North America, Uncategorized, United States, West Africa

Is it illegal to sleep in your car

The need to save money for rent or other needs may force you to sleep in your car. Is it illegal to sleep in your car or is it normal routine activities that is not illegal?

The answer is No, it’s not illegal to sleep in your car. But there are many exceptions to this general rule, and laws for sleeping in your car will differ from state to state. For instance in the United State, over a dozen states, including Virginia and Florida, don’t allow motorists to sleep overnight at rest stops. One can sleep in his car in Florida and Virginia in the day time at rest shops. Some cities, including Key West, out rightly ban sleeping in cars entirely. And, in general, private businesses are free to ban drivers from sleeping overnight in their parking lots.

Why do some people sleep in the car?

Is it illegal to sleep in your car ? There are many reasons why some people sleep in their car.

Want of affordable housing and life transitions are just some reasons some people are considering using their cars, rather than a hotel room, as a temporary housing solution. These transitions might include things like:

i. Looking for a new job in another city.

ii. Being between jobs.

iii. Driving a long distance.

iv. Having to find a new place to live on short notice.

v. Saving money to rent an apartment.

vi. Waiting for a lease to begin or a home loan to close.

Some families also use sleeping in the car to cut hotel costs while traveling. No matter what might motivate people’s choices to save money by sleeping in their cars long-term or even temporarily, it’s possible to make these kinds of decisions without sacrificing more than you have to.

Whether you are sleeping in your car temporarily, a permanent wanderer, or just on a road trip and looking for a safe place to catch some shut-eye, you’ve probably wondered if it is illegal to sleep in your car and whether national and state laws permit overnight parking spots. Here’s some information that we hope can help you make choices that save you money and keep you safer.

However, before the information we would want you to know if it safe to sleep in your car.

Is it safe to sleep in a car?

Some criminals probably aren’t going to target someone sleeping in a car. Nevertheless, you may be vulnerable sleeping in the car. Sleeping-in-car veterans suggest two ways to protect yourself.

  1. Camouflage: tinted windows, blankets or tarps, and even piling up possessions around yourself.
  2. Choosing a safe location.

Don’t pull off into the farthest corner of a deserted rest stop, or park on the side of a road. Instead, the Travel Dudes advise, find a spot in the lot outside a Walmart or other large store, in a church parking lot, or in a nice residential neighborhood where there are many other cars parked.

There are few hidden dangers and problems associated with sleeping in your car. Maria Fernandes, a 32-year-old New Jersey woman, worked three separate jobs at three Dunkin’ Donuts, slept in her Kia Sportage between shifts. One night in 2014, the New York Times reported, a gas container in the back tipped over, filling the car with fumes that killed Fernandes in her sleep. Sleeping in your car with the engine running is not advisable because it cause the car to fill with deadly carbon monoxide.

Do you need good Information about sleeping in your Car ?

Is it illegal to sleep in your car? If this question has been in your mind then you aren’t alone. People who sleep in their car has increased numerically in recent years. As a result, states and cities are making adjustments to existing laws and parking rules, or ordinances.

These laws or rules or ordinances spell out where you can park a car, for how long, and your relative rights and responsibilities. Ordinances also include consequences and punishments for ignoring these rules. (here is a look of what an Ordinances look like, here’s an example from the state of North Carolina that addresses towing illegally parked vehicles.)

Not obeying the rules can add trouble to an already troublesome situation for many. Nobody would want to be woken up in the middle of the night by a police officer and asked to move—and getting your car out of impound isn’t cheap. Veteran car-campers likely have a good idea of the do’s and don’ts of overnight parking. However, If you found yourself in this situation, do the following it will help you immensely.

Contact your friends where they park?

  • Don’t assume you can park anywhere at any state or city you are not familiar with and don’t assume that that friend, friend of a friend, or website is correct. Where is sleeping in your car illegal? The answer varies by state, by city, and even by area of the city in which you park. Again, law is dynamic in nature, the website where you find an information that you can park anywhere in the state or city and sleep inside your car may not have been updated to reflect the current law, rule or ordinance. For instance, New York has different rules for car sleepers than Los Angeles. Law being dynamic in nature, rules are changing. example, both Boise and San Diego recently repealed a previous ordinance that banned sleeping in your car. And in Iowa, sleeping in your car with the engine running while intoxicated could result in a DUI, even if the car isn’t in motion.
  • What to do is to get parking laws, rules or ordinances about parking and sleeping in your car in the area you want to park from the most reliable source possible. Many city websites have a section dedicated to parking enforcement. The actual ordinance may not be online, but an email or phone number for the department will be. Other places to call for reliable parking information include homeless shelters and police departments.

Maybe I’ll just park somewhere and see what happens.

  • Ignorance is not a defense for breach of any rules or ordinances. Don’t try to wing it without knowing the rules. Public streets, city parks, and city streets all have varying rules about when and where you can park. You may be lucky in few occasions, but you will not want a knock on the door at 2 AM by a code enforcement officer or any law enforcement officer asking you to explain yourself. Generally speaking, you will be given a warning for loitering and asked to leave within a certain period. Failure or neglecting to obey the rules and ordinances or repeated violations can result in traffic tickets, parking fines, and even trespassing charges.
  • What to do is to think of the financial consequences of making a mistake. You would not want to throw money around for a simple mistake of paying for Fines, towing costs, and missing out on paid work hours are just a few of the obvious costs of parking in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I think I should just park in a church, rest stop, and truck stop? What about Walmart parking lots?

