Rental cars also going smoke-free

Frequent business traveler Bill Perigo says all car-rental companies should follow the lead of smoke-free hotels and prohibit smoking in their vehicles.

“Cars are so much smaller than hotel rooms,” says Perigo, a consultant in Woodstock, Md.

Four car-rental brands have already gotten the message.

The Avis Budget Group on Feb. 9 was named winner of the National Smoke-Free Business Award for its September 2009 decision to ban smoking in rental vehicles.

The award was presented by Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, an organization formed in 1976 that’s dedicated to promoting “people’s right to breathe clean air in the workplace and enclosed public spaces.”

Avis or Budget renters who violate the company’s no-smoking policy are charged a $250 cleaning fee, says spokeswoman Alice Pereira.

“A lower fee may be charged at the discretion of the location manager on a case-by-case basis,” she says.

In January, the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group announced that Dollar and Thrifty rental cars are 100% smoke-free, and renters who smoke in vehicles “may face a charge of up to $250.”

Rental cars “that have been smoked in will be immediately grounded” and removed from the fleet “for a thorough detailing before being returned for customer use,” the company said.

By Gary Stoller

See article online here.

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