While the rate of smoking has dropped considerably in the last couple generations, there are still over a billion smokers worldwide. Before we can tackle the policy on smoking in rental cars, we first must understand a couple things about the rental companies themselves.
Car rental companies do exactly what you think – they rent out cars to people who need them. This comes with fees that are determined by a number of policies and restrictions, along with varying levels of the quality of the car, which are rated by economy, intermediate, standard, and luxury.
How Are Car Rental Fees Calculated?
Car Hire Aberdeen, which provides car rental in Aberdeen, notes that the main rental fee is calculated by the number of days. This is rarely a fixed cost, with companies usually charging less if you rent multiple days. There are also fees that are determined by the quality of the car, along with other charges.
If you turn in a car more than an hour late, you can expect to pay for an additional day. In addition, if the car isn’t brought back in the condition that you rented it in, you can expect to be charged additional fees – everything from damage to cleaning.
What is the Policy About Smoking in a Rental Car?
No major rental company in the US or Canada permits smoking in their vehicles. Cars that have been smoked in have to be taken out of service and thoroughly cleaned. If you do bring back a car that has been smoked in, you can expect to pay fees upwards of $400.
I Heard Hertz Still Allows Smoking in Their Cars
For the longest time, Hertz was considered the last vestige for smokers who wanted to rent a car, as they kept a separate smoking fleet. This is no longer the case. As of February 2013, as all Hertz cars are now non-smoking.
Why Are Smoking Fees So High?
As mentioned before, a vehicle that has been smoked has to be taken out of service, depriving the company of any rental profits. In addition, there is a tremendous cleaning procedure that goes into place, as smoke can get just about anywhere.
Typically, the rental car company determines if you have smoked in a car based off of a sniff test. If there is a smell of smoke in the vehicle, this is an immediate indicator. Other obvious clues are things such as cigarette butts or ashes being found, or if an employee sees a customer smoking in the car.
Is There a Way to Clean a Rental Car That Has Been Smoked in?
While you shouldn’t smoke in a rental car, there is a procedure to clean out smoke yourself. Thankfully, it doesn’t require a lot of tools, but rather a bit of labor. You’re going to need a bottle of vinegar or Windex, along with ozium, and a vacuum.
What Other Policies Are There Related to Rental Cars?
There can be a lot of variation depending on the location, but there are a few things that every rental company follows. Invariably, rental companies require a security deposit and almost always want a credit card as the main form of payment.
Some rental companies require you to drop off at a certain location on the premises so the car can be checked out by an associate, while others only need you to park in the designated spot, remove your belongings, and turn the key in.
You usually must be 21 years or older to rent a car in the United States or Canada. This can vary in states like Michigan or New York, which have mandated for 18 years or older, though young renter fees will be applied on top of all the other rental fees.
You must have a valid government issued ID that is not expired to rent a car. The ID should have your picture on it and must be valid for the set rental period. The only exception to this is that a military personnel may have an expired ID if they also have an active military ID as well.
The general rule you should follow if you are thinking about smoking in a rental car is to just not do it. There is a tremendous cleaning process involved and you will be subject to considerable fees, up to $400. It’s better to smoke elsewhere during the duration of your rental and save yourself some money and hassle.