Smoking in your carDrivers who smoke risk their car's value

25 August 2005

Smoking in your car can reduce its value by hundreds of pounds and may make it impossible to sell, according to a new survey.

Manheim Auctions - which has 17 auction sites across the UK - spoke to professional used car buyers throughout the country.

These buyers snap up thousands of cars every year but almost half said they would not even consider buying a vehicle which has been used by a heavy smoker.

As well as the smell - which most thought was difficult or impossible to eliminate - buyers complain that smokers' cars often have discoloured roof linings and burnt carpets and upholstery, with the cost of repair set at hundreds of pounds.

'We knew that smoke contamination negatively affected a buyer's interest' said Manheim's group communications director Rob Barr.

'But this research actually puts a cost on it for the first time. With the used car market currently toughening up and many drivers desperately searching for a buyer, the difference between selling it quickly or having to drop the price by a few hundred pounds could be the fact that you have not smoked in it.'

Meanwhile new car owners have been warned not to forget to regularly check their oil level.

Tyre maintenance company ATS Euromaster say there hass been an alarming increase in 'oil run-outs' - engines seizing up through lack of oil. It fears the problem iss escalating because motorists, especially those who drive modern cars with long intervals between servicing, are neglecting to carry out basic engine maintenance.

Roy Stokes, of ATS Euromaster, said:'A modern car may only need to be serviced every 25,000 miles, yet oil levels should be regularly checked, especially before long journeys.'

ATS Euromaster