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Old 24.04.2011, 14:57
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car seats

HI, we will be moving to Basel from nyc in a few months. I am trying to fugure out what I need to bring. I have a 2 yr old daughter and we had a snap and go carseat for her when she was little and now she's in the front facing Britax.

We don't plan on buying a car over there so I was wondering if you can request car seats when renting cars in Switzerland. If that's the case, I'm thinking we may not have to bring the car seats.

Thanks!
jen
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Old 24.04.2011, 15:08
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Re: carseats

You can get car seats with rental cars here; you just request them at the time of booking.

We've found with some rental companies (not in Switzerland but with, say, Europcar and Avis, both of which also operate here) that the child seats are a bit hit and miss. They are either brand new or knackered.

If you are intending to drive quite a lot, I would recommend buying a seat over here that can be easily strapped in and out of different cars. There is also an excellent car-sharing service which would be more cost effective for occasional car usage and having a car seat to hand would make it much easier.
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Old 24.04.2011, 15:27
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Re: carseats

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HI, we will be moving to Basel from nyc in a few months. I am trying to fugure out what I need to bring. I have a 2 yr old daughter and we had a snap and go carseat for her when she was little and now she's in the front facing Britax.

We don't plan on buying a car over there so I was wondering if you can request car seats when renting cars in Switzerland. If that's the case, I'm thinking we may not have to bring the car seats.

Thanks!
jen
Most, if not all rental firms, should provide a child seat, if requested at time of booking. You can check any specific company, online, by viewing their FAQ under Booking/Reservation and seek out the following "Q." (or equivalent): Can I book additional extras or equipment?


Speaking personally, when I returned back to UK (a few years back) one time and used a renter, specifying a child seat, it was of basic minimum quality, purely to satisfy legal requirements, and not particularly new and clean, and no more than adequate for protection.

So, yes, you should be able to, but whether you want to is a different matter.

Depending on your requirements for renting, you may wish to purchase a seat here (may be only marginally more expensive than US). Second hand, may also be available from Ricardo.ch (equivalent of e-bay). A cheaper used model, will probably still turn out to be better and safer than those provided by rentals.
Alternatively bring your Britax, depending on how you view the balance of safety, cost and convenience.

See what others write, regarding current situation.

EDIT: having seen the above reply from Sandgrounder, my experience was also with Europcar.
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Old 24.04.2011, 23:33
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Re: carseats

thanks! will our American carseats definitely not fit the cars in Switzerland?
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Old 24.04.2011, 23:43
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Re: carseats

One of our members is trying to sell two car seats.

http://www.englishforum.ch/sale-want...lachen-sz.html

http://www.englishforum.ch/sale-want...lachen-sz.html

Renting child seats is not cheap, and it might be a good idea to buy a good clean second hand seat.
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Old 25.04.2011, 00:02
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Re: carseats

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thanks! will our American carseats definitely not fit the cars in Switzerland?
Isn't Britax a British make? You can get Britax all over Europe so I am guessing your US-purchased seat will fit in cars over here. If it's ISOFIX I guess they are all a standard fitting, otherwise, it will just secure in with the seatbelt.
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Old 25.04.2011, 01:01
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Re: carseats

The main issue is that American car seats are not tested nor legal in Switzerland. I would be worried about, in case of an accident, the insurance company not covering injuries because the child is not in a Swiss-approved restraint.

About buying them used. I wouldn't do that or rent them either. Car seats are supposed to be disposed of after accidents but a lot of people scoff at that and don't follow those rules.

I moved here from Texas where we drove a lot and accidents happen at very high rates of speed so I am a little paranoid about car seat safety. I have seen some nasty accidents. Car seats is not where I choose to save money.
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Old 25.04.2011, 01:19
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Re: carseats

Oh, and here is a forum for all things car seat safety. There is someone there who knows all about Europe, just poke around a little bit to find out his info.

http://www.car-seat.org/forumdisplay.php?f=17
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Old 25.04.2011, 13:57
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Re: car seats

Thanks for all of the helpful information. Do the cars in Switzerland have the same Latch system?
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Old 25.04.2011, 14:52
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Re: car seats

No Latch system here. We also brought a britax over from the US, and used it. In our opinion it was safer than the Swiss one we had bought. I bought another Swiss one (Evolva Britax Römer) after I found out that the insurance does not have to pay out at all if the seat isn't EU approved and that we would also be fined by the police.
It all sounds rather far fetched until you see regular police road blocks in our town whose only purpose is to go through every detail on the car until they can find a reason to levy a fine. Then you realize that they really would get you!
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Old 25.04.2011, 15:00
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Re: car seats

Some cars have LATCH, but it's not very reliable, especially in rentals. They use something called ISOFIX here.
The car sharing scheme someone referred to is called Mobility (www.mobility.ch). They do not provide car seats, otherwise, they're fantastic because they have all kinds of cars deposited throughout Switzerland.
As others have suggested, you run the risk of not being covered in case of an accident if your child is in a seat which has not been approved by the Swiss/European authorities. Here's a like for more information: http://www.tcs.ch/main/de/home/auto_...ndersitze.html. You'll find brochures in English as well as the German/French content.
Be warned: the selection of seats here is nowhere near as wide and will definitely set you back more.
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