Car Seat Safety: 2nd Hand Car Seats Can Harbour Hidden Faults

10 August 2012


New research (1) from Sainsbury’s car insurance reveals that over half a million drivers (2% of those who drive with children in the car) have bought a second-hand car seat in the last 12 months. The supermarket bank is urging parents not to buy second-hand child car seats because it is impossible to know if they are safe or whether they have been damaged in an accident. 


Sainsbury’s car insurance analysis of the online auction site, EBay, confirms that trading in second-hand car seats is on the rise with 453 “used” child car seats now for sale on the website(3) compared to 131 when it conducted a similar piece of research in 2009(4).


The supermarket bank’s research(1) also shows that over one hundred thousand motorists have continued to use a child car seat after an accident. Sainsbury’s car insurance is one of a minority of car insurance providers to cover the cost of replacing a child car seat with a new one(2) after a collision. This feature is available on both options of car insurance cover offered by Sainsbury’s Bank(2).


Ben Tyte, Head of Sainsbury’s Car Insurance, said: “If a child car seat has already been involved in an accident, it’s extremely difficult to know if it is still functioning properly and that it isn’t harbouring any hidden faults.  Therefore, if you can’t be sure of its history, you could be strapping your child into a seat that potentially provides reduced protection. 

“When many families’ incomes are squeezed it is no surprise that parents will be trying to save money where they can – if you feel that you absolutely must use a second-hand car seat our advice would be to purchase or acquire a seat from somebody you know, a friend or family member who’ll be able to reassure you as to the seat’s history. We would not recommend purchasing a seat from an online auction site or a car boot sale.”


The research also suggests that, over the last year, nearly half a million drivers (2% of those who drive children in their car) have travelled with a child in an incorrectly fitting car seat.


Sainsbury’s car insurance recommends that if motorists are unsure if the car seat they are using is suitable – or if they are unsure how to fit it correctly they should seek professional guidance from the retailer they purchased it from and follow the Government’s advice (

Anyone who has a car seat that has been involved in an accident should, for the avoidance of doubt, replace it with a brand new one.


Sainsbury’s car insurance offers parents the following advice when buying and installing car seats:

Sainsbury’s car insurance provides competitively priced, quality cover, with two policy options to choose from; both offering some of the widest range of cover and benefits available in the marketplace(5). It is also one of only a few providers to, as a standard feature of its policy, cover the cost of replacing a child car seat with one of a similar standard after an accident even when there is no perceived damage(2).

New Sainsbury’s car insurance customers taking out a policy online or over the phone will benefit from free breakdown assistance for one year(6) and Sainsbury’s shoppers with a Nectar card could receive up to 15% discount on their premium(7). In addition, new customers taking out the supermarket bank’s Premier Cover could also benefit from double Nectar points on all Sainsbury’s shopping in-store, online and in its petrol stations for two years(8).

For further information on Sainsbury’s car insurance, call0800 092 9459, visit or pick up a leaflet in store.

For more information on the laws surrounding child car seats, follow the Government’s advice at:


For further information, please contact:

Ian Morris / Charlotte Pascal, Citigate Dewe Rogerson on020 7638 9571


Notes to editors:

(1)    Survey commissioned by Sainsbury’s Bank on behalf of its Car Insurance division. Based on a survey of 1,047 UK based adults conducted by ICM research on 14th-15th March 2012

(2)    Accidental damage cover is available only on comprehensive cover. Terms and conditions and exclusions apply,

(3)    Analysis of – searching for “used” car seats on 6thJune 2012

(4)    Analysis of – searching for “used” car seats on 29th June 2009

(5)    Source: Defaqto

(6)    Sainsbury’s Breakdown Service is provided by Green Flag and underwritten by U K Insurance Limited. This is an introductory offer that only applies to the vehicle covered under the policy purchased. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Full information is available at An additional four levels of breakdown cover are available and can be purchased and added to the policy. for full information.

(7)    Introductory offer available from 10th July when you obtain a quote online or over the phone directly from Sainsbury’s Bank. Subject to minimum premium. At least 10% of Nectar customers who are Sainsbury’s shoppers will achieve the maximum discount of 15%. Terms and conditions and exclusions apply, see

(8)    Customers could earn 2 points on their Nectar card for every £1 spent in Sainsbury’s stores. The Sainsbury’s Bank double Nectar point reward offers an additional 2 points for every £1 spent for two years. Therefore, the total combined reward is the equivalent to 2% off when you shop in-store at Sainsbury’s and swipe your Nectar card at the till. Points are not available on a limited range of Sainsbury’s goods and services – see in-store or for details.

Sainsbury’s Bank:

To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury’s Bank online media centre

Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times.  Our products consistently top Best Buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

Sainsbury’s Bank recent awards in 2012 include Best Personal Loan Provider, Consumer Moneyfacts; Best Low Rate Credit Card Provider and Best Credit Card Provider for use abroad (Gold Credit Card),Moneynet; Best Loan Provider, Moneysupermarket Supers.

2011 awards include Best Overall Online Provider, Best Online Pet Insurance Provider, Best Online Personal Loan Provider andBest Direct Home Insurance Provider at the Your Money Awards. It was also named Most Competitive Term Assurance Direct Provider by Moneyfacts.

Sainsbury’s Bank is a joint venture between J. Sainsbury plc and Lloyds Banking Group.

For further information and general Sainsbury’s Bank enquiries, customers can call the freephone number on 0500 40 50 60 or

Direct Line Insurance Group plc
Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and Tracker stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.

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