Q) I need to buy a new car that's capable of carrying three child seats. I have two children (aged four and two) with another on the way, and I've discovered that the back seat of my Nissan Primera is too narrow for three child seats. Do you have any suggestions? Do I need to go for a seven-seater, or will something smaller suffice?
A) The answer depends as much on the size and shape of the three child seats as it does on the car. If you cram three seats along a single row, the plastic seatbelt buckles could press against the frame of the child seats, which would increase the risk of the buckles shattering in an accident.
At the very least, you'll need a car with three individual seats in the back rather than the usual bench that's fitted to most vehicles. A five-seat MPV, such as the Citroen C4 Picasso and Renault Scenic, may suit.
However, if the child seats are particularly large or bulky, you might need a seven-seater, so that one child seat can be fitted to the third row of seats. If so, the Peugeot 5008 and Citroen Grand C4 Picasso are good bets.
Take your child seats along to any test drive to check if they'll fit. For help choosing the right child seat, you can get advice from trained staff at Halfords, John Lewis and Mothercare,.