Safety Standards : ISOFIX
ISOFIX stands for "International Standards Organisation FIX". It is a standard for installing child seats into cars and is intended to make fitting child seats quick and simple. ISOFIX points are required on both the vehicle and the child seat to enable the seat to be simply plugged into the ISOFIX points in the car.
Many new cars now have ISOFIX points built into them, however it is not yet mandatory and some new vehicles may not have them. New types of vehicles must be fitted with ISOFix points from November 2012 and all new vehicles must be fitted with it from November 2014. This will not apply to cars with only one row of seats, which will not be required to have ISOFIX
ISOFIX is an essential development because many people find it difficult to fit child seats correctly, and many surveys have found that a high proportion of the child seats are not fitted securely enough.
Most child seats are currently designed to be fitted by using a car's adult lap and diagonal seat belt (or sometimes, just a lap belt). However, car seats, seat belts, and their anchorages vary dramatically between different models of cars. Car seats have different shapes; some seat belts are much shorter than others, the position of the anchor points differs so some are further forward or have shorter stalks than others. All these factors make it virtually impossible to make a child car seat that fits all cars, and sometimes tricky to fit a child car seat correctly.
ISOFIX is designed to solve all these problems. The ultimate aim is that any ISOFIX child car seat you buy will fit your car simply by plugging it into the ISOFIX points.
The other benefit of ISOFIX is that it will create a rigid link between the child seat and the car to provide extra solidity.
It is important to make sure that any ISOFIX seats that you use in the vehicle are approved for it. It is not yet the case that an ISOFIX seat will fit in every car with ISOFIX points.
Many of the child seat manufacturers have a fitting list on their website that tells you which cars their seats will fit in, and you can click on the links below to take you to the fitting lists on different manufacturers websites
Your car's manufacturer, or a child seat retailer, may also be able to advise on the makes of seats which fit the ISOFix points in their vehicles. It is also best to visit a retailer with your car if you can, and ask to try the seat out in the car before you buy it.
To find out if your car has ISOFIX points, contact the manufacturer or dealer.