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UK Smoking Ban in Cars?

The British Medical Association has called for a ban on smoking in cars.

By Stephen Turvil
Dec 05, 2011
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The British Medical Association has called for a ban on smoking in cars. This is considered, by some, to be important as cigarette toxins within confined spaces can be extremely potent. Furthermore - putting aside the well publicised health risks – British Car Auctions has concluded that smoking in your vehicle can significantly reduce its second-hand value. After all, unfortunate smells, cigarette burns, and stained fabric put-off buyers.

Tim Naylor, PR Manager at British Car Auctions, commented: “This is an incredibly important health issue – and we don’t want to undermine that by any means - but if drivers aren’t motivated by the health of their passengers, perhaps they will be by the diminishing health of their finances. Lighting up inside a car seriously devalues the vehicle for resale.”

Mr Naylor continued: “Our research shows that presentation is one of the top factors influencing the price of used cars. So if a car is more like an ashtray on wheels, chances are buyers will move on to find one that looks and smells fresh as a daisy. Professional valeting can alleviate most of the effects of smoking, but is expensive and time consuming and might mean replacing some interior trim, such as nicotine-stained head-linings.”

Any ban on smoking in cars would be controversial. The health benefits are obvious, but – assuming an adult is smoking alone in a privately owned vehicle – is it the government's place to intervene? Should MPs have that right? However, it might be reasonable to prevent smokers lighting-up in cars next to children and non-smoking adults. Everyone should have the right to smoke, but is it fair to expose others to the cancer causing toxins?

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By Stephen Turvil
Dec 05, 2011