How Long Are Car Seats Good For And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 4th, 2022

Exact answer: between the ages of 6 and 10 years (Approximately)

When we think about comfort, the first thing that comes to mind is car seats. Car seats do have a shelf life. Car seats, too, have an expiration date that the manufacturer sets.

black leather car seat in car

Though the automobile seats will not start melting or powdering, they should be changed after a certain amount of time.

How Long Do Car Seats Last?

In general, automobile seats have a lifespan of six to 10 years from the date of manufacture. So, if someone has been using car seats for more than six years, they should prepare to replace them.

Car seats are constructed of plastic, metal components, and textiles that cover the seating area. The expiry date is determined by a mix of technology, product integrity, current standards, and frequency of usage.

The material utilized to make the chairs also influences their lifespan. Some materials are more durable and may be used for a longer period than chairs constructed of less durable materials. The duration of the chairs is also affected by the design and technique of installation.

The simplest approach to find out when seats will expire is to ask the manufacturer or read the handbook given, which provides information about the serial number, production date, and expiration date. Seat replacement is beneficial to you, your family, and your safety.

CompanyExpiring period
Britax9 years approximately
Chicco6-7 years
Cosconearly 6 years
Dionobetween 6-10 years
Evenflo6 years
Gracobetween 7 – 10 years
Evenflo Symphony8 years
Evenflo Safemax10 years

Why do car seats have an expiration date?

There are a few reasons why car seats expire, and one of them isn’t car seat manufacturers aiming to trouble you.

Normal wear and tear

Your car seat may be one of the most often used pieces of infant equipment you possess, probably only equaled by the cot. You’re probably buckling and unbuckling your kid several times with each trip to the grocery, daycare, or play date.

You’ll also find yourself adjusting the seat as your child grows, wiping up stains and spills as best you can, and wincing when your teething baby nibbles on straps or knocks on cupholders.

If you reside in a hot climate, your seat may scorch in the sun while your car is parked, resulting in microscopic fractures in the plastic that you can’t even see.

All of this wears down the fabric and components of a car seat, so it stands to reason that the seat — meant to keep your child safe — would not last indefinitely. And, without a doubt, you want to ensure your child’s safety.

Modifications to legislation and standards

Transportation agencies, professional medical organizations (such as the American Academy of Pediatrics), and car seat manufacturers regularly evaluate the safety and crash testing. This is a fantastic thing for all parents.

Furthermore, technology is always developing. This implies that car seat safety statistics can be improved when new features, materials, or technologies are developed.

Assume you purchase a rear-facing car seat that will support your child up to a particular weight, but the weight guidelines for a rear-facing seat change.

Although it is not required by law to replace your seat, the manufacturer may discontinue it and cease producing replacement components – not to mention that you no longer have the safest seat possible for your child.

The expiry date may account for these changes, making you less likely to have a faulty seat.

Manufacturer testing has limitations.

When a manufacturer or any other car seat brand tests a car seat, they don’t expect you’ll still be shoving your 17-year-old into it and driving them to their senior prom. As a result, it comes to reason that car seats are not tested to evaluate how they hold up after 17 years of usage.

Even all-in-one car seats, which convert from rear-facing to forward-facing to boosters, have weight or age restrictions, and car seat and booster usage normally stop around the age of 12 (depending on the child’s size). As a result, car seats are rarely evaluated beyond 10–12 years of usage.


In an ideal world, you would register your car seat as soon as you purchase it so that the manufacturer can notify you of any product recalls. In the real world, you’re up to your eyeballs in newborn-related activities, not to mention sleep-deprived.

You might be utilizing a (recent and unexpired) hand-me-down car seat without a registration card.

Expiration dates ensure that even if you miss a recall notification, you’ll have a generally up-to-date car seat that is less likely to have issues.

Where can you discover the expiration date of your car seat?

Expiration dates are often printed on a label on the seat, although they may also be stamped directly into the plastic shell in some situations. They’re frequently located next to the model number of the car seat.

Infant seats with removable bases may have different expiration dates on the base and the seat itself, so double-check both.

In certain circumstances, the date on the seat is an actual expiration date. (It may read something like “Do not use after DATE.”)

At times, the date may indicate the year the car seat was made. If that’s the case, you’ll have to determine the expiration date yourself by counting ahead six years — the AAP’s suggested number of years for car seats.

Don’t use a seat if you can’t determine how old it is because it doesn’t have an expiration date or manufacturing date. It might be too old or obsolete to safeguard your youngster in the case of a collision.

What should I do with a car seat that has reached the end of its useful life?

Once a seat’s expiration date has passed, it is no longer safe to use. Before putting it out for trash collection, you should get rid of it by taking it to a car seat trade-in program (which may be offered through big-box shops like Target or Walmart), recycling it, or disassembling it.


Nothing lasts forever, including car seats. When purchasing seats or an automobile, the material utilized in their manufacture should be scrutinized. The parts utilized should also be double-checked to ensure no duplicate material. High-quality seats lessen the likelihood of injuries in the event of an accident.

Car seats that have reached the end of their useful life should not be reused or donated; instead, they should be discarded. Car seats may also be recycled if suitable processes and methods are followed. Expired car seats raise the risk of injury and decrease safety.


Editorial Staff

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