It's the season for hayfever, and it seems like half the country is sniffling from the condition.

Volvo can help. Surprised? Yes, me too. But the carmaker, which has long led the way for vehicle health and safety, now fits all its models with either an air quality system or pollen filter as standard.

Cars fitted with an Air Quality System use an interior air quality sensor which measures the levels of particles in the incoming air. It can automatically close the car's air intake without any input from the driver before levels inside the car become unhealthy, such as when toxic carbon monoxide is detected from the vehicle in front.

Clever stuff, eh? The technology means that air inside a Volvo is always cleaner than it is outside. Combined with high quality pollen filters fitted in the ventilation system, "a driver and its passengers are protected from harmful pollen and air pollution finding their way into the cabin," said the manufacturer.

"Now that some warmer weather has arrived, albeit a few months late, it's worth reminding drivers that a Volvo has been designed from the outset to keep the causes of hayfever at bay whilst in the car," said Nick Connor, Volvo UK boss.

"As well as the health aspects of not breathing in pollen, ozone and hydrocarbons, the safety benefits associated with a driver avoiding long bouts of sneezing, whilst driving at speed on a motorway shouldn't be underestimated."

Volvo added that drivers on the road between 5am and 10am are most at risk of aggravating their hayfever as more pollen is emitted from trees and grass early in the morning. The further north you live, the later in the year that the pollen becomes an issue, although the recent wet weather has prolonged the hayfever season.