Where There's Smoke There's No Buyers

Cigarette smell in the car puts off buyers warns BCA

English smokers will soon be joining those in Wales and Scotland in not being able to light up in a public place.  But before smokers consider sitting in their car and lighting up instead, they should think about the impact this will have on the vehicle’s resale value.  Leading vehicle auction company, British Car Auctions (BCA) is warning motorists that smoking in their car could seriously devalue the vehicle when they come to sell.

"We have conducted research amongst a representative sample of top professional motor trade buyers on the main factors that influenced the price of used cars.  While specification remains the strongest price indicator, presentation is the next most important factor*”, says Tim Naylor, PR Manager at BCA.

“Presentation is not just about how it looks, but how it smells!  It’s another good reason for smokers to avoid lighting up in their car.  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.”

While professional valeting can alleviate most of the effects of smoking, it can be expensive and time consuming and might mean replacing some interior trim, such as nicotine-stained headlinings.  Trade buyers will always favour cars that are in the best possible condition and pay the most for them.

Naylor added, “With the smoking ban already in place in Wales and Scotland and soon to come into force in England, there are now thousands of ex-fleet vehicles in the marketplace that have never been smoked in.  It means any car that has been heavily smoked is potentially at a disadvantage when it comes to be sold. ”

BCA handles over a million cars every year, with large numbers coming from fleets and leasing companies, with many banning smoking in the vehicles they operate over recent months.

“Professional business sellers realised that they were losing money on vehicles they were selling that had been smoked in,” added Naylor.  “At the end of the day, motorists buying a used car don’t want to be reminded of the previous owner every time they get behind the steering wheel.”

Naylor concludes, “With smoking banned in enclosed spaces across Scotland and Wales, smokers would do well to maintain the ban in their car too. Keeping the car clean and fresh can help sellers boost the final sale price of their vehicle dramatically.”

14 May 2007 Staff

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