What Might Happen If You Smoke in a Rental Car?
Although a few car rental companies respect smoking in a rental car, some smokers simply cannot resist lighting a cigarette in the car despite the fact it is banned. Are you one of them? If you answered yes, be prepared that the car rental company will charge you a hefty fee, the so-called Vehicle Cleaning Fee. It can climb up to several hundred euros. The reason is that most non-smokers cannot stand the smell of cigarettes, so the car rental company has to make a great effort to get rid of the tobacco smell from the car. This process is more time-consuming than routine vehicle cleaning, and the car rental company is forced to take the car out of service to clean and deodorize it.
How Do Rental Car Companies Know if You Smoke in the Rental Car?
When returning the vehicle, it will undergo a thorough inspection by a car rental company agent, who will focus not only on visible defects but also any odor in the vehicle. Although it is true that vaping produces a less powerful odor than an ordinary cigarette scent, the agent may accuse you of vaping in the car for example after finding the lost vaping equipment.
How to Avoid Paying a Vehicle Cleaning Fee?
The answer is clear - do not smoke in a rental car! However, if you cannot help yourself, or if you accidentally forgot it is prohibited to smoke in the car, have it cleaned before handing it over. Professional interior cleaning, including the deodorization of tobacco odor, will definitely cost you less than the vehicle cleaning fee charged by the car rental company.
If you smell tobacco in the car as you pick it up, insist on replacing the vehicle. This will prevent additional charges when returning the vehicle.