Should I buy a second hand Multimac?

When it comes to children’s car seats, the standard guidance is that you should never purchase them second hand, but as Multimac is unique, different rules apply.

What makes Multimac special?

The first thing to note about Multimac is that, unlike standard car seats, they are built to last. Most children’s car seats have a six to ten year lifespan, and should be replaced after around six years of use, meaning you’d be unwise to purchase a second hand seat. This is because the typical child’s car seat is predominantly made of plastic, so over time the materials will degrade and it then wouldn’t perform as well in the event of a collision.

Multimac is different because it’s stronger: it’s made to last, and is mainly made of aluminum so it won’t degrade over time, and will continue to perform exceptionally in crashes for many years. 

In addition to this, the typical recommendation would be to never purchase a child’s car seat second hand in case it has been involved in an accident, because you cannot visually inspect for plastic fatigue.

However this doesn’t apply to second hand Multimacs.  Any serious accident will deform the chassis, and we can advise from photographs if this has happened.

Whilst it’s great that Multimac can be used for many years, and they are suitable for second hand purchases, there are a few things to note before you go ahead and purchase one.

Fitting Kits

When a Multimac is first purchased, we always have to know the car that the seat will be fitted into. This is because each car has its own unique fitting kit, and they aren’t typically transferable between cars. Whilst there are a few cars that have similar or the same fitting kits, there are at least twenty different versions of the kit available, so the chances of purchasing a second hand Multimac with the correct fitting kit included are very low. 

Below are three different fitting kits, just to illustrate how much the fitting kits can vary from car to car.

On top of this, for safety reasons, we’d always strongly advise purchasing a new fitting kit regardless of what’s included with the second hand seat. The fitting kit will be used to fit your Multimac to your car, so ensuring it’s properly and securely fitted is of paramount importance. If your seat hasn’t been properly fitted, or the incorrect fitting kit has been used, your Multimac will be unable to properly perform in the event of a collision. 

There are two types of fitting kit available: standard and special; standard fitting kit is £39, and a special fitting kit is £49. The special fitting kits are for cars that do not have sufficient mounting points for the Multimac tether straps, so would have to have mounting points drilled by a fitting agent. The majority of cars just use the standard fitting kit, and it’s only around 5% of cars that would require a special fitting kit.

It’s also worth mentioning that different cars may also require additional accessories. For example, if your car has especially dipped or reclined seats, you would need to purchase a spacer kit in order for the Multimac to be able to be properly installed and sit flush on your existing seats. Another example of an accessory your car may need would be replacement buckles; if your car has seat belt buckles on stiff stalks, they would likely be crushed by the Multimac when it’s installed, so we offer replacement buckles on webbing so that they can be tucked safely away under the Multimac and you can still use the back seat once the Multimac is removed.

You can check which kit and accessories your car would need by using our ‘Will It Fit’ section on the website, and then purchase the necessary items from the website also.

Freshening The Seat Up

As with the majority of products created for and used by children, after a few years they will start to show signs of wear and tear. Typically, on a second hand seat you may need to replace the chest pads or harness, as these are the most used parts of the seat, and tend to be fiddled with by the child using the seat. In addition to this, we’d recommend replacing the harnesses as standard anyway, as you’re unable to know how they’ve been used or maintained by the previous owner. 

Because of the way the Multimac was designed, every component of the seat can be replaced if needed, but if you buy a badly abused seat which needs everything replacing, you may have been better off buying a new one instead.

There’s a slight complication if you purchased a bespoke real leather second hand seat which needs covers replacing, as we may have to source and match the original leather: This is of course possible but may take time.  

All replacement parts can be purchased directly from our website, and if you need any additional help or information, we’re only an email or phone call away.

Warranty on second hand seats

As standard, Multimacs come with a 24 month warranty which covers everything.. A downside of purchasing a second hand seat, is that you do not have this luxury, so if you needed anything replacing on the seat, you would have to pay for any repairs/replacements. 

Multimacs brand new or second hand are an investment, however when purchasing a brand new seat, you have the peace of mind and the comfort of knowing that you have the warranty to fall back on.

So, is it worth it?

The short answer is: it depends on you and your family. When it comes down to a car seat or a product designed for safety, some people would rather purchase brand new, so they know exactly what the product has been through and how it’s been treated and maintained. However, if that is not possible for you, as long as you do the proper research and purchase the items needed, you should have absolutely no issues with a second hand Multimac.