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

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...


Related questions

Q: How do I use the power folding mirrors?

The power folding side view mirrors can be folded inward to decrease the size of your car. This feature should be used to help you fit your car into tight spaces, or as a safety feature when driving through an...

Q: There is trouble locking the left rear passenger door - 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. Open the left passenger rear door and check to see what setting the child lock is on. If the lock is not on and it is set to unlock, then move the lever...

Q: How do you use a tether to secure a child seat?

If your child’s car seat or booster seat includes a tether, it’s highly recommended that you use it. Tethers provide important security for both front and rear facing car seats, as well as booster seats of all sizes. Using the...