News story

Smoking in vehicles

Update on new law on smoking in cars and other vehicles with someone under 18.

It's illegal to smoke in a vehicle with anyone under 18

It is illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicle) with anyone under 18. The law changed on 1 October 2015, to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50. The law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence.

The law applies:

  • to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof
  • when people have the windows or sunroof open, or the air conditioning on
  • when someone sits smoking in the open doorway of a vehicle

The law does not apply to:

  • e-cigarettes (vaping)
  • a driver who is 17 years old if they are on their own in the car
  • a convertible car with the roof completely down

Every time a child breathes in secondhand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals. This puts them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia. It can also make asthma worse.

This short animation tells people about the change in the law.

For more information, see the guidance on new rules about tobacco, e-cigarettes and smoking

Published 17 July 2015
Last updated 11 August 2015 + show all updates
  1. Short animation about the change in the law on smoking in vehicles in England and Wales from October 2015.
  2. First published.