Going on a vacation where you’ll be renting a car? Don’t forget your car seat. Sure, you can rent one from the car rental agency, but you know what people do to rental cars right?

Imagine what they do to the car seats.

In 2008, we dragged a Britax Marathon across Paris through the subways and up and down stairs all so we could have it for our week long drive through the Loire Valley.

We thought it made sense at the time. We were new parents with a 10 month old and were still paranoid about everyone else’s responsibility. How could we be certain a euro carseat would be safe? What are their standards? etc.

So we dragged it up and down stairs, on the metro, through the streets and into airports. It was a gong show, but we did it.

This weekend I’m on a quick getaway to Toronto, just me and Z. I was going to bring the seat, but for $25 I could rent one for the weekend. Since I’m one parent with one roaming toddler, I thought it best to limit the baggage and decided to rent.

I admit I was a little testy on Twitter when I was faced with having to install the seat on my own, despite having pre-booked it in my rental requirements.

Twitter responded swiftly.

@stv be thankful. Avis once preinstalled a seat upside down for me.

@LeftCoastMama would you trust anyone else to install the carseats? At least you know you installed it correctly.

@Edmonton_eh by law, they can not install it and the parent is required only. It a liability and insurance issue

Okay, so car rental companies won’t pre-install car seats. It’s a liability issue. That’s a reasonable argument and I must admit I’m disappointed the policy seems to extend to inspecting car seats.

I’ve rented from Hertz this weekend. My first car seat came with no instructions or strap to tighten the shoulder harness. The second seat had instructions but was still musty, twisted, knotted and a beast to install. My parents also rented a car and seat for my niece and also had one missing straps and harnesses.

I’ve been asking myself all weekend – I dragged it across Paris, why couldn’t I have done the same in Toronto?

@AkashSablok Take ur seat with you or at least lots of sanitizing wipes & extra straps!

Well, that works until something like this happens:

we took ours to Italy and the airline lost our luggage, lucky THAT rental place had an excellent car seat.

So what do you do when you rent a car? Bring your car seat or rent one?


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