Learn the safety rules before driving with younger passengers, which include babies and young children.

Approximately 2 minutes reading time

What are the laws around passenger babies and young children when driving?

When driving in the UK and having a baby or young child in the car, you might be wondering where they should sit and what safety precautions to take. Safety is paramount when traveling with a young child, and it's essential to be mindful of the law. 

The law states that if a child between three months and three years is travelling in a car and the seat and restraints typically required for their age, they must also be secured in an appropriate child car seat. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

We have put together a list of the main rules you must abide by when driving in the UK and include additional information on what will happen if you break those laws.

What are the laws around driving with babies and young children?

Baby and Child Car Seats

If you're planning on traveling with your baby or young child in the car, we strongly recommend taking a car seat. It's the law to use one for children under three, and babies must always be secured in an appropriate restraint for their age and weight. If caught driving without a car seat, you can be fined up to £500 and have your vehicle confiscated.

Correct Belt Positioning

It may seem common sense, but ensuring your baby is strapped in the correct seatbelt is vital. One of the main dangers if this isn't upheld is that a baby could be ejected from their seat during an accident. 

Rearward Facing for Babies

You must secure your baby in a car seat that faces backward for as long as possible, with no exceptions. If you're driving long distances, your baby must be secured in a rearward-facing seat. If you're traveling from A to B, your baby should wear a seatbelt with them as well.

Young Drivers

Young drivers are more prone to accidents, and not abiding by the rules about children and driving can get them into serious trouble. For example, if you're under 18, driving with a baby in the car is illegal without a baby seat or safety harness. Additionally, the child must not be in forward-facing mode for more than 40 minutes (between 10 am and 5 pm). If a young driver breaks these rules, they can have their licence suspended and face thousands of pounds in fines.

What are the penalties for disobeying these laws?

If caught breaking the rules, you may be fined up to £500. For example, if your child is in a car seat and it's not securely attached, you can be fined up to £1,000. Additionally, if your baby or young child is not wearing a seatbelt, you could be fined up to £300 

If your baby or child is ejected from their seat during an accident, you can be prosecuted for a criminal offence which could lead to a custodial sentence and much higher fines. In addition, UK law states that children under 36 months must always travel in an appropriate car seat. Therefore, you must ensure you have the correct car seats for your baby or young child and know where they should be positioned. 


If you're planning on getting behind the wheel with a baby or young child, you should make sure their car seat is attached to the car securely and that they wear a seatbelt. It's also essential to ensure your baby or child is rearward facing for as long as possible and is under 36 months of age. Any breaches of these laws can lead to fines, charges, and potentially a custodial sentence. 

Knowing the limitations of the car seats and how they are built is essential to ensure you can confidently put your baby or child into any car seat and see that it's safe for them. Don't take any risks with your baby, and make sure you would have the confidence to drive with them. Contact our support team if you have any questions; we would be happy to help.

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