Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Car Seat Ratings Systems: What the Numbers Really Mean

Car rating

Walk into any big box baby store you’ll find a dizzying array of stuff you never imagined that you’d need. Bassinets, footed pajamas, infant tubs - you name it, they have it.

They also have rows and rows of car seats, all of which look alike. But are they?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a database that rates car seats based on a five-star system that evaluates car seats based on:

  • Quality of instructions
  • Ease of installation
  • Clarity of labeling
  • Ease of securing your child

Car seats come in three categories:

  • RF - Rear facing seats
  • FF - Forward facing
  • B - Booster

The NHTSA breaks down the five-star rating system as follows:

  • 5 Stars = The car seat is excellent for its respective category.
  • 4 Stars = Above average features, instructions, and overall ease-of-use for its category.
  • 3 Stars = An average product for its category.
  • 2 Stars = Below-average features, instructions, labeling and ease-of-use for its category.
  • 1 Star = Poor overall features for this child safety seat.

Although car seats may look alike, they’re not. Parents can view a complete list of safety seat models and ratings by visiting the NHTSA website.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How Long Does a Vacuum Brake Booster Check Valve Last?
The braking system on your car requires a lot of pressure. The vacuum booster is one of the main sources of this pressure. This booster will take the pressure that...
How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...


Related questions

Q: What is the recommended tire inflation pressure?

It is very important to always have your tires properly inflated. The proper tire inflation pressure is located on the Safety Compliance Certification Label or the Tire label, which are on the B-Pillar, near the door latch, or on the...

Q: How should small children be seated?

Like infants, small children must be seated correctly in your car to ensure safety. Most states have very specific height and weight restrictions concerning child seating – consult your state’s DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) for the rules that apply...

Q: How do you use a booster seat?

Eventually, your little one will outgrow that car seat. However, they’re still too small to sit in the seat and use the seat belt like an adult. That means it’s time to invest in a booster seat. Here’s what you...