Information is available from the Trading Standards Institute to help consumers. Please note the county council is not responsible for this information.
In the guide
This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales
When you buy a pram or a pushchair from a trader you are making a legally binding contract, which is covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This law gives you rights and remedies against the trader if the pram or pushchair fails to meet your expectations, possibly because it is faulty.
Manufacturers and retailers have a duty under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 to supply products, both new and second-hand, that are safe in normal or reasonably foreseeable use. There are European Union-wide standards for safety that cover many products; the relevant safety standard for prams and pushchairs is BS EN 1888: Child care articles. Wheeled child conveyances. Safety requirements and test methods. In addition, prams and pushchairs must comply with the fire resistance requirements of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.
Style, features and price will be important to you when you are deciding whether to buy your new or second-hand pram or pushchair, but it is also important to carry out visual safety checks.
How can you tell if a pram or pushchair is safe?
The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 place a duty on manufacturers and retailers to supply products, both new and second-hand, that are safe for consumers when used in a normal or reasonably foreseeable way. The characteristics of a product (how it is made, packaging and any instructions for assembly), the effect of the product on other products it is used with, its presentation (labelling, warnings and any instructions for use and disposal) and the types of consumers using the product are all important factors when deciding if a product is safe.
One of the ways a product can be judged as being safe is if it complies with a relevant safety standard. In the case of prams and pushchairs, the safety standard is BS EN 1888. This sets out the safety requirements related to the types of material used in manufacture, construction, parking, folding, the locking device and the safety harness. There are tests for, amongst other things, entrapment hazards, sharp points and detachable parts, a bite test to check the accessibility of the foam on the bumper bar, handling and impact testing.
Prams and pushchairs should be permanently labelled to show that they conform to the safety standard; labels can usually be found on the frame or on the seat pad. You should also look for a label with the name, the trademark or other means of identification of the UK manufacturer, distributor or retailer. The Regulations state that clear essential warnings and safety information must be provided.
What about fire resistance?
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 set levels of fire resistance and apply, amongst other things, to upholstered products designed to contain a baby or small child, such as prams or pushchairs. The fire resistance requirements of the regulations apply to new and used prams and pushchairs. New prams and pushchairs should have a prominent and clearly visible label attached to them at the point of sale, stating that they meet the requirements of the Regulations. They should also carry a permanent securely attached label giving the manufacturer or importer's name and postcode and a description of the filling and a description of the coverings. It must also include the caution 'CARELESSNESS CAUSES FIRE'. Check for the permanent label on both new and used prams and pushchairs. If they do not have one, it must be assumed that they do not meet the requirements of the Regulations.
What should you look out for when buying a pram or pushchair?
If a pram or pushchair has been damaged or modified, it may no longer be safe. Before making your purchase:
What are your legal rights?
It is an important element of a contract that the trader must give you specific pre-contract information as set out in the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. The 'Buying from business premises: on-premises contracts explained', 'Buying by internet, phone & mail order: distance contracts explained' and 'Buying at home: off-premises contracts explained' guides explain what these pre-contract requirements are. If a trader does not provide the required information, you can make a claim to have your costs reimbursed (if you have any).
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 sets out what you are entitled to expect from the pram or pushchair supplied by a trader. These are commonly referred to as your 'statutory rights'. The law also gives you remedies against the trader if they fail to meet your expectations.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 does not entitle you to anything if:
The guide 'Sale & supply of goods: your consumer rights' gives more information on your rights and which remedy you are entitled to.
Do you have any rights when you buy a second-hand pram or pushchair?
Yes. You have the same rights when you are supplied with a second-hand pram or pushchair as you do when you are supplied with a new one. However, because it has been used you should be realistic and have different, possibly lower, expectations when deciding if it is of satisfactory quality. Check the pram or pushchair thoroughly before you buy; you may not be entitled to make a claim for it not being of satisfactory quality if it is something you ought to have discovered or that was pointed out to you beforehand.
What about your guarantee?
There are rules that apply when a trader or a manufacturer offers a free guarantee with the pram or pushchair that is supplied to you.
