No lectures here – you know that smoking is bad for you. In fact, right now, only about 15% of adults in the United States smoke, and that means that over the years, motor vehicle manufacturers have become less and less inclined to accommodate smokers. In 1994, Chrysler led the way by removing lighters from its vehicles, leaving just the jack to plug in things like cell phone chargers. Now, people who want to smoke in their vehicles have to pay extra – sometimes over $400 if they’re buying a luxury model – to get a “smoker’s package.”
Option on most vehicles
If you are looking for a full smoker’s package in a used vehicle, you may have to do some shopping around. The full package would be a lighter in the front and ashtrays both front and rear. In some models (again, usually the higher-end vehicles), a lighter is also included for rear passengers. The reason you’ll have to do some looking to find a car with a smoker’s package is that for at least the past fifteen years, they have been available only as an option on most vehicles, and not available at all on some.
Most major auto manufacturers still do continue to offer a smoker’s package, at an extra cost, but of course there is no guarantee that the previous owner of the car you are thinking of buying will have requested one.
We sincerely hope that you are not basing the decision as to what vehicle to buy on whether it has a lighter and an ashtray. If you are, then you are dramatically reducing your choices. And besides, there is an alternative – lighters and ashtrays are simply parts, and you can always buy parts. You can get them from a dealership, or from an after-market outlet. We have even seen smoker’s packages for various makes and models for sale on eBay.
The Final Word
The best used car to buy if you are a smoker is the same used car you would buy if you were not a smoker. Don’t limit yourself to vehicles with lighters and ashtrays. You can always have them installed after the fact. At YourMechanic, we would far rather see you in a car that is mechanically sound and fun to drive than agonizing over how to get your cigarette lit, and where to put it out. So buy the car, and then get the smoker’s package installed.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as The Best Used Cars to Buy If You Smoke and was authored by Valerie Johnston.