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Was I wrong in sending him out to buy something instead of renting?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

A (childless) colleague of mine asked me today if I knew something about carseats. While I'm not an expert, I certainly know more than he does.

 

He has friends coming to visit (today, apparently) with a 5 year old and a 2 year old. Friends are traveling by train and didn't bring the carseats. My colleague had borrowed a backless booster from a neighbor and was wondering if he could use it for the 2 1/2 year old, since the parents had said the 5 year old would be OK without a car seat.

 

I told him that the law in our state was:

1. The 2 1/2 year old needed a harnessed carseat, not a booster.

2. 5 year old needed a booster.

 

I said that the 5 year old could use the booster, but they needed an actual carseat for the toddler. He asked about renting one. I said "you know, for the price that you could rent one for, you'd probably be better going to Target and buying one. I also am not sure I trust the rented ones."

 

So, he's off to Target now to buy a carseat. Should I have let him rent one? He can get a Costco Scenra for $60. I'm feeling a little guilty about 'making' him spend so much money for a guest.

post #2 of 12

You are not wrong in the advice you gave him at all. It was his choice to go out and buy one, he could have ignored you! I don't think you have anything to feel guilty about.

post #3 of 12

I would have done/said the same thing. The 5yo should be fine in a booster and, if they aren't that great at installing seats the 2yo should be fine in a FF scenera (it is much easier to install FF if you've never had practice doing it RF---and it's better to be used correctly FF than incorrectly RF). Kudos to your friend for making sure his guests are safe!!

post #4 of 12

Didn't even know you COULD rent a car seat.  Where does one even do that?

 

I think it is a bit odd that the host is in charge of figuring this out.  Why wouldn't the children's parents either bring car seats along (what I would do if I were going somewhere) or make arrangements themselves?  Putting that on a childless host seems odd to me. 

 

In general, if I were hosting someone for a short period of time and they didn't bring car seats, I'd borrow (actually I have a number of extras here anyway from carpooling).  But given that our area was just hit with snow and below freezing temps, I'd want all kids as safely buckled as possible if I had to be on the roads in these conditions. 

 

How long is their visit?  What did the parents say/want/expect?  What is your friend going to do with the practically new carseat once the guests leave?

post #5 of 12

60 dollars is pretty good for a new carseat, and he can sell it after, or donate it.  I think you made the right suggestion.

post #6 of 12

Considering the average daily rental rates are 10-15 per day that does not include deposit buying was most likely cheaper.  If that 2 year old spilled anything on a rented car seat you are paying rental fee and deposit.  

post #7 of 12

Are you talking about car rental company seats or using a baby rental company? I would trust the latter more than the car rental place. Those seats are dire and Marsupialmom is right. If they're staying more than 4 or so days, the Scenera would cost less.

 

I can't tell you how much the baby rental car seats would be. It depends on the city, the company and how much other gear is being rented. You can even call the baby rental and ask all the niggly questions like what they are, what year and model and how they are maintained. I'm really mentioning this for anyone who sees this thread later on.

 

$60 might not be a lot for him. Perhaps there is a chance that these visitors might return in the near future, or perhaps other guests with children. He now has a car seat that will fit a child from birth to 3 1/2, so it's not a bad deal! He can donate it to a women's shelter or other charity if he wants afterwards, and take it off his taxes.

 

Don't feel guilty. 

post #8 of 12

I own a baby rental company and all of my car seats are practically brand new.  I have heard horror stories about rental car company car seats.  The PP is right about the costs depending on what is being rented.  For future reference for others reading this, I welcome calls asking all the questions you want answered!  I imagine most other baby rental companies do too.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmhpke96 View Post

I own a baby rental company and all of my car seats are practically brand new.  I have heard horror stories about rental car company car seats.  The PP is right about the costs depending on what is being rented.  For future reference for others reading this, I welcome calls asking all the questions you want answered!  I imagine most other baby rental companies do too.



Are you absolutely totally 110% positive that none of your customers ever, ever, ever, ever, ever get into any fender-benders (even a minor parking lot bump--because MANY brands require replacement after THOSE even)? And that none of them EVER spill any kind of milk or juice on the harness? How do you regulate this? I'm not asking in any way to attack you, I'm just genuinely curious. What kind of liability insurance do you have to carry in order to rent car seats to people which are in charge of children's lives? If your seat fails, do you have to pay for their medical bills? Or do you have parents sign a waiver?

Thank you for answering as I am very curious how a rental place works!

post #10 of 12

Wal Mart and Target have reduced the Scenera to $39.  Great deal.

post #11 of 12

Dh pointed out that if he keeps the box, he can donate it to a shelter or pregnancy center after his company goes home.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnymw View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by bmhpke96 View Post

I own a baby rental company and all of my car seats are practically brand new.  I have heard horror stories about rental car company car seats.  The PP is right about the costs depending on what is being rented.  For future reference for others reading this, I welcome calls asking all the questions you want answered!  I imagine most other baby rental companies do too.



Are you absolutely totally 110% positive that none of your customers ever, ever, ever, ever, ever get into any fender-benders (even a minor parking lot bump--because MANY brands require replacement after THOSE even)? And that none of them EVER spill any kind of milk or juice on the harness? How do you regulate this? I'm not asking in any way to attack you, I'm just genuinely curious. What kind of liability insurance do you have to carry in order to rent car seats to people which are in charge of children's lives? If your seat fails, do you have to pay for their medical bills? Or do you have parents sign a waiver?

Thank you for answering as I am very curious how a rental place works!



Well, I can't be 110% positive that a customer has not been in a fender-bender, I think it is hard to be 110% of anything.  And there is no eating/drinking allowed in my car seats.  I am 99% positive that nothing has ever been spilled on any of the harnesses because I clean them and that is something that would be easy to notice.  People who are renting car seats are not taking the time to cover-up any spills.

I have all my parents sign a waiver before they rent with me.  The waiver states they must inform me of any accidents, minor or otherwise, and that there is no eating/drinking in the car seats.  As far as liability insurance for my business, I have none.  I have my company in an LLC to protect myself.  I know many, many other owners of businesses such as mine and none of them have liability insurance.  There are a few national companies that do have it but it is cost prohibitive for someone like me to carry it.

To be honest, car seats are not one of my big rental items.  People here usually take a shuttle from the airport and don't use car seats.  I would say that each of my car seats has been used under 10 times and is still in almost new condition.

Hope I answered your questions!

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