Do European Cars Have Cigarette Lighters? (We Checked)

Car cigarette lighter holes are gradually losing its mark because of the wider use of the USB port. However, these holes are useful for a few other things, like serving as a power source for a car inverter and other similar devices.

As a result, some few vehicle makers still provide the cigarette lighters. In this article, we checked the European automakers and provide our findings on whether their vehicles still feature the cigarette lighter hole.

car cigarette lighter

Here’s a Short Answer To Whether European Cars Have Cigarette Lighters:

Unlike the old European vehicles, many new European cars feature USB ports and wireless charging pads. This is because of the rising demands for simpler and more effective electronic technologies.

However, some basic European vehicles may still feature cigarette lighters while some advanced ones may have the hole as an optional feature.

What European Car Brands Still Feature Cigarette Lighters?

Quite a few European brands, like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche, still feature the cigarette lighters in some of their old vehicles. Mind you, you’ll only find it as an optional feature in many of the new ones.

For example, some of the sixth-generation models of the BMW 3 Series offer a cigarette lighter. Similarly, the 2011 – 2017 BMW 5 Series also features the cigar lighter hole as one of its power outlets.

Other European cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Volkswagen Golf, and Porsche Cayenne also offer a cigarette lighter hole in some of their vehicles.

Moreover, some European cars, like the Audi A6, even features a front and rear cigarette lighters in some of their model years.

The truth is, most of the new versions of many European cars only offer the power outlet as an optional accessory. This means you may have to request for it to have it on the vehicle of your choice.

It is important to note that rather than offering a cigarette lighter socket, you’ll most likely get a 12 volts accessory socket, which also works with 12V plugs. That said, check 6 European cars with 12V outlets here.

How Do Cars Without Cigarette Lighters Power Electronics?

There are various ways in which you can power electronics in a car aside from using cigarette lighters. Here are 3 common options:

1. USB Ports

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a popular device used in establishing connection, communication, and power supply between computers and several other electronic gadgets.

First introduced in 1996, USB has gone ahead to become the most connection and power supplying device in this digital era.

While it comes in different forms, the most recent is the Type C and the most common is the Type-A typically found in many homes.

USB Ports are popular in most recent modern vehicles, and they’ve proven to be effective in charging mobile electronics. Although their power capabilities vary, most USB ports found in modern vehicles supply power at 5V DC.

2. 12 Volts Accessory Sockets

The 12 volts socket is another option you can use to power electronics in modern vehicles. While it is similar to the cigarette lighter, it is typically more powerful than the USB ports.

Like the cigarette lighter socket, the 12V holes also work with 12V plugs, and it works with more receptacles.

The truth is, both of these sockets will power many of your electronics. However, because the cigarette wasn’t originally designed for charging, it could heat up more dangerously and may affect the socket. You’ll less likely have to deal with this when you use a 12V accessory socket.

3. Wireless Charging Pads

Wireless charging pads make use of an inductive charging technology that enables you to charge your electronics without a cord. It makes use of an electromagnetic induction to provide electricity to some devices.

While this is a relatively new feature in most recent vehicles, you can find the charging pads in vehicles like BMW, Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Chrysler, and several others.

Although wireless charging pads are not compatible with all electronics, they are also one of the means people charge their devices in their vehicles.

Some manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have started using the Qi wireless charging technology, which works with the wireless charging pad.

Do Rental Cars in Europe Have Cigarette Lighters?

Because of the nature of rental cars and the security risks involved in using a cigarette lighter, many rental car companies in Europe are cynical about providing cigarette lighters in a rental vehicle.

Aside from its use in charging electronics, cigarette lighters are originally designed for lighting cigarettes. So, if improperly used, it could lead to a fire hazard in the vehicle.

This is one of the reasons why many rental cars in Europe prefer to remove cigarette lighters from vehicles.

Besides, the increasing restrictions on smoking is another factor. Nonetheless, you may still have some rental cars who’ll feel no aversion towards the inclusion of a cigarette lighter hole in vehicles.

How Many Volts Do Cigarette Lighters Have in Europe?

Cigarette lighters in Europe typically have 12 volts. Although this is not a regulation, 12V is like a standard socket in most European vehicles. This is why you’ll likely see many mainstream vehicles featuring a 12V socket.

Do Newer Cars in Europe Have Cigarette Lighters?

Most new vehicles in Europe do not have cigarette lighters. What you’ll likely see is a 12V socket which looks just like the cigar hole.

The reason is, most European countries are adopting stricter regulations towards smoking in public areas. Also, the potential fire hazard that could occur through smoking in a car is another factor most automakers consider.

Nonetheless, it is possible to still see some new European cars feature a cigar lighter; at least, as an optional feature. Make sure you check if new cars in general have cigarette lighters.

5 European cars that DON’T have cigarette lighters anymore

Virtually all European cars don’t have cigarette lighters anymore. They may have them in their old models; however, almost all new cars made in Europe have stopped featuring a cigar lighter.

5 European cars that no longer have the cigarette lighters include:

  • BMW
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Audi
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo

Aside from the aversions developed about the car cigar hole, these automakers have opted for more advanced technologies that make powering electronics in a vehicle easier.

Final Thoughts

You’ll agree that using cigarette lighters to charge is not as easy as charging your device via a USB port. This is because while you’ll need an adapter to connect your USB cable to the lighter hole, you can simply plug the cable directly into the USB port.

So, why bother about the presence of a cigarette lighter when you can have as many USB ports as possible in a car?

Smoking in a vehicle is not always safe; but if you require the cigar lighter, you can always make a request for it. Many European vehicle owners make provision for them as an optional feature.

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