People who smoke in their car could be reducing its resale value by as much as £2,000, suggests research carried out by Carbuyer, a motoring website, suggests.
Of the 6,000 people who responded to the survey, the vast majority (87 per cent) said they would not buy a car that had been smoked in.
The website said the survey’s findings were echoed by the automotive data specialists at cap hpi, who estimated that once potential smells, stains and burn marks had been taken into account, a car driven by a heavy smoker could lose up to £2,000.
Carbuyer’s editor, Stuart Milne, said: ‘With the cost of smoking increasing all the time, lighting up in your car is yet another hidden expense. Not only does our research show that a car that's been smoked in will be harder to sell on, but it could also cost you thousands.
‘Bearing this in mind, it's far better to pull over and get out before you light up.’
James Dower, Black Book editor at cap hpi, said: ‘The first thing a car dealer will do when looking at a car being sold by a smoker is knock down the price of the part exchange.
‘Some dealers tell us they won’t even buy cars from smokers because of the time and expense of ridding the interior of unpleasant odours.’
Dower explained that getting rid of the after-effects of smoking was not just a matter of opening the windows and letting the vehicle air, but because stale smoke became ingrained in a car’s upholstery, it could be necessary to replace the car’s headliner or use a device to purge the air-conditioning system.