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Plunket cans car seat rentals

Plunket has announced it will stop renting and selling child car seats, a service that’s helped thousands of families since it began in the 1980s.


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The number of car seat sites has dropped from 283 at its peak in the ‘80s to 72 today and the charity’s chief operating officer Andrea McLeod said it could no longer afford to offer the service.

“There are now many retailers better placed than Plunket to sell seats and our decision to move out of the rental and retail space, which has continued to make a loss for several years, will not see a drop in access to good, safe seats available to parents,” Ms McLeod said.

Consumer NZ’s database lets you compare 25 car seat models, with 1 of the 4 recommended models costing just $199. Plunket charges $75 and a $50 bond to rent an infant capsule for 6 months.

When Plunket’s service launched in 1981, its research found only 20 percent of children were being properly restrained in cars. In 2014, Ministry of Transport research found 93 percent of under-5s travel in car seats.

Plunket will phase out the service over the next 12-18 months, with Plunket saying it will now focus more on preventing children being injured at home.

“Over the years, our staff have carried out valuable work in helping thousands of families keep their children safer on the roads, and we are encouraged by the decline in the number of children killed or injured as a result of motor vehicle incidents,” Ms McLeod said.

“We feel we have an opportunity to build on this success and do more to help families protect their children in and around the home.”

Consumer NZ has advice on what type of restraint your baby needs and things to consider when you’re making a purchase.