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Smoking in Cars
24 August 2022

Smoking in Cars

Smoking in cars and public places used to be common not too long ago, but all that changed in recent years, since a new law became effective on the 1st October 2015. This law outlined that it was an offence to smoke in a car if a child under the age of 18 was also present. To cater to the smoking driver, car manufacturers would provide lighters and even ash trays to accommodate them, but that’s all changed now.

How has being able to smoke in cars changed?

We’re now more aware than ever that smoking is bad for our health, and anyone around us inhaling the remnants. Smoking in the vehicle could also decrease its future value, and even discolour and damage the interior of the car.


What are some alternatives that the nicotine addicted driver can turn to?

Lots of brands have jumped on the non-smoking train, and now offer smokers various alternatives to use, such as vapes, nicotine gum and patches. 


How has the law changed towards smoking in vehicles? 

The law states that if the driver contravenes any of these rules, they’ll be fined £50:

  • To any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof
  • When people have the windows or sunroof open, or the air conditioning on
  • When someone sits smoking in the open doorway of a vehicle

However, the law doesn’t apply to:

  • e-cigarettes (vaping)
  • a driver who is 17 years old if they are on their own in the car
  • a convertible car with the roof completely down

What are other things to take into account?

If you’re renting a car, you’re not able to smoke in this either, even if a child isn’t present. If the company suspects the person who hired the car has been smoking inside, they can charge a penalty fee. This is to cover the cost of giving the interior of the car a full valet, to ensure there are no remnants of ash or secondhand smoke in the air. 

If you’re using a vehicle for work purposes, and more than one person uses the vehicle, it’s illegal to smoke inside. Examples of this are buses, taxis, and ‘goods’ vehicles used by more than one driver.

However, if it’s a car that you solely use, and your employer has agreed you can smoke in the car, then this isn’t illegal.