Avis, Budget to ban smoking in cars

Sept. 14, 2009 at 10:24 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. customers who smoke in an Avis or Budget rental car after Oct. 1 will be fined up to $250, the Avis Budget Group said.

The ban makes Avis and Budget the first major car rental companies to ban smoking in a North American fleet, USA Today reported Monday.

"The No. 1 request we get is for a smoke-free car," Avis Budget Group spokesman John Barrows said.

Avis and Budget cars will be inspected on return for the smell of smoke, Barrows said, adding it costs more to clean a smoky car because the car often has to be taken out of service longer.

Hertz lets customers request a smoke-free car but doesn't guarantee it, Hertz spokeswoman Paula Rivera said. Enterprise, Alamo and National have no "across-the-board" smoking ban but many of their locations restrict smoking, said Laura Bryant, a spokeswoman for parent company Enterprise Holdings.

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