So what is a guarantee? This is a statement given by a trader or a manufacturer that the pram or pushchair will meet certain standards and if it does not, you will be entitled to claim a refund, replacement or repair.
There is no obligation on a trader or a manufacturer to offer a guarantee but if they do so, it is legally binding. For example, if a trader refuses to repair the pram or pushchair when the guarantee states that they will do so, the trader may be in breach of contract and you can make a claim. This might be for the cost of getting it repaired elsewhere. The 'Guarantees & warranties' guide gives more information on these rules.
Do you have the same rights when a pram or pushchair is in a sale?
Yes, but if the pram or pushchair is reduced in price because of a fault and it was brought to your attention before you bought it or if you examined it and should have spotted the fault, then you would not be entitled to a remedy from the trader for that particular fault.
Do you have the same protection when buying privately or online?
The general rule is 'let the buyer beware' when you buy from a private seller, as you do not have the same legal rights as you do when buying from a trader. You are entitled to expect that the private seller has 'good title' to the pram or pushchair (which means that the seller owns it) and that it is 'as described'. You do not have the right to expect that the pram or pushchair is of satisfactory quality or fit for its purpose unless the seller informed you that it was. This also applies if you buy from a private seller online or through an internet auction.
If you decide to buy a pram or pushchair from a trader by distance means, such as from a website, you have the same legal rights as you have when buying from a trader's premises. The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 give you extra protection because the contract you enter into is concluded at a distance and without face-to-face contact. You have the right to cancel most 'distance' contracts and the cancellation period is 14 days. See 'Buying by internet, phone & mail order: distance contracts explained' for more information.
An 'internet auction' describes a website that allows people to buy and sell goods and includes competitive bidding. As a buyer, you should:
You have the same legal rights when buying from a trader at an internet auction as you have when buying from their premises. The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 also apply to internet auctions. You may have the right to cancel a purchase from a trader if you change your mind, regardless of whether it is sold through the auction or via 'buy it now'.
Do you have any more protection?
If you enter into a contract because a trader misled you or used an aggressive commercial practice, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 give you rights to redress: the right to unwind the contract, the right to a discount and the right to damages. See the guide 'Misleading & aggressive practices: your rights to redress' for more information. You can report complaints about unfair trading practices to the Citizens Advice consumer service for referral to trading standards.
If you paid for the pram or pushchair on finance arranged by a trader or if you paid using your credit card and it cost more than £100 but less than £30,000, you have rights under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Section 75 of the Act makes the finance / card provider as responsible as the trader for a breach of contract or misrepresentation. This could include supplying a faulty pram or pushchair, non-delivery or making false claims about it. You are entitled to take action against the trader, the finance / card provider or both. If you are unhappy with the finance / card provider's response then you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
If you use a debit card to buy the pram or pushchair or if you use a credit card and the price of the item is less that £100 (your rights under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 would not apply) you may be able to take advantage of the chargeback scheme. Chargeback is the term used by card providers for reclaiming a card payment from the trader's bank. If you provide evidence of a breach of contract (such as the pram or pushchair not being delivered, is faulty or the trader has ceased trading) you can ask your card provider to attempt to recover the payment. Check with your card provider as to how the scheme rules apply to your card, whether internet transactions are covered and what the time limit is for making a claim.
If you use a debit card or a credit card to service an online payment system that you used to buy the pram or pushchair, it is unlikely that you will be able to use either the Consumer Credit Act 1974 or the chargeback scheme to claim from your card provider in the event of a dispute. However, the online payment system may have its own dispute resolution process, which may assist you in getting your problem resolved.
What to do if things go wrong?
This guide gives you information on the rights you have and the remedies you are entitled to. The 'Sale & supply of goods: what to do if things go wrong' guide explains the practical steps you can take when complaining to a trader.
Last reviewed / updated: August 2018
This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.
The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.
For further information please contact the Citizens Advice consumer service, which provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit the Citizens Advice website or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.
© 2018 itsa Ltd.
The county council is not responsible for this information.