Smoking in rental carsBack to Forum
Anonymous10 May 2012
I was recently offered a car by Avis in France which had a fair few k’s on the clock and a delightful fuggy aroma of stale nicotine hit you as you opened the door.
Isn’t it about time car rental companies joined the 21st century and enforced a ban on smoking in their fleets? I know Canada will fine renters for smoking but in many other anti-smoking and smoke-free markets rental companies seem to be unable to force this on customers. I would happily rent with the company that is 100% smoke-free worldwide.10 May 2012
Fair point, though in certain US states where smoking isn’t banned outright in hotels, they offer non-smoking rooms or whole floors. Similarly cars which allow/bar smoking should be identifiable.10 May 2012
How do you enforce a ban on smoking?
You can only take action after the transgression, but even that can be difficult as with a little judicious use of spray and so on to mask the smell, it might not be apparent until the car has stood in the sun for a day. I picked up a car early morning, it seemed clean, drove it for an hour with the windows open as I normally do, left it parked until evening with the windows closed and found on entering it that it stank. The rental company replaced it for me the next but said that as I had had it for more than 24 hours, they coudn’t do anything to the previous renters. It was marked as a non-smoking car, and had no ashtrays.
Air fresheners only mask the stench, they don’t neutralise it and they are also not very pleasant!10 May 2012
Capetonianm – In the same way as hotels enforce no smoking in non-smoking rooms – by having it as a term specified when taking the room, by accepting a $250 charge/fine being imposed on the credit card you have just provided.
How they prove the fact I don’t know, however am sure it would still reduce the occurance.10 May 2012
The problem is how do they prove you were smoking in the car? They charge you a fine on your credit card, you dispute it with you card provider, and the provider will reverse the charge every time, as there is no possible proof they could have.10 May 2012
That’s true craigwatson, but i do think that as Tete_de_cuvee says the mere threat of a fine would help to make offenders think twice.
But maybe i’m wrong – as a non-smoker i don’t know the lengths an addict would go to to have his/her fix.
And to go against what i have said, i was on a long distance bus in the UK a few weeks ago, which had clear no smoking signs. But a lady kept going to the toilet to have a smoke. It was so obvious – first a faint smell of smoke would fill the coach, then another faint smell of deodorant being sprayed. It must have happened at least four times and driver did nothing.10 May 2012
Hotels have had this policy of charging a “cleaning fee” (not sure they really do any deep clean though) for awhile now, and I have still arrived in many rooms where its obvious that the previous occupants had been smoking. Now would there be enough evidence to fine them? I doubt it, it could be housekeeping, maintenance, security, actually anyone with a pass key that entered your room after you left10 May 2012
I rented with Europcar at LCY. There is a big no smoking sign near the tax disc and no lighter. The car I’d reserved was not available as it had been sent for cleaning as the previous renter had been smoking.
As a result I was upgraded to a bigger car and the agent (Rodney, a great guy and very helpful) told me it will cost them £ 80 which they paid without blinking.10 May 2012
As a cigar smoker who rents primarily in USA mainland I doNot smoke in rentals. As Inave serious allergies I wish they would also Ban dogs, cats and other animals and people overusing cheap personal hygiene products. I had a Suburban in LAX which so stank of feminine products I could Not drive without all the windows open in the rain and I was wheezing for about 3 days afterwards. When you drop off your rental car dont leave your smoke or smells behind, have some courtesy For others.
As observed air freahner helps lose stale cigarette smoke. Febreze make kne for Dashboard or an air freshner in metal spray (not plastic which is for clothes), doesn’t help me thiugh as pets and cheap hygiene products cut throuh everything.10 May 2012
I think there is a line that should be identified between something that causes an allergy and something that is just anti social otherwise customers could be made to shower before hiring a car.
Smoking falls into the anti social as it is banned from most public places.
A cat / dog etc is not anti social. Saying that, I returned a hire car when Junior S looking very smart in his golf attire, on his way to a competition, ended up with dog hairs on his clothes.
Hire cars should be returned in the manner they were hired and I think its down to each company to enforce this rule.
Half the problem is caused by the lack of customer agents willing to assist or the length of time it takes to re Q to change a car.11 May 2012
“A cat / dog etc is not anti social.”
Martyn, I’m not sure if you’re trying to say that a cat/dog is not antisocial in the sense that it’s OK to have one in a car, or that it is worse than anti-social!
Bear in mind that some people do have severe allergies to cats and dogs. One of my friends has this to such an extent that, because I have dogs, I have to change my clothes if I’m going to see her after I’ve touched the dogs, and she can’t get into my car. And they’re a shorthaired breed who leave very little hair around.11 May 2012
capetonianm – 11/05/2012 05:51 GMT
A cat and dog are part of some families – all I am saying is that cars should be returned and rented out clean and without the need for people to have to worry about bad smells and animal hairs.11 May 2012
Most US rental Stations are all non smoking and they fine people for smoking. They say they will charge for extra cleaning but I have never seen it. In US smoking is seen as a diabolic activity whereas leaving wet beach towels on seats to grow mold, leaving dogs in cars, spilling take out food and even leaving suspicious white powder is all part of being yourself and Not bothering about others. I am with Martyn on this, return the car how you would like to pick it up.11 May 2012