Smoking in a rental car costs more than the packet of cigarettes. It is better to ask first the policies of rental companies about smoking and the fees they charge if people smoke in rental cars. Smoking in a rental car is the most common thing which gets renters trap in paying cleaning fees for rental cars.However, it is observed that some renters like to smoke in rental cars anyway.
Cleaning Fee for Smoking in a Rental Car
It is not surprising that a car rental company notices that someone smoked in a rental vehicle, and they charge heavy amount to the customer. Non-smokers avoid the smell of smoke, they will not agree to accept a rental car with smell of smoke, so companies have to go to great lengths to get smoky odors out of a car. De-smoking requires taking a vehicle out of service for up to 24 hours so it can be cleaned with a natural oxidation and deodorizer process.
How Do Rental Car Companies Know if You Smoked?
When someone returns the car, an agent inspects the vehicle. If an agent finds out that any one smoked in the car or if there is any evidence of smoking (ashes or butts in the car, cigarette burns, etc.) they charge for that.
How to Get the Smell of Smoke Out of a Rental Car?
It is advised to clean the rental car before returning. The rental car company will not look the other way if the car is returned with tobacco odors. Many car washes offer deep cleaning services including a required deodorizing scent. It is recommended to avail this cleaning service as the cost is very reasonable and indeed less than what the rental car company will charge for de-odorizing.
How to Fight a Cleaning Fee for a Rental Car?
We recommend you that if you pick up a rental car with its insides smelling like smoke, don’t accept it and drive away. In case you accepted the car with smoke smell and when you return the car, the agent detects the smell of tobacco, definitely you will be charged for the cleaning fee, so if you smell tobacco or see evidence of smoking, refuse to take the vehicle and ask for a replacement.
When you pick up your car, it is necessary to take a few minutes to look over the car. Always take photos of every dent, and scratch on the vehicle’s exterior and interior as well as take photos of the wheels and the windshield as you could be blamed for those dents later on. If the car is brand new, and there is some damage you should capture it. If there are a lot of visible damages or large dent, ask to exchange the vehicle.
In many countries, such as UAE , Australia, Canada, France and the UK, smoking with children in the car is forbidden. In some countries, it’s legal but there is always a chance that traffic officer stops you or you get a fine if he noticed that you are distracted by smoking. There are other countries, such as Greece, that still have no legal restrictions on smoking while driving.
But mostly rental companies often have their own rules. So before travelling in rental car you should always ask the counter staff about their policy.
In a country where smoking in cars is not allowed, police can charge fines – either on the spot, or sent on afterwards to the rental company.
Rental companies examine their cars when they’re returned. If they deduct the smell of smoking, renter will have to pay the fee of fine. This is usually called a cleaning or valeting fee.
If there is damage to the interior of the car because of smoking, the rental company will charge the full cost of putting that right. This is because the basic damage covers rentals usually come with (called Collision Damage Waiver) cannot cover the interior of the car.If the rental staff by mistake claims that you smoked in the rental car, you can dispute the charge.
When you drop off the car for collection, use your rental paperwork to prove you’re returning the car in the same condition as when you took it.
If that procedure doesn’t work, or you don’t have the document work it will be hard to avoid the charges. Get in touch with the customer service support team of the company you booked your rental car through, they can suggest you in a better way and assist with any charges you don’t agree with.
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