.
Tips to know:
- Be sure to note the weight requirements for each car seat. It’s wise to know how much your child weighs as well as know which car seat is going to be safest for him/her.
- Expensive car seats don’t always mean the most in terms of safety. It’s also wise to ensure that you look at the AAP ratings as they continue to tests on a monthly basis.
- Always get your car seats installation job checked out at a local fire station. They are more than happy to point out what is wrong with the installation. 9 times out of 10, an amateur job was done incorrectly.
How can I save money?
- Purchasing a car seat that offers the widest range in weight accommodations can save you money on having to purchase an extra car seat.
- Car seats can be bought used; however, be sure to inspect used car seats very carefully to ensure they are in full working order. Check Mom2Momlist.com for a list if mom-to-mom consignment sales in your area.
- Check comparison sites such as FindMyCarSeat.com to find reviews, and more.