Rules for Vaping & Smoking in a Rental Car | Budget Car Rental


Can I Smoke in a Budget Rental Car?


Can you smoke in a rental car?


No, Budget does not allow smoking in our rental cars. We reached out to our renters, and the overall consensus was that they’d prefer a nice-smelling rental car. With that in mind, we don’t allow people to smoke in our rental vehicles so that every renter can enjoy a fresh-smelling car. In addition, our smoke-free fleet doesn’t require consistent deep cleans to remove stains or smells, which means you can get out on the road faster.

Why Does Budget Have a Smoke-Free Fleet?

An overwhelming number of our renters requested that our cars be smoke-free. With those requests in mind, we strive to maintain a completely smoke-free fleet. 

In addition, it’s more convenient for us and for our renters if they avoid smoking in a rental car because tobacco smoke can leave behind smells and stains. This means a lot of deep cleaning for us and fewer available rental cars for you. 

Note to Our Renters Who Smoke

Please understand that this smoke-free policy is an extension of our policies concerning excessive staining, pet hair, dirt or soilage attributable to the renter’s use. Budget expects these guidelines to ultimately benefit all renters, including those who smoke. Every renter deserves a clean and fresh-smelling car.



Can I vape in a rental car?

Budget prohibits all types of smoking in its cars, including vaping. In keeping with this policy, if a car comes back to us smelling of any type of smoke, including e-cigarette vapors, we will assess a cleaning fee. 



How Does Budget Check Cars for Smoking?

Each Budget vehicle is checked for cleanliness before it goes out to its renter. When it returns, we conduct an inspection to assess the vehicle’s overall cleanliness. If any physical evidence of smoking is found (ash/butts in the vehicle, cigarette burns, etc.), or if a smoky odor exists, renters will be assessed a fee.

If possible, we’ll take photos to substantiate the fee. A return agent will conduct the initial inspection, and a location manager will look it over later to validate any evidence found. 

In most cases, the cleanliness inspection takes place when the car is returned so the Return Agent can inform customers right away if a cleaning fee will be assessed. However, in some circumstances, the Return Agent may not be able to notify the customer of a possible fee at the time of vehicle return, such as when:

  • The customer leaves the return area before the Return Agent completes the inspection.

  • A Return Agent is unavailable when the car is returned.

  • The car is returned after hours.

In such cases, customers are notified via mail that the cleaning fee has been charged to their credit card.

How Much is a Budget Car Rental Cleaning Fee?

A cleaning fee can be up to $450. This fee is applicable to anyone who returns a rental that is dirty or stained.


How Can You Avoid a Cleaning Fee?

The best way to avoid the cleaning fee is to abstain from smoking in or near the vehicle. We recommend you look your car over before taking it out on the road. Check and smell for yourself to see if the car has any dirt, stains, or smoky smells. If you aren’t satisfied with the state of the car, talk to a representative immediately and we’ll get you a new one at no extra charge (dependent on availability). 

Take advantage of the perks of our clean, smoke-free fleet and look over our wide range of rental car options. Get started booking your rental car with Budget today!


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