Taxi travel with kids creates a number of different concerns and questions for us all. Below is a brief outline of things which may be worth considering;
Where possible, it is best if you can supply your own car seat when intending to travel in a taxi to ensure that your child is safe. All taxis should have the correct anchor point for fitting the restraint, but it is always advisable to call the taxi company in advance to check.
Taxi companies may be able to provide child restraints if they are given sufficient notice. A surcharge is the norm for the hire of the child seat and you will often have to pay for the taxi to collect the seat from a depot or taxi company’s headquarters. Your journey will be metered from the car seat collection point, to wherever you are picked up and then onto your final destination. Check all charges with your taxi company in advance and ensure that you book your vehicle well in advance (at least an hour).
Older children (up to age 7 years) must use a child restraint if one is available. If there isn’t one available, the child must wear a properly fastened and adjusted seatbelt.
The rules for travelling in taxis with very young children do vary from state to state within Australia. It is advisable to check with taxi companies when booking and to order a child seat in advance. Customer service desks at airports (both within Australia and internationally) should be able to assist you with booking taxis with child seats if you are not able to pre-book a taxi prior to your arrival.
- One idea which may be useful for travel is to take a small booster seat or booster cushion, which sits on the taxi seat. This will lift the child up from the taxi seat and help to lift the seat belt away from the child’s neck. Also look at “seat belt adjuster’s”. I believe this is a better option than nothing at all, as per current taxi regulations. (Of course a high back booster and harness is preferable, when possible).
- Consider hiring a car and driver. This can be an easier, though more costly option than a taxi. Here you can easily book ahead and the car seat will be installed with a friendly driver waiting for you at baggage claim on your arrival.
- Unless you need more than 2 car seats installed, hiring a car may be a useful option (more on this coming in a separate post).
Here is a recent newspaper article explaining one Dad’s frustrations Fare Go for Kids in Cabs.
More to come
We are asked regularly about this topic and I have certainly found it to be a big area with many issues and alternatives to consider. I will be posting more on this in the future. Any questions or comments please let me know.