How do I Choose the Best Cheap Car Seat?

Mary Ellen Popolo

In order to choose the best cheap car seat, you will need to make several decisions. To find an inexpensive seat, look at seats that have no extras, such as designer covers, extra cup holders, and padded headrests. You can also look for sales, coupons, and discontinued or clearance models. Regardless of price, choose a car seat that is appropriate for your child's height, weight, and age.

A car seat.
A car seat.

Buying a cheap car seat does not mean that you are sacrificing your child's safety. All new car seats sold in the United States are required to meet strict federal safety standards and undergo crash performance testing. All seats meet the same requirements regardless of how much they cost. The more expensive seats may have added padding and other features that warrant their higher price, but they are no safer than a cheap car seat.

All car seats in the United States must undergo crash performance testing.
All car seats in the United States must undergo crash performance testing.

Car seats can cost anywhere from about $30 to $300 US Dollars. The car seats in the lower end of the price range are usually more basic in style and design than the more expensive ones. For instance, a cheap car seat may not have a cup holder or a removable headrest, and it may have less padding. Consider what you need most in a car seat, and prioritize the things you feel you must have. You may need to forgo certain features in order to find a cheap car seat.

Compare prices of various models at different stores to find the lowest price. Watch stores for sales or look for a bargain in a discount department store. Check stores for clearance prices on discontinued models, and look for coupons to combine with sale offers to get the best deal.

Cheap car seats can often be found at consignment shops and yard sales as well as through online auction websites. Although they can be inexpensive, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommended purchasing a car seat second-hand. The previous owners may not have kept up with recall notices, or the seat may have been involved in an automobile accident, which can compromise its safety. It is better to buy a new seat from a retail establishment, than to buy a used car seat.

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