Ban on smoking in cars carrying children possible

Yesterday the Labour Party tabled an amendment to the Children and Families Bill which they said was about "protecting children". The plan narrowly received approval in the House of Lords and MPs will be able to have their own free vote on the issue, probably within weeks.

The amendment empowers the Government to make it a criminal offence for drivers to fail to prevent smoking in their vehicle when children are onboard.

Under Labour’s proposal, a fine of £60 could be applied to any motorist who fails to prevent smoking in a vehicle carrying children. Such legislation could have a large influence on how some motorists behave while driving in England.

The vote to ban smoking in cars with children onboard would only affect England, although other countries in the UK could bring in a similar law in the future.

Earlier this week, British Car Auctions (BCA) commented on how a ban on smoking in cars carrying children could affect the financial aspects of selling your car.

Tim Naylor of BCA said: "The British Medical Association has previously released research showing the levels of toxins in a car can be up to 11 times higher than in a smoky bar,

"But if drivers aren’t motivated by the health of their passengers, perhaps they will be by the diminishing health of their finances. Lighting up inside a car seriously devalues the vehicle for resale."

Naylor added: "Presentation is one of the top factors influencing the price of used cars. So if a car is more like an ashtray on wheels, chances are buyers will move on to find one that looks and smells fresh as a daisy."

The BCA explains that professional valeting for cleaning your car can alleviate most of the effects of smoking, but it’s expensive and time consuming. This is because some interior trim might need replacing, such as nicotine-stained headlinings and repairing any cigarette burns in the cabin.In the worst cases, complete valeting work on cars affected by passenger smoking can require an investment of several hundred pounds.

Naylor concludes that motorists "should avoid having a cigarette in their car, especially if they intend to sell it in the near future."

He explained: "This will avoid the lingering smell of cigarettes in the interior, as well as eliminate the risk of scorch marks on the upholstery or dash. All of these things will put buyers off, even if they smoke themselves."