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Buying used car seats: what you need to know

Used car seats can be sold as long as they comply with Health Canada’s January 2012 safety regulations. If your car seat has expired, was manufactured before January 1, 2011 or does not meet current safety regulations, it cannot be sold on or given away to another user. Instead it must be recycled as seen here. 

img via Transport Canada website

Selling used car seats

Car seats made prior to January 2011, regardless of expiry date, cannot be sold or passed on to another user. For car seats manufactured prior to January 2012 but after January 2011, the seller must contact the manufacturer to determine the seat’s compliance to car safety regulations. 

Only ad listings that include the manufacture date, expiry date and confirm that the seller has contacted the manufacturer will be allowed on our sites. This applies to all car seat ads.

All car seats are held by our Moderation Team for review. This could take up to 48 hours.

Buying used car seats

When you inspect the car seat in person, do not purchase it if it does not have the following information visible:

  • A National Safety Mark
  • Visible date of manufacture
  • Name and address of manufacturer, importer or retailer
  • Visible model make and number
  • Visible statement of height and weight range for user
  • Visible warning statement in English and French
  • Visible instructions in English and French – this could be an instructional sticker or an instruction manual

Do not purchase a car seat that has been in a collision, has been recalled, is missing any pieces or has been altered in any way. For further information, visit Transport Canada website or call Health Canada, 1-866-662-0666.


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16 Responses to “Buying used car seats: what you need to know”


I would love to know where your source is from? I do know that there are two parts to create the new rules when it comes to buying and selling used seats. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been waiting for something like this to be posted, hopefully usedeverywhere will start requiring much more info when carseats and booster seats are listed for sale on the site.


    Jennifer Aikman

    Hi there,

    We contacted both Transport Canada and Health Canada as well as pulled information from the links included in this blog post. However, if there’s more information out there, we’d love to hear about it. As for moderating used car and booster seats, we’ll be removing any ads without compliance information. We have a moderation team who watches for these ads as well we have an active online community that’s pretty good at flagging ads. As more information becomes available, we hope to keep our readers and site users informed.

    Please feel free to leave more comments or get in touch with me directly!

    Jennifer, Community Manager


I have a question, if my children’s car seats are not in compliance that I bought in 2011 (brand new) and should be discarded then who is going to replace them the manufacturer? cause I sure as hell am not going to go out and pay another $300+ to replace seats that shouldn’t have been on the market in the first place!



    If it hasn’t expired, it is still safe to use!

    You just can’t give away or sell pre-2012 seats. Just like Toys R Us cannot sell pre-2012 seats. neither can individual sellers.

    I have been hearing about people being told at prenatal classes to buy a new seat because they can’t use the one from the previous child. This is not true. Check your seat for expiry date, or for manufacture date. Check your manual; most of them tell you the life for your particular seat. If it is not expired and has not been in an accident, you can keep using it till either your kid outgrows it, or it expires.

Jennifer Aikman

Hi Mommyof2,

From what I understand, if you bought a carseat in 2011 and it isn’t compliant with the new regulations – you CAN continue to use it. However, you cannot give it away or sell it.

We bought a Graco My Ride 65 for our son for $300-ish in 2011 with the idea that he could use it for a few years. We discovered that our seat is no longer compliant, but we have decided to continue to use it. We just won’t be passing it on to anyone else.

Jennifer, Community Manager, UsedEverywhere



People are still going to continue to buy and sell used car seats, compliant or not. Not everyone can afford to go out and spend the money on a new car seat. If I am still able to use the one that is not “compliant” anymore.. why the heck can’t my neighbour use it. This is so ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    They may continue to do so, but they take a big risk with liability and possibly the law. These new requirements are there for the safety of a young life and we should all be compliant with it and teach others to as well. I personally thank companies like and kijiji (all the personell behind the scene of course) for being a good example to the public for following these new requirements and they are playing a big role to keep children safe.
    Purchasing second hand seats is risky too as you are never 100% certain with it’s history, a simple drop unknowing to the seller could make that seat dangerous to use. I am a Certified Child Restraint System Technician and I meet up with a lot of people who have the same concerns as you. You just need to understand the safety aspect of it, Transport Canada, Health Canada and the manufacture of you seat’s websites and 800#’s should provide you will all the info you need, as well check your area for Certified Child Restraint System Technicians as they can help you as well. Local fire stations, car dealer ships, and VON’s can help direct you.
    Example: If you were to sell/loan/give a seat to a neighbor that was not compliant to the new requirements (especially being aware of the changes) and that neighbor got in a collision and there child got injured or died, you would be the one liable. Same as if I took my neighbors child with me in my vehicle with an expired or non compliant seat that they gave me to use…and I got in collision, I’d be liable, not the parent.


My friend was told in the hospital when she had her baby not to long ago, the nurses told her carseats manufactured before January 1, 2012 are NOT to be sold, lended out etc.



    Good this tells me the info is spreading, but there are other factors, manufacturers where givin 2 years to make the change , so some seats made as early as 2010 are compliant. People need to understand the best thing they can do is take the serial number on the seat, call the 800 number and a rep from the company will tell you everything you need to know about your seat!


Also I would like to point out that every seat certified in Canada under go the exact safety requirements so they are all treated as equal. So a $3-400 seat is just as safe as the $120 seat I just got at Walmart on sale 🙂



    Hi Lesley, I read your post about all carseats are equal and I would have to disagree. Different makes and models get higher or lower scores on safety testing and are therefore rated as being safer. For example Britax seats have a tether belt so that when rear facing the back of the seat is secured to the floor of the vehicle. This prevents the seat and child from slamming into the adult seat on impact. These are some of the highest safety rated carseats out there!


Julia, I would have to agree with you. I have a Britax heavy duty bucket seat and a Britax regular car seat. One for my toddler and one for my soon to be born second. Just like in school, those who received 50% marks and those who received 90%+ marks both passed and graduated. But can we guess who’s going to law school and who isn’t?



Please some one tell me where all the used car seats go? I have a Graco 2009. Do we put them to the curb? Take to the dump? Who is paying for all this waste?


Heather Reimer

I was thinking of buying a second hand booster seat when my son is heavy enough to use one. He is 5 years old but only weighs 36 pounds. The one issue I have with buying second hand is weather it has been in a crash or not. The owner selling it could say it hasn’t but it has. There is no way to check is there? Other than taking the owners word for it?



    Hey Heather! Our car/booster seat postings, as per our Posting Policy, should include if they have been in any accidents. However, as far as I’m aware, you’re right, you would have to take the seller’s word. Let us know if you have any other questions, we love to hear from our users!

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