What is ISOFIX and does my car have it?
In the UK, it’s a legal requirement for all children under the age of 12 or below 135cm tall to use a car seat. The easiest and safest way to secure these in place is through ISOFIX points.
But what is ISOFIX and how do you know if your car has them? Read on to find out.
What is ISOFIX?
ISOFIX is an internationally standardised car seat fitting system. ISOFIX stands for International Organisation Fix. It allows drivers to lock children’s car seats safely into place, without the need for a seat belt. Because they don’t rely on a seat belt and are fixed directly to the car, they are more rigid so there is less movement, making them safer in the event of collision.
What are the benefits of ISOFIX?
- Improved safety for your young passengers – they are fixed directly to the car
- Easy to install, reducing the chances of child seats being wrongly fitted
How do I know if my car has ISOFIX?
ISOFIX points are usually marked with the ISOFIX logo, or square blocks in the corners of both rear seats – sometimes with removable covers on them. Once you remove the covers, you’ll see metal loops.
How does ISOFIX work?
ISOFIX systems use two metal anchor points between the base of the seat car and the removable child car seat. In most cases, two prongs on the child’s car seat will need to be lined up with the ISOFIX point in the car (these are sometimes covered) and clipped into place.
Each car seat manufacturer will have slightly different installation instructions, so please refer to your manual for further details.
Electric cars & ISOFIX points
Electric cars have many benefits, including being excellent family cars. Most are fitted with two ISOFIX points as standard on the rear seats, but for growing families it’s good to know that there are a few with three or more! Here are some of our top picks.
1. Renault ZOE
The Renault ZOE doesn’t scream, family car due to its compact size – surprisingly however, it has three ISOFIX points (two rear and one in the front passenger seat), so might well be a viable option for families living in the city.
2. Tesla Model X
Space and style certainly come with a hefty price tag with the Tesla Model X. If your purse can stretch to it, the Model X with six or seven seats boosts an impressive four ISOFIX points. Great for families with young children (or children with lots of friends!).
3. Polestar 2
Another top spec electric car, the Polestar 2 features three ISOFIX points – plus plenty of other creature comforts for all the family too.
Compatible car seats
When choosing a car seat, it’s important to consider what car seat will be best for your car. There are three main types of ISOFIX compatible car seats that you can choose from:
1. Vehicle Specific Approval
These car seats are specifically designed to fit with certain cars, using a two-point connection system.
2. Semi-Universal Approval
These fit most, but not all cars. So, it’s worth checking before purchasing.
3. Universal Approval
You guessed it, these are universally compatible with all cars! If you purchase a universal approved car seat, chances are it will fit any car you drive. This type might be best for the subscribers amongst you in case you switch your electric car!
So there you have it!
Most modern cars, electric or otherwise should have at least two ISOFIX points available for car seats. If you already have a car seat, make sure that this fits with your car to ensure you can safely attach your children in before making a journey.
When did ISOFIX become mandatory?
ISOFIX points became mandatory in newly manufactured cars with more than four seats from November 2012, so any cars made after this will definitely have them.
How do I know if my car has ISOFIX points?
All new cars should have ISOFIX points. Look for the labels at the base of your rear or front passenger seats. Sometimes they are protected with a small cover.
Can you find ISOFIX points in the middle rear seat?
Some cars are wide enough to have ISOFIX points in the middle seat as well. Check the specification of your chosen car to see if this is a feature. The majority of cars have ISOFIX points on the two side rear seats.