A driver was lucky to escape with minor burns after he lit a cigarette inside his car - which then exploded.

The incident occurred on Fountain Street in Halifax, England just minutes after the man had finished spraying air freshener inside his Seat. When he lit up for a smoke, flames ignited aerosol vapors and the hatchback exploded like a makeshift car bomb.

“The owner of a car parked on that street and had used an air freshener can but not ventilated his car before lighting his cigarette,” West Yorkshire Police said.

“The fumes exploded and blew out his windscreen, along with some windows at nearby business premises. The owner fortunately sustained only minor injuries but this could have been worse.”

The car’s windows, doors and roof were blown out and wrecked and the explosion also damaged windows at nearby businesses.

The driver was treated in hospital for burns to his hands and face and is recovering at home.

Air fresheners contain a whole slew of highly flammable ingredients including propellants such as propane and butane.

Following the blast, authorities urged people to follow the safety warnings on product labels. “We don't always see risk in everyday items but invariably they do exactly what is says on the tin,” the fire service said on Twitter. “We have attended incidents of a similar nature before. Always read the labels.”