This may sound pleasant but don’t rely on rumors or assume the kindness of strangers. Not all churches, big-box parking lot, or rest area allows overnight parking.

However, many Walmart stores do still allow overnight parking––making such stores a safer bet for car sleeping than your typical downtown or residential area––not every single one of them does. It is up to the store manager and restrictions do apply. Below is what Walmart has to say about it:

“While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV”.

Some churches don’t permit it as church parking lots are private property. Some post parking rules that are visible to would-be car campers. Though some churches might be a little more understanding if you park illegally, however, you can still be warned and/or charged for trespassing. Rest stops are frequently used by long-haul truckers and road-trippers as a place to, well, rest. But overnight parking is usually prohibited and rules are usually posted onsite.

  • What to do is to carry out your own research. If you are a student, you may find that your school has resources to help you, like this one. And, keep looking for other places in your budget you can cut costs.

For example, reconsider your current car insurance plan. Your insurance needs may be different now if you’re living in your car—even if you aren’t driving it. In some cases, you’ll still have to carry some kind of insurance on the car but certainly, you won’t want to pay for more than you need. Do you keep valuables (like a laptop) in your car? What happens if you are involved in an accident while parked? What if you are towed? These are all important considerations that can change your insurance rates.

Insurify is your first stop when it comes to car insurance savings. It just takes a few minutes to enter your driver info, let them know if you’re already insured, and set your ideal deductible limits to get anywhere from 6 to 20 free and accurate car insurance quotes. The average Insurify user saves $585 a year on their insurance premiums. That chunk of change can have some real impact in the long run.

A poor driving record may work against you but do not assume you can’t find a better rate. Though it may be ordinarily harder to cut insurance costs because of things like a DUI on your record, there are many affordable options these days if you can find them.

You can find overnight parking searching online…

Improve on your vocabulary. You will achieve more success if you know and understand some keywords you may or may not be familiar with your Google searches and phone conversations if you know and understand some keywords you may or may not be familiar with. Some common phrases for searching parking rules include:

  • Parking enforcement
  • City parking ordinance
  • Vehicle habitation laws


  • With more efforts and persistent getting insurance just like asking for information regarding overnight parking isn’t hard—but most times it can feel that way especially when we are tired or in a hurry. Understanding these will guide you to make a better  decision both for yourself and family. Often shelters and non-emergency police numbers can connect you quickly and easily to other helpful services. Your local 211 is always a good resource on how your jurisdiction and area handles these issues.

Insurify is one of numerous steps in your savings journey, but it’s also  one of the easiest. You’d be amazed how easy it is to cut car insurance costs in just a matter of minutes.


You Fell Asleep Behind the Wheel – Will Auto Insurance Cover Your Losses?

Is it illegal to sleep in your car? Falling asleep behind the wheel of your car is risk. In some situations, it can lead to wrecks, significant damage or even the death of another person. Most often, your auto insurance covers the damage you cause to other people. Yet, there are some limits. Why you fell asleep could be a key factor in determining if the policy pays out.

Reason you Fall Asleep?

Could it be you had a long day at work and you dozed off? Were you drinking and driving? Or, do you have a medical condition such as narcolepsy that causes you to fall asleep most times. In all situations, your insurer wants to know why you fell asleep at the wheel.

Most times, the policy’s liability insurance covers losses to another person’s belongings. For instance, it may cover damage to another driver’s car if you hit that driver after falling asleep. It may also pay for your damage if the incident was accidental and you could not avoid it.

You should let your agent know about Your Health conditions.

When you obtain auto insurance, your agent asks you about any reasons that you may be a high-risk driver. If you have any health condition that often lead or cause you to fall asleep behind the wheel, always inform the agent. Don’t hide your medical conditions. In some cases, your car insurance policy is void if you fail to disclose this critical information. Insurance companies need to know if you have any condition that makes you a high-risk driver.

Was it Just a normal Accident ?

Most times, an incident like this occurs as a result of an accident. It may however be that you just did not sleep well. You worked long hours. You just doze off. When this occurs, your policy is still likely to provide coverage to you. However, if you were driving under the influence of alcohol or any other narcotic substances, your insurance likely won’t cover the damage. If you received a ticket for reckless driving, your insurance company may not pay out. In other words, you could have prevented this accident had you acted responsibly.

The key is to be sure you have the right amount of car insurance in place. And, always inform your agent about any risk factors or health conditions that apply to you. This can help ensure your auto insurance remains in place even if you do have an incident like this.


Is it illegal to sleep in your car, there are many reasons why people sleep in their car. Whether it’s after a big night, on a road trip, or because your cousin snores like a freight train, sleeping in your car sometimes seems like your best option. Of course, sleeping in your car is never an ideal choice, but it’s more common than you might think. It’s  however not illegal to sleep in your car. But there are many exceptions to this general rule, and laws for sleeping in your car will differ from state to state.