The law does not require child restraints to be provided in taxis, private hire vehicles, minicabs, minibuses, buses or coaches, although they must be used if available. However, seat belts must be worn, if fitted.
Taxis (including private hire vehicles and minicabs)
When booking a taxi, make sure it has seat belts and ask whether they can provide a suitable child restraint or whether you can use your own. Organisations that use taxis regularly should provide their own child restraints, if necessary. Some black cabs have an integral booster cushion in the rear for older children.
If the seat belts cannot be used (because the buckle is hidden under the seat, for example) ask the driver to fix it. If it cannot be fixed, do not use the vehicle - ask for a replacement.
If child restraints are not available, then children under 3 years may travel unrestrained in the rear and those 3 years to 135 cms in height must use an adult belt in the rear seat.
Children may travel in the front if they use the correct child seat/booster. The driver is responsible in law for making sure that children under 14 years use seatbelts or child seats/boosters as required.
Minibuses, Buses and Coaches
In small buses, up to 2,540 kg unladen weight (these are usually minibuses), children over 3 years old must wear seat belts, or use child restraints, if available.
On larger buses and coaches, all seated passengers aged 14 years or over must wear seat belts if they are fitted. The driver (or a conductor or similar person) must notify passengers when they board that they have to wear their belts and/or signs must be displayed at every seat.
At the moment, the law does not require passengers under 14 years old to use seat belts.
Operators are not required to provide child restraints, but if they are available and if they can be fitted properly, they must be used.
When booking a minibus, bus or coach, make sure it has seat belts and ask whether child restraints can be provided or whether you can use your own. But be aware that it may not be possible to fit them properly because the seats and seat belts are different from cars. In some of these vehicles it is possible to adjust the height of the seat belt so that they fit child passengers better.