Under the Children and Families Act of 2015 it was made an offence to smoke in a private vehicle when carrying passengers under 18 years of age. The law does not apply to those vehicles without any passengers, and smoking an e-cigarette is not against the law.
So, if you are smoking and driving a private vehicle with passengers under 18 years of age, then you are breaking the law. This applies even if you have the sun roof, a door / window open, or even the air conditioning on. If you get caught, then you could find yourself with a fixed penalty of £50. In England, all company cars need to be free of cigarette smoke if they transport the public. They must also show a smoke free sticker to alert members of the public to the fact that they cannot smoke in the vehicle. It’s also worth noting that when it comes to your car insurance, you may be invalidating the policy if involved in an accident whilst smoking.
The Damage to the Vehicle
Within the motor trade industry, it is a known fact that when it comes to selling new and used cars, the value is dramatically decreased in a car that has been driven by a smoker. This is a fact reiterated by the editor of Black Book from CAP HPI, James Dower, who believes that a car could lose up to as much as £2,000 in a trade in. Motor trade dealers will automatically reduce the cost of a used car if the driver has been a smoker, some will even refuse to buy it altogether.
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The smell of cigarette smoke is notoriously difficult to remove from the car’s upholstery, and its air conditioning system. That is why many car dealers are reluctant to part exchange a car that has been owned by a smoker, as it costly to remove the smell, and sometimes the smell cannot be thoroughly eradicated. A car deep clean can set the dealer back £150, add the cost of chemicals required to clean the air conditioning system, plus labour, you can understand why many choose not to buy cars from smokers.
So, perhaps now is the right time to quit.