Smoking In A Hire Car, What You Need To Know

I have recently read a post on a very popular money savings website that claims Smoking In A Hire Car is illegal. Smoking in any car is only illegal when there are children in the car whether the car is a hire car, lease car, company car or your own personal car.

The law states that from 1st October 2015 it is illegal to smoke in a vehicle with an enclosed roof when someone under the age of 18 is present. Click here to read more on this.

When it comes to Smoking In A Hire Car specifically, the law is the same. However, you will find that in your terms and conditions it will state that smoking is against their company policy and rules. Just because you are within the law, does not mean they must allow you to smoke in their property.

Smoking In A Hire Car, What Could It Cost?

You will find that if signs of smoking in the vehicle are found, such as the smell or smoke residue then a fine will be issued, usually under the guise of a ‘cleaning charge’ This is typically between £50 and £150.

Another way you could potentially lose out is through your damage excess, if you were to damage the vehicle by burning a seat or carpet then they will class this as the same as accident damage and require you to pay. Even if you have a zero excess, smoking in the car will void your rights because you have broken the agreement outlined in the terms and conditions.

What About Vaping & E-Cigarettes

Vaping or using an e-cigarette in a rental car does not fall under the same law in the UK, the only law that could potentially be broken is driving without due care and attention. This could apply to someone filling up their vape, taking your hands of the wheel to light a cigarette or even eating while driving.

Our research shows that most rental suppliers do not cover ‘vaping’ in their terms but i’m sure this will happen soon. Your best bet is to ask the supplier when collecting the car. Whether it is allowed or not, if the car is returned smelling of smoke, flavoured vapour or anything else. You could be charged!

If you have any questions regarding hire cars then please contact our team of experts. They are ready and waiting to answer any queries you may have.