From October 1 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicles) in England and Wales whilst passengers  under the age of 18 are present.

The smoking ban comes following the introduction of the law that protects children and young people from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

If caught, both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50, and the law also applies to drivers aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence.

As well as the health benefits of the ban, British Car Auctions (BCA) suggests there are clear financial advantages too.

"Presentation is absolutely key when it comes to determining the value of a used car," explained Tim Naylor, editor of the BCA Used Car Market Report.

"And lighting up behind the wheel can be seriously damaging to the resale potential of your car.

"Smoking not only leaves a lingering smell in the cabin, issues with visible damage such as cigarette burns and nicotine-staining are a real concern for used car buyers."

BCA say that specialist pre-sale valeting techniques have to be used to eradicate the signs of smoking in a used car, and even then, nicotine staining may require the headlining or other fabric in the interior trim to be replaced.

Thus forcing the potential for added expensive, inconvenience and time for the seller if they want to maximise the potential value of their car.

Naylor concluded: "Smoking in a car is not only a health risk, it is potentially detrimental to the value of that car when the time comes to sell it. So the ban will not only be good news for motorists' and passengers' health, but will potentially be a positive for used car values too.

The new law applies to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof, and still applies if people have the windows or sunroof open, have the air conditioning on, or if they sit in the open doorway of the vehicle.

This means the law doesn't apply to a convertible car with the roof completely down.

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