May 31st is World No Tobacco Day, an annual campaign to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure. The global campaign is a timely reminder about smoking and our health, but vehicle data and valuation specialist HPI says any smokers needing another reason to quit should also be aware of the damage their habit can do to vehicle values.
"If you're a smoker, the first thing a dealer will do is knock back the price of your part exchange," says Fernando Garcia, consumer director at HPI. "That's because a car for part-ex has to be made fit for resale – a process which is considerably more difficult and expensive when a smoker previously drove that car."
The two main issues are physical damage to the interior and smell - something many smokers either don't notice or think is solved by using an air freshener.
"Even if there is no obvious damage, the smell of smoke is a major problem for motor dealers," says Fernando Garcia. "Smoke becomes ingrained in the fabric of the car and climate control, requiring a professional valet and a special 'bomb' to clean the air conditioning. It can cost anything up to £150 and is still no guarantee that the vehicle will smell sufficiently fresh. In severe cases, the internal fabric and head cloth may have to be stripped out too – a process which can cost hundreds of pounds."
Add on the cost of repairing any marks, stains and cigarette burns to dash and upholstery and a car driven by a heavy smoker could easily lose up to £2000 at trade-in.
"Some dealers tell us they won't even buy vehicles from smokers, because of the time and expense of getting the car properly clean and free of lingering smells," adds Fernando Garcia.
"Everyone knows that smoking is bad for our health, but few people realise that it can also have a surprisingly nasty impact on the value of your car."
The World Health Organisation's World No Tobacco Day takes place on May 31st. The focus of the 2019 campaign is 'tobacco and lung health.'
HPI offers a free vehicle valuations service giving consumers the ability to buy and sell cars with utmost confidence, offering them the inside view on the total cost of ownership of a vehicle during its lifespan along with precise depreciation figures.
The valuations tool at www.hpi.co.uk is aimed at consumers buying and selling cars in the used car market and minimises the risks that can see them paying over the odds or not getting the best asking price.