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.

We do not recommend using a second-hand car seat

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

  • the seat has not passed its expiry date. If it is not indicated on the seat, check the owner's manual or with the manufacturer
  • the Transport Canada compliance label is still on the seat
  • the manufacturer's instructions are included
  • the seat has never been in an accident
  • the model has never 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

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

Photo of a Transport Canada compliance label

Reselling or lending a car seat made before 2012 is illegal

Health Canada no longer authorizes reselling or even lending a car seat made before January 2012.

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

Using a car seat purchased in the United States is illegal

These seats do not meet Canadian standards.

Useful life period of a second-hand car seat

Before using the seat

Check to make sure that the expiry date indicated by the manufacturer has not passed.

If no expiry date is indicated on the seat, check the owner's manual or with the manufacturer.

It is important that you respect the seat's useful life period

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
  • labels become hard to read and owner's manuals may have been lost, which makes using the seat properly more difficult

Assessing or checking the condition and history of the car seat is difficult, making it hard to know:

  • whether it was involved in an accident
  • whether it was subject to a recall
  • how it was stored (possible damage)
  • the safety instructions that apply

Standards in effect for new or used car seats

All car seats sold in Canada must meet Transport Canada safety standards.

After a traffic accident

We strongly recommend that you replace the car seat, even if it does not look damaged, because the shell might have invisible cracks.

Replacing the seat

Check with your private insurer to find out whether car seats are covered by your policy.

Disposing of an expired car seat

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

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

Last update: June  4, 2022