Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Car Seat Ratings Systems: What the Numbers Really Mean

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

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...

Related questions

Q: What materials do you need to do an oil and oil filter change?

In order of importance, you need safety glasses, nitrile gloves (or like gloves that will effectively keep used oil off your skin), a low capacity torque wrench (to re-tighten the drain plug typically to 18 ft. lbs., but see your...

Q: How do you attach a child seat tether to the upper anchor?

If you’re using a child seat that features a tether, it should be secured to the anchor point above the rear seat in the car. Here’s how to attach it: Pull the tether out and up to the top...

Q: How do I install a car seat using the Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren system?

Your car features anchor points for securing a car seat called the Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) system. This provides additional security and stability for your child. Here’s how to use it: Locate the anchor points (they’re...