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by Matt Brogan

Smoker or non-smoker we’ve all at one time or another sat in a car that has been smoked in and noticed that no matter how well it had been cleaned, the smell of stale tobacco still lingered deep within the upholstery. A little off putting isn’t it?

Now, according to the PR Manager at British Car Auctions (BCA) Tim Naylor, statistics are proving that smoking in your vehicle can seriously devalue its price when it comes time to sell.

“Our research shows that presentation is one of the top factors influencing the price of used cars,” says Mr Naylor. “And in a tough market, buyers are only going for the best quality stock.  If a car’s interior smells like an ashtray, this makes it very difficult for a dealer to sell it on and the chances are they will turn to something else instead. Motorists should avoid having a cigarette in their car, especially if they intend to sell it in the near future.

“This will avoid the lingering smell of cigarettes hanging in the interior, as well as eliminate the risk of discolouring and leaving scorch marks in the ashtray or on upholstery. All of these things will put buyers off, even if they smoke themselves. Professional valeting can alleviate most of the effects of smoking, but it can be expensive and time consuming and might mean replacing some interior trim, such as nicotine-stained headlinings.

“Although prices for used cars have been rising, it would be unwise to assume that buyers will pay high prices for every vehicle, whatever the condition. Buyers will only part with their cash for the very best examples and any car that has been heavily smoked in is potentially at a disadvantage when it comes to be sold.”






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