Rental Cars

Secondhand smoke toxins and residue can stay in the tapestry of a vehicle anywhere from a couple hours to a couple of months after initial exposure. When renting a car, be sure to request a 100% smokefree vehicle to minimize exposure to secondhand smoke.

Avis smokefree sign

In September 2009 Avis Budget Group – owner of the Avis and Budget Rent A Car brands – adopted a landmark smokefree policy for the entire fleet in the US and Canada. This policy was significant because it is backed up with a $250 cleaning fee for violations. ANR applauds Avis Budget Group for its smokefree leadership.

In January 2011, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group also adopted a policy for the US that applies to their entire fleet and is backed up with a $250 cleaning fee for violations.

On July 23, 2013, Hertz announced that it had made its entire fleet non-smoking.

Other companies, like Enterprise and Alamo, claim to have smokefree cars, but their policies are not clear or well-enforced.

National claims to offer non-smoking cars upon request. This means National's fleet is not smokefree. In our personal and professional experience, this means there is a likely chance of ending up with a car that smells like an ashtray.

Hertz Now Smoke-Free
Wall Street Journal - July 24, 2013

PARK RIDGE, N.J., July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ) announces that it has transitioned its car rental fleet to non-smoking as ...

Hertz Now Smoke-Free
PR Newswire - July 23, 2013

...announces that it has transitioned its car rental fleet to non-smoking as part of the Company's commitment to provide the cleanest fleet in the car rental industry. ...

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Implements No-Smoking Policy for Rental Cars
PR Newswire (press release) - January 4, 2011

Dollar and Thrifty fleets are now 100 Percent Smoke-Free, Effective Jan. 1, 2011

TULSA, Okla., Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: DTG), is pleased to announce that Dollar and Thrifty rental cars are now 100 percent smoke-free as a result of Dollar Thrifty's new policy prohibiting smoking by renters at all U.S. corporate stores and participating franchise locations.

"We're extremely pleased to now offer a 100 percent smoke-free fleet," said Scott Thompson, Dollar Thrifty President and CEO. "We are passionate about providing our value-oriented customers with a rental experience that is consistent with our high standards, and we think that fresh, clean and smoke-free car interiors are essential to achieving our objectives."

Renters who do not comply with the new policy and return vehicles after smoking may face a charge of up to $250. ...

Avis and Budget to Offer 100 Percent Smoke-Free Fleet
MarketWire, September 3, 2009

Avis Budget Group, Inc. today announced that beginning next month Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car vehicles in the United States and Canada will be smoke-free under a new policy that prohibits smoking in its rental vehicles effective October 1.

"Tobacco smoke leaves a residue on fabrics, fibers and surfaces of vehicles, which emits odors that many people find unpleasant," said Larry De Shon, executive vice president of operations for Avis Budget Group. "In fact, we receive more customer requests for smoke-free vehicles than any other 'special request.' This new policy is designed to ensure that we are enhancing the comfort of our customers, which is a top priority at Avis and Budget."

To ensure compliance with the new smoke-free policy, Avis and Budget have established new inspection processes and will assess customers a cleaning fee if the vehicle is returned with tobacco odor or residue. In addition, the Company has instituted a smoke-free policy for all employees and contractors who drive its vehicles.

"When a vehicle must be cleaned of tobacco smoke odor and residue, the process takes considerably longer and requires the vehicle to be removed from the rental fleet until it is odor-free," said Mr. De Shon. "With this new policy, we encourage customers to refrain from smoking in or near the vehicle at all times." ...

News | Related Research
Matt, G.E.; Fortmann, A.L.; Quintana, P.J.E.; Zakarian, J.M.; Romero, R.A.; Chatfield, D.A.; Hoh, E.; Hovell, M.F., "Towards smoke-free rental cars: an evaluation of voluntary smoking restrictions in California," Tobacco Control 22(3): 201-207, May 2013.
Quintana, P.J.; Matt, G.E.; Chatfield, D.; Zakarian, J.M.; Fortmann, A.L.; Hoh, E., "Wipe sampling for nicotine as a marker of thirdhand tobacco smoke contamination on surfaces in homes, cars, and hotels," Nicotine and Tobacco Research [Epub ahead of print], March 4, 2013.