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From the Mouth of Martin: Top Tips to Slash the Cost of Motoring – #31

Strap yourselves in wannabe petrol heads. With the help of money saving expert, Martin Lewis, Book Theory Test Today is hitting the road with 50 top tips that will cut your motoring costs. Tune in each & every week for a new tip and remember to share with friends and family and slash the cost of motoring. This week we’re looking at smoking in the car or rather not smoking in the car. From October 1, 2015, smoking in private a vehicle, whether that’s a passenger or driver, with anyone aged 17 or under will carry a £50 fine, increasing your cost of motoring.

Cut the cost of motoring tip #31 – Don't smoke in the car

Book Theory Test Today says: “The highly controversial smoking ban in private vehicles has left many of Britain’s motorists infuriated, accusing the government of big brother tactics to squeeze more cash out of Britain’s drivers.” Now, aside from paying for a packet of cigarettes, motorists stand to see the cost of motoring increase by having to pay out a £50 fine if they’re caught lighting up with a passenger under the age of 17 in the vehicle. Health experts say that the ban is necessary to protect children from the effects of second hand smoke. Additionally, they hope that expanding the smoking ban to private vehicles will encourage people to quit and save them money long-term.  Presently, the new law will only be enforced in England and Wales. However, the Scottish government is working towards enforcing a similar law by 2016. There are currently no plans to enforce such a law in Northern Ireland.

What vehicles will be affected?

Cars and vans, but the law expands to campervans, caravans and motorhomes, basically anything that’s been utilised as a vehicle with the engine switched on. However, the law will not be enforced if a vehicle is being used as accommodation.

Does the law apply to 16 and 17-year-olds?

By law you can smoke at the age of 16, but remember you can only purchase fags aged 18. If you’re under 18 and driving alone, don’t worry the cost of motoring won’t increase for you as you can’t be fined. However, if you’re caught driving with a passenger of 17-years-old or under, you will be fined. Passengers under 18 and caught smoking also face a fine along with any driver under 18-years-old. You can smoke if you're 16 (though you can only buy cigarettes if you're at least 18). If under 18, and driving alone you won't be fined for smoking. If driving with others aged 17 or under, you will be fined. If you're a passenger under 18 and smoking, both you and the driver who is also under 18, could be fined.

I’ve got the windows open can I be fined?

Yes. You can have the windows open, sunroof open, air-conditioning on, heck you can even be hanging out the car door, but the law still applies.

I’m driving a convertible with the roof down will I be fined?

No. If you’re driving a convertible with the roof down, you’re exempt from these laws. No cost of motoring increase for you!

My engine’s turned off what about me?

Even if the engine’s off and you’ve got the windows down, there’s a chance you can still be hit with a fine.

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