The companies we rent cars for, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty and Enterprise all have a policy of no smoking in any of their vehicles.
Keeping a rental car clean, smelling fresh and looking good is a customary concern of car rental companies. Having a 100% Smoke-Free Fleet requires that car rental customers and their passengers refrain from smoking in a rental car. Many companies require their rentals to be smoke free environments and have enhanced the inspection process to ensure this.
There's usually a hefty fee for those who smoke in a hired automobile or damage any part of a vehicle - sometimes as much as $250 in cleaning and detailing fees can be assessed. Damage is not just done by dents or dings in the doors, scrapes, scratches or broken taillights, but also when a renter smokes in a vehicle. Second hand smoke can be quite difficult to erase from a vehicle, it decreases the car's value, and future renters refuse to rent a car smelling of smoke. Car rental companies are more keenly aware than ever of inspecting for and especially documenting damage since they have been sustaining hundreds of millions of dollars every year form unpaid damages. If there is actual physical evidence of smoking, such as cigarette butts in the vehicle, burns in the seats, or the telltale odor of cigarettes, cigars or pipe smoking, there will be an automatic cleaning fee added to the renter's credit card. All physical signs of cigarette use as well as any other damage will of course be documented in case a renter questions the fees.
In order to assure a Smoke-Free fleet, all vehicles will be inspected when they are returned. A location manager will inspect the rental in order to validate any findings of smoking, burned upholstery, or excessive dirt or soilage to a vehicle before a repair cost or an additional cleaning fee is charged. When a vehicle is inspected it is not just inspected for signs of smoking, but also for interior and exterior damage to rental. If there is damage, the company will notify the customer in writing that an additional fee has been charged to their credit card. Only when a car is determined to be smoke free is it available for other renters to drive.
A renter should always check the car before initially driving it off the lot and also before returning it to the company to make sure it isn't dirty or damaged and does not smell of smoke. Some automobiles may have some minor scrapes, scratches and door dings. But no matter how minor the damage seems to be, these should all be documented by the renter and photographed if possible.
If a customer finds that a rental car is not satisfactory he or she should talk to a customer representative before driving off the lot with the rental vehicle. This way an agent can offer the customer a different vehicle if one is available and ensure no additional fees will be assessed at the customer's expense.
To avoid any additional cleaning fee, renters should agree to the terms and conditions of renting a vehicle and abide by them. This means for those companies with a Smoke-Free Fleet, customers should not smoke in or anywhere near the automobile during their vacation in Hawaii.