Car seats are mandatory in Singapore for all children under the age of eight. But should you travel in a taxi without one?
This article contains practical advice and insights into the laws governing the use of child seats and baby capsules in Singapore and provides useful information on how you can ensure that you fully protect the safety of your baby and children while transporting them by car or taxi.
The laws governing car seats in Singapore
- All children under the age of 8 should be securely fastened in a government-approved car seat, booster seat or child restraint when traveling in a vehicle, whether this is their parent’s vehicle, or not. Any drivers who transport children without suitable car seats and restraints in Singapore will be fined $120 SGD and will be awarded three points on their driving license.
- The only people exempt from this law are taxi drivers who cannot be reasonably expected to carry a variety of different child seats and restraints. The only safe way to deal with this is to take your own seat with you when transporting a child in a taxi. See our guide to taxi car seat solutions in Singapore for some ideas or our list of taxis with child car seats in Singapore. Please note, as of January 2017, ride-hailing services such as Grab and Uber are not exempt from rules requiring car seats for young children. As such, if you plan on using one of those services, you will need to take a suitable car seat with you.
- Children who are below the age of 8 but who are too large to sit in a car seat may use a booster seat. The seat must boost the child to the height at which they can use adult seat belts safely and securely.
Using car seats in Singapore
The type of seat you will need will depend upon the height of the child that you will be transporting. The official law is that anyone below the height of 1.35 m needs to be appropriately secured with a child restraint (see recommendations below). Those taller than 1.35 m, irrespective of their age, need to wear a seat belt. The penalty for failing to comply is a $120/- fine and 3 demerit points for the driver. Offenders may be charged in court. A first-time offender may be fined up to $1,000/- or jailed up to 3 months. Repeat offender may be fined up to $2,000/- or jailed up to 6 months.
There are a number of basic steps that you should follow in order to ensure that your child is transported safely at all times.
- Ensure that you use the right type of seat or restraint for your child’s weight and height. Don’t be tempted to purchase a car seat that is for slightly older children so that it will last longer. This will not adequately protect your child during transit.
- Make sure that you install the car seat or restraint properly and that it fits your car. Never use a seat that is not fully secure.
- Position your babies and children in rearward facing seats for as long as you can, as these offer the highest levels of protection.
- Never use car seats on seats that are facing an airbag as this is very, very dangerous. If you do want to place your baby in a car seat next to you on the front seat, make sure you disable the air bags.
Recommended seat types by age and weight
|Babies up to 9 months old||Up to 10 kg||Infant Capsule|
|Toddlers aged between 9 months and 4 years||9 – 18kg||Convertible Seat|
|Older children 4 to 8 years old (under 1.35 m)||19 – 36kg||Booster Seat|
|Older children and adults taller than 1.35 m||Seat belt|
In addition to purchasing a suitable car seat or restraint you may also need the following:
- Sun shades and UV protectors for car windows to protect your baby’s delicate eyes.
- A mirror so that you can position near any babies who are traveling a rear facing capsule as this will allow you to observe them from the driver’s seat.
- A head support for very young babies.
- A ‘baby in car’ sign or notice for the back window.
Please never overlook the laws and risk the safety of your precious children. Car seats in Singapore are necessary when transporting your children. Take a look at our car safety checklist for further advice.