Warning: Unsafe Rental Car Seats

This week, our local ABC station re-ran their coverage of our story about unsafe car seats at Advantage Rent A Car. For those who missed the story, we found car seats that were filthy, broken, and in one case at least 12 years old.

Please avoid renting a car seat when possible. When there is no good alternative to a rental, be very careful to make sure your rented car seat is safe. Few states have laws regulating safety standards for rented car seats, and when they do, rental agencies don't always follow the law.

Since the news coverage ran, I have heard from many parents who had similar experiences at big name-brand rental agencies all over the country. I should note that Advantage has cleaned up their act, but not everyone has, so please plan to bring your own seats or rent with caution.

Here's the link to our original article: Advantage Rent A Car's Unsafe Car Seats

And my safety tips for renting a car seat:
Safety Tips: Car Seats and Air Travel
Checking, Renting, and Carrying a Car Seat When Flying

Have you had a scary experience renting car-seats? Let me know in comments.

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  1. Lois on June 10, 2008 at 4:35 p.m.

    We had this with Avis too. The seat was like 100 years old and they didn't know how to install it and didn't have the instructions. We always take ours with us now even though it's a hassle.


  2. Heidi on June 15, 2008 at 6:15 a.m.

    We once had a fancy local car service pick us up from the airport (paid for by grandpa, thank you) and we requested that they bring along a carseat. The seat they brought was not attached to the car and none of us could figure out how to install it. The driver had no idea what he was doing and we ended up having to secure my little girl with my seatbelt (I was pregnant at the time and not pleased to be riding sans seatbelt myself). Ugh.
    Thanks for the warning and reminder. Renting seems like such a help to avoid carrying a seat, but it's just not worth the risk.

  3. MommaMov on June 16, 2008 at 12:39 p.m.

    A friend of mine encountered a COCKROACH-infested car seat as they were adjusting the straps for their daughter at a rental company in Texas. Safe is issue #1 but SANITARY should be right behind! :) Yuck!!!