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Is it Legal to Remove Front Passenger Seat of Car?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 8 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Is It Legal To Remove Front Passenger Seat Of Car?

Q.

I plan on moving some large items in my car and don't want to leave them sticking out of the boot. Is it legal to remove the front passenger seat of the car to use the space? Obviously, the load will not obstruct my mirrors, or interfere with my ability to change gear, and will be secured.

(C.D, 25 May 2009)

A.

To answer your question, it is legal for you to remove your front passenger seat to safely transport large items, but there are some things you need to be aware of before you make the decision to do so.

First of all, is it a sensible idea? Is the space really as big as you think it will be? You might be better off just folding the seats down as far as you can or leaning them back. If that doesn't work, check underneath the passenger seat you are intending to remove. There are often electrics boxes and carpet joins underneath the front passenger seat which can make it really tricky and sometimes pointless to remove the seat to gain that extra space.

Next, check whether or not the car has front and/or back seat airbags? If so, this can cause problems when you are removing the seat. If not done properly, it can lead to the vehicle mechanism thinking that there has been an impact and setting off one or both of the airbags. In most cases to avoid this you will need to disconnect the battery for several hours before carrying out the seat removal, but to be safe you should consult an expert and the relevant manual for your car make and model. If you intend to refit the seat once you have finished transporting the items, then short-cuts could prove disastrous when it comes to putting the seat back safely.

Something else that you should be aware of is that the front passenger seat area of a car is often considered to be the most likely part of a car to be the point of impact in an accident - and if you have large and heavy items in that area, then even when secured they can cause serious damage and potentially death if they are hit and pushed over onto your side of the vehicle.

If you decide to go ahead with the seat removal and you are stopped by a police officer while you are transporting the items in question, as long as they are happy that you can see clearly in all of your mirrors, that the load is safe and secure and that your driving is not impeded in any way, then you will not be committing an offence and should be allowed to go on your way without further investigation.

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clarkparf - Your Question:
I received a NIP re speeding in a 30 zone. I wasn't driving - we think it was my wife but small chance it was my daughter. I asked for photo and location to help ascertain driver. Photo is from rear but th elocation raised an issue. Camera enforcement unit sent pdf with arrow to side of road and said in email this was the exact location of the van. When I drove past that layby I noticed the view was nothing like their picture -I know the suggested direction of travel because I could see the white lines in their picture. I have queried the location twice and they have not responded regarding that to clarify. I have taken photo & google maps to show the location they state is not as per their image. Doesn't this make NIP unenforceable. Could they just state correct location in court to gazump muy argument. That seems unfair and at least they have not helped but obstructed us to identify driver as we don't know where on a 5 mile road (if it even is that road) or direction of travel to help us know where car was being driven, ie home or town would help us work out our movements.Thanks

Our Response:
This is something you'd need to seek professional legal advice about really. If you cannot be sure where the speeding offence was and who was driving, you should respond saying you don't know who was driving and give names and contact details of all the people who drove down that road, in that vehicle at that time. The police may refer it to court or may simply decide not to take any further action.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Feb-17 @ 2:27 PM
I received a NIP re speeding in a 30 zone. I wasn't driving - we think it was my wife but small chance it was my daughter. I asked for photo and location to help ascertain driver. Photo is from rear but th elocation raised an issue. Camera enforcement unit sent pdf with arrow to side of road and said in email this was the exact location of the van. When I drove past that layby I noticed the view was nothing like their picture -I know the suggested direction of travel because I could see the white lines in their picture. I have queried the location twice and they have not responded regarding that to clarify. I have taken photo & google maps to show the location they state is not as per their image. Doesn't this make NIP unenforceable. Could they just state correct location in court to gazump muy argument. That seems unfair and at least they have not helped but obstructed us to identify driver as we don't know where on a 5 mile road (if it even is that road) or direction of travel to help us know where car was being driven, ie home or town would help us work out our movements.Thanks
clarkparf - 8-Feb-17 @ 8:31 PM
Is it legal to remove all seats except drivers seat out of a vehicle in the state of PA?
zach - 20-Nov-15 @ 9:40 PM
My daughter was driving her car and was pulled over by police for speeding but they did not issue her with a ticket - do they legally have to issue a ticket at the time
worried mum - 27-Oct-15 @ 5:53 PM
@davej. We're still looking for more information on this...we've checked the websites of various police forces and some of the legislation but can't find anything that states the speed travelled should be included. We're pretty sure it should be as it would be deemd unreasonable in a court of law not to give the defendant sufficient information to defend themself. We'll keep looking within our time constraints so stay tuned!
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Jan-15 @ 9:35 AM
my daughter was caught speeding with a hand held speed camera.the 1st letter she received said she was exceeding the 30 mph limit (but no actual speed stated). she declared that she was driving but the 2nd letter stated exactly the same (exceeding the 30mph limit) but again no actual speed was shown. she decided to take the speed awareness course and pay a fine rather than get points but how can they issue a speeding penalty charge without actually stating the speed she was doing. this doesn't sound right to me. any advice would be welcome
davej - 30-Dec-14 @ 9:51 PM
I have been nicked tonight 40 in a 30 i was in a line on traffic as we all came around this bend there was the police the car infront of me stop for the policeman he was waved on i was waved in to the layby. Thinking about it after the gun could only of ever been on the side of my van as we came run the bend because the car was in front of me when for a few yards we was travaling straight, and the car in front slowed to a stop so i had to as well as did the cars behind me, the police man must of had to move thegun left to right to hit me on the side of the van does this sound right?
thrustraighted - 13-Nov-14 @ 11:50 PM
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