The European Standard
European child restraints- those with the 'E' marking on them come with a recommended period of use, which will usually be between 5 and 10 years from date of purchase. The advice from our European suppliers is that the recommended period of use shouldn't be taken too literally, that the most important thing is that you only use car seats that you know the full history of (no buying or selling second hand car seats, no renting car seats), and that you do not use a car seat after the car it was travelling in has been in an accident.
We recommend that you just use car seats within your family, and look after them in between children by storing them in a cool, dry, dark place. In some cases some family's may use their car seats for one or two months longer than the manual recommends, in our opinion that's better than borrowing, hiring, or buying a second hand car seat to use for those one or two months.