Child car seats are essential pieces of equipment for those who drive passengers under the age of 12 (or who are under 135 cm), yet they are still subject to VAT in the UK.

The government blames EU rules for this.

A vocal campaign has been trying to get the tax lifted, but David Guake, government financial secretary, recently explained the official position, as reported in the Telegraph:

“When the UK joined the European Community in 1973, we successfully negotiated to keep our existing zero rates on items such as children’s clothing. However, EU rules do not provide for the introduction of any other zero rates, or the extension of our existing ones.

“While it would be possible, in principle, to negotiate changes to EU law in this area, it would require the unanimous agreement of all 28 Member States. All recent discussion in this area makes it clear it would not be possible to reach such an agreement.”

The campaign has been led by Halfords, who suggest the government is not doing enough to get the VAT lifted.

“We understand that the EU has a deliberately complex process to prevent the introduction of any new zero rates. However, we believe it’s unfair that families are being charged VAT for essential safety equipment.”

An online petition has been launched requesting that Parliament discuss the topic. 100,000 people must sign a petition if it is to be eligible for discussion by MPs.


Child car seat rule changes

As many of our car breakdown customers may be aware, the rules surrounding car child seats have changed a great deal in recent times, with the introduction of the European safety standard known as i-Size. New stipulations require that children sit facing the rear seats for their first 15 months; UK government advice previously stated that rear-facing seats must only be used for the first nine months.

Many would argue that cutting the cost of child car seats would help ensure, alongside the new i-Size standard, that child car passengers travel in safety.