Britain bans smoking in cars carrying children from 1 October 2015

Published: 24 September 2015

► New rules outlaw smoking in cars
► Designed to protect under-18s
► UK-wide ban from 1 October 2015 

New rules will ban smoking in cars with children on board from 1 October 2015. The new British law is designed to protect minors from inhaling tobacco smoke - and will apply to drivers and passengers in any 'enclosed vehicle'.

That means the ban only applies to closed vehicles, so you can smoke away to your heart's (dis)content in a convertible. Just remember that sunroofs don't count. Anyone breaking the fine is liable to a £50 fine.

The new smoking ban in cars: the small print

The rules state: 'From 1 October 2015, private vehicles must be smokefree if they are enclosed, there is more than one person present and one of them is under 18. So it will be an offence:

  • For a person of any age to smoke in a private vehicle that is carrying someone who is under 18 
  • For a driver (including a provisional driver) not to stop someone smoking in these circumstances. The rules don’t apply to e-cigarettes'

One upside to the smoking ban in cars is a likely increase in the value of secondhand cars, according to British Car Auctions (BCA). Nobody wants a smoker's vehicle on the used market, after all. Tim Naylor, editor of the BCA Used Car Market Report, said: 'Lighting up behind the wheel can be seriously damaging to the resale potential of your car. Smoking not only leaves a lingering smell in the cabin, issues with visible damage such as cigarette burns and nicotine-staining are a real concern for used car buyers.'

You have been warned.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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