Can You Smoke in a Rental Car: 2023 (A Complete Guide)


June 1, 2023

Reading Time:- 5 minutes

Can You Smoke in a Rental Car

This article provides detailed information about Can You Smoke in a Rental Car. The answer is no; you cannot smoke in a car rental as you might be charged.

Here, you’ll also get some tips that will help you get the smell of tobacco out of the car if you have smoked. People choose rental cars for family vacations, road trips, and weekend gateways.

Additionally, if travel requirements are limited, renting a vehicle can be more economically usable. While driving, if you habitually smoke, rental cars can be expensive.

Many car rental companies charge smoking fees if they get proof of smoking in the car. In some cases, the cleaning charges for smoking might be more than the car rental costs.

Keep reading the information regarding smoking in a rental vehicle.

Is there a cleaning fee for smoking in a rental car?

Yes, there is a cleaning fee for smoking in a rental car. Remember that the charges may differ from company to company. Below are the cleaning fees of various companies in the US:

Avis Budget Group: The cleaning fee of Avis Budget Group for smoking is the highest. It may go up to $450.

Dollar: This will charge up to $400 as a cleaning fee for vehicles returned and proof of smoking.

Alamo: The vehicles rented from Alamo are smoke-free. If proof of smoking is found, the organization may charge a cleaning fee of $250.

Hertz: As a cleaning fee, it charges up to $400 for vehicles returned and evidence of smoking.

Enterprise: If evidence of smoking is found in the car, Enterprise charges $250 as a cleaning fee.


How do rental companies know if you smoke?

While returning vehicles, every rental company checks the vehicles thoroughly. The inspection can be proof of smoke, dents to the vehicle, and the cleanliness of the cabin. Through the below-mentioned methods, rental companies know if you smoke:

Physical evidence:

Inside the vehicle, rental companies will check for physical evidence of smoking. This can easily be found in charcoal inside the car cabin.

Cigarette butts left in the vehicle:

Another way that helps rental companies claim that the car is smoked is a roll of tobacco in the vehicle.

The smell of smoke: 

Rental companies judge if there is a smell of smoke in the car. Usually, the smell of smoke can be for 48 hours after you have smoked it inside the car cabin. Thus, the primary proof of smoking is the smell of tobacco in the vehicle.

How to keep the smell of smoke out of rental cars?

Every renter is highly advised not to smoke in rental cars. If you have done, follow the below tips to keep out cigarette smell from the car before returning it:

Choose a package with interior cleaning

Within the cabin of the car, the tobacco smell spread. You can’t keep out the smell of smoke from the car if you use cleaning services. This includes window washing, tire cleaning, washing, waxing, etc. Thus, you need to select a package with interior cleanings, like shampooing of carpet and steam cleaning the padding.

Ask for a deodorizing scent

If the cigarette smells too strong, interior detailing and professional car cleaning may not work. Thus, it would be best to ask a car cleaning agency for a deodorizing scent. It’s awesome if the deodorizing scent is included in your interior detailing package.


Get your rental car professionally cleaned

If you have smoked inside, you must get your car professionally cleaned before returning. In the US, many professional car cleaning agencies offer car cleaning services for under $100. Hence, the cost is less than the potential cleaning fees.

How to fight a cleaning fee for a rental car? 

It’s important not to accept a rental car that smells like smoke. This is because while returning it, you might be charged the cleaning fee if the agent finds the smell of smoke. So, you must take some essential steps to protect yourself from false claims:

  • Within the car, if you smell tobacco or find proof, refuse it and ask for a replacement.
  • Take photos of the car’s exterior and interior when returning. Do the same as when you picked up the car. Note that the before and after photos will be effectively the same.
  • At the time of pick up, give some time and look over the car before taking it away.

The Final Verdict 

By going through the above information, it has been clear that smoking in a rental car is not permitted. If you do so, you might have to pay cleaning fees. Besides, if you still face issues regarding this topic, write in the sections below.


Do rental cars know if you smoke? 

Yes, rental companies can assess the smell of smoke in the car.

How do you smoke in a rental car without it smelling? 

Follow the below points to smoke in a rental car without it smelling:

  • To keep the smell out of the car, keep your window broken and hold your cigarette near the window.
  • It would be best to use an e-cigarette, as it allows you to smoke while preventing the traditional smell.
  • Ensure your air conditioner is pulling in air from the outside.

What happens if you smoke in a hire car? 

If you smoke in a hire car, they’ll charge a fee to throw away the smell of smoke.

Category: Car Rental Tips


Write By

My name is Alicia Smith, and I am the editor of the well-known informational website for Car rentals,

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