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Are Car Seats Allowed in Rental Trucks?

June 25th, 2015 - 3:04 PM

Car seats and moving trucks. How does that work?

While car seats are often used to protect children in the back seats of personal vehicles, it can be unclear whether they can or should be used in rental trucks. Some truck rental companies are OK with car seats, while others aren’t. You might even be a little uneasy yourself about putting your baby in a moving truck.

car seats in moving trucks

To help clarify, we’ll walk you through the most important information regarding car seats in rental trucks. And, we’ll introduce another option that may be a better alternative for you and your family.

What does the NHTSA say about car seats?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that a child be restrained in the back seat at least through age 12. It’s estimated that putting a child in the back seat reduces the risk of injury and death by more than 30%.

U-Haul®, Budget®, and Penske® trucks do not have back seats – only front seats, which makes it impossible to follow this recommendation.

Is it legal to put a car seat in a moving truck?

While there’s no federal law that says your child can or can’t ride in a car seat in a rental, each state has its own child passenger safety laws that both travelers and residents should follow (whether driving a personal vehicle or rental). Before you move, review the laws in each state you plan to travel through so you’re prepared.

Do rental truck companies allow car seats?

Each major truck rental company has expressed their own thoughts on the subject of car seats:

Can you put a car seat in a U-Haul truck?

According to the U-Haul website, most of their trucks may not satisfy local requirements for car seats. They also state that young children and those in car seats shouldn’t be seated in front seats.

  • Seating: Most U-Haul trucks have three seats. The 10 ft. trucks only have two seats. U-Haul trucks don’t have back seats.
  • Seat belts: If the truck has three seats, all seats use a lap belt. If the truck has two seats, both the driver and passenger have safety restraints.
  • Airbags: All U-Haul trucks have driver’s side airbags, but not all have passenger side airbags.

Can you put a car seat in a Penske truck?

(Updated 7/1/2015)

According to a Penske representative, you can put a child seat or booster seat in the trucks. They advise that you tell the location a car seat will be in the truck so they can turn off the airbags.

  • Seating: The 12 ft. and 16 ft. trucks are equipped with two bucket seats. The 22 ft. and 26 ft. trucks both have a 3-person bench seat. Penske trucks don’t have back seats.
  • Seat belts: All Penske trucks have safety restraints for each seat.
  • Airbags: In some trucks, airbags are available for both the driver and passenger.

Can you put a car seat in a Budget truck?

(Information updated 7/1/2015)

According to a Budget representative, they do not recommend placing a car seat or booster seat in the truck.

  • Seating: The 10 ft. and 16 ft. trucks both have two seats. The 24 ft. truck has a 3-person bench seat. Budget trucks don’t have back seats.
  • Seat belts: All Budget trucks have safety restraints.
  • Airbags: Most trucks have airbags.

What’s the bottom line?

Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Remember, the NHTSA recommends children stay in the back seat at least through age 12, and none of the rental truck companies above offer trucks with back seats.

If you’re feeling a little nervous about putting your baby in a rental truck (even though some companies say it’s OK), an affordable “you pack, we drive” alternative like U-Pack® may be the best choice for your family.

U-Pack: an alternative for families moving with children in car seats

U-Pack is different from truck rental in one BIG way – you don’t have to drive a rental truck. Instead, you can drive the family car, or opt to fly while your belongings are delivered to your new home. Simply, U-Pack removes the worry of putting your child in a rental truck.

What’s even better is that U-Pack prices are competitive with truck rental when moving long distance.

Get a free moving quote online (it includes the driver, taxes, fuel, and standard liability coverage), or call 800-413-4799 for a quote. A U-Pack moving consultant will be happy to help you get rates and answer any questions you have. Or, leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you right away.

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