Smoking in your car can knock £2,000 off its value

If you're one of the estimated 7.6 million smokers left in the UK, you ought to think twice before lighting up behind the wheel. Recent research by buying advice website has found that a used car that's been smoked in could be worth up to £2,000 less than one that hasn't.

Carbuyer's survey of 6,000 people found that 87 per cent would refuse to buy a used car that's been smoked in. It's backed up by similar findings from automotive data expert cap-hpi, which estimates the lost value caused by potential stains, burns, and smells.

And if you think that it's a simple matter to get rid of the after-effects of smoking, think again. Adam Eaton, detailing manager at car care company Gtechniq, told Carbuyer that the process could be a pricey one.

"There are lots of products on the market that claim to remove [the effects of smoke], but these are often not effective," he said. This is because smoke becomes ingrained in a car's upholstery – so rather than simply letting the car air, in extreme cases the car will need a replacement headliner and a purge of the air-conditioning system.

Even in less severe cases the damage to your wallet can be considerable. Gtechniq recommends steam cleaning, antibacterial treatments and wet vacuuming – which can cost up to £150.

The advice, then, is pretty simple. Carbuyer Editor Stuart Milne put it like this: "Not only does our research show that a car that's been smoked in will be harder to sell on, but it could also cost you thousands.

"Bearing this in mind, it's far better to pull over and get out before you light up."

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