Second-Hand Car Seats

The use of second-hand car seats is not recommended by the SAAQ. If you use one, you must check several technical aspects to ensure your child's safety.

What to look for

Assessing or checking the condition and history of a second-hand car seat is difficult. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you purchase a new one.

If you have no choice but to use a second-hand car seat, check the following aspects before use:

  • The expiry date must not be exceeded. If it is not indicated on the seat, check the owner's manual or with the manufacturer

    It is important that you respect the useful life of the seat.

    Over time :
    • frequent use and exposure to sunlight and temperature variations can damage and weaken components
    • food, liquids and other products that have been spilled on straps and buckles may prevent them from working safely
    • regulations and safety standards may have changed, meaning that the seat is no longer compliant
  • the Transport Canada compliance label must still be on the seat. This guarantees that the seat meets current standards
  • the manufacturer's instructions must be included
  • the seat must  never have been in a vehicle at the time of an accident involving the vehicle even if it does not look damaged or if the child was not in the seat at the time of the accident. The seat may have invisible cracks. You need to check the owner’s manual for specific guidelines on determining whether or not the seat should be replaced. Car seat replacement is often covered by private insurers in cases where the seat was in the vehicle at the time of the traffic accident involving the vehicle
  • the model must never have been recalled due to a defect (Health Canada can confirm this)
  • all the parts are present and intact, including the harness, locking clip, chest clip, tether strap, tether anchor and padding
  • the seat must have been stored under proper conditions, since poor storage conditions may have damaged the seat

If the car seat does not meet all these criteria, you should not use it.

Photo of a Transport Canada compliance label

A person who sells such a seat could be sued by the buyer under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act.

Disposing of an expired car seat

The Centre de recherche et d’éducation à l’environnement régional (CREER) has devised a method of recycling components of used car seats. For example, the plastic can be transformed into park benches or picnic tables, and the straps can be turned into accessories for animals.

Visit the CAA-Québec website to find the collection depot nearest you.

Last update: August  3, 2023