When traveling with children, you have a choice to make. Bring your own car seat, bring it on the plane, have it with you all vacation, or rent a car seat when you get your vehicle?
Most car rental services will offer a car rental car seat. For a price. There are also some other things to take into consideration.
If you are a member of AAA, they offer one free car seat through Hertz Rental. Most dealers will charge around $15 a day per seat, with a cap of $60-70 for your trip, per seat.
For some, that price tag might make you decide to purchase a seond car seat for just traveling purposes. There are plenty of affordable one’s out there, like this Evenflo Tribute.
When making your reservation, you will also make sure to mention specifically what type of car seat you will be needing, whether it be a convertible car seat, booster, or an infant seat with a handle. Many rental places only have a few options, not necessarily all of them.
Car seats don’t have a CarFax report like vehicles do. How can you be sure the rental seat hasn’t been in an accident? Is it expired? Are they going to have the manual for the seat? What if the seat they do have is one that has been recalled? Are they going to know that?
You also have to be prepared that the rental agent may not know how to properly install the seat. Make sure you thoroughly look over the seat for any knicks, cracks, breaks, etc.
This one is the one that turns me off from using a car rental car seat the most. The chances of the seat ever being properly cleaned is slim to none. They aren’t going to take the pads out and wash and re-install them. Hopefully, they do at least spot clean.
However, I found a website called www.babyquip.com, that I had never heard of before writing this article. They are a clean, safe, and insured baby equipment rental business with over 300 destinations in the US and Canada. They rent cribs, strollers, and car seats. Of course, there is a price to this, but they can meet you for pick up and drops of the seat. It seems like a very convenient option if you are close to one of their locations, and can afford it. They have a 98% satisfaction rate. You work with real parents who know the hassle of traveling and just want to help you out!
I didn’t find any site that recommended using the car seats from a car rental business. There’s too many negative factors over positive, it just doesn’t seem like the safe choice.
Babyquip.com, bringing your own car seat, or purchasing one when arriving at your destination seem like much safer options.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever used a rental car seat, or a site like babyquip? I have yet to take a vacation with my baby that requires all this extra planning, so let’s discuss the best option, as there is a trip in our future!
See Related: Car Seats for Airplanes