Short Answer: Smoking in a leased car does not violate the lease policy of most car dealers. However, the lessee is responsible for any charges the dealer may assess if smoking in the car causes damage to the vehicle. For more information on smoking in a leased car, see below.
Can You Smoke in a Leased Car?
You can smoke in a leased vehicle, customer service representatives at car dealers in many states said. Representatives told us that although their companies have no rule against smoking in a leased car, the lessee will be responsible for damage incurred as a result of smoking in the vehicle. Burns, holes, and any other blemishes caused by smoking will be assessed and may result in a charge at the end of the lease. Some dealers, including Tesla, will also charge a cleaning and maintenance fee if the vehicle shows clear evidence of smoking, in addition to other damage fees.
You can find the online guidelines for end-of-lease assessments by clicking on each car brand in the table below. These guidelines do not specifically mention smoking in cars; instead, they feature general information about how the condition of your vehicle will be judged at the end of the lease. The assessments are similar, with a few differences between brands. For instance, some brands list the exact size of a burn or stain that they will consider normal wear-and-tear, and any stain or burn larger than that size is regarded as excessive damage and will incur a charge. Other brands will charge for any incidence of a stain or burn, regardless of size.
The actual damage assessment and amount of the fee is at the discretion of the vehicle inspector (who may be from a third-party inspection company), and each situation will vary depending on the extent of the damage. It is best to contact your dealer regarding its policy on smoking in a leased car and the potential damage charges and amounts. Dealers for the manufacturers in the table below all expressed that lessees are free to smoke in their cars, but at risk of incurring cleaning and damage costs:
Keep in mind that rental car policies are different from leased car policies. Smoking in rental vehicles is against the policy of most car rental companies, as our article explains. In other rental situations, smoking can also lead to charges for smoke damage. Our article covers the smoking policy and other details you may find helpful when renting a party bus.