Travel Tips

Can You Sleep In Your Car In A Parking Lot?

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Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by Rose Morah

We all have our reasons to sleep in the car. 

It is easy to find a place near you to park and sleep.

Personally, I have slept in my car not once not twice but countless times. 

Here are a few reasons why you may sleep in a car:

  1. When traveling on a very tight budget. It helps cut down hotel costs.
  2. When working in between jobs.
  3. Other life circumstances.

In this article, we will be discussing whether it is possible to sleep in your car in the following places:

  • Hotel parking lot.
  • Hospital parking lot.
  • Walmart parking lot.
  • Airport parking lot.

Note: This article only gives information about sleeping in your car for a maximum of 24 hours. It does not include camping outside your car.

But first, is it illegal to sleep in your car in a parking lot?

It depends. Different states have different rules concerning this. Where you choose to park also plays a part, even when it’s legal in that state.

Can you sleep in your car in a hotel parking lot?

Legally, you are not allowed to sleep in your car on private property. A hotel parking lot is private property.

Additionally, if you are in a state that prohibits sleeping in the car, I’d urge you not to risk it.

Find out if it is illegal to sleep in your car in your state

However, some people have gotten away with it on many occasions after posing as hotel guests, then turning off the lights and sleeping in the car at the parking lot. Some say it turned out okay because no one noticed. 

Disclaimer: The above is not legal advice. You are responsible for knowing and understanding your local laws.

If you are just looking for a place to crash because you have nowhere else to go, I’d recommend you try truck stops or rest stops. Most of them are free.

You can check out our article on what you need to know before sleeping at a truck stop

What are the risks of sleeping in a car in a hotel parking lot?

  1. You may get a trespass charge.

Many hotels have reported many cases of people sleeping in their parking lots. So, many of them have now decided to take legal action so that other people can learn from it.

  1. Health risks.

If you sleep without cracking the window to allow some fresh air in and out of the vehicle as you sleep, this might end up being a health risk due to the dangers of long carbon monoxide exposure.

See also: How to Sleep in a Car During Winter (5 Things You Should Know).

Can you sleep in your car in a hospital parking lot?

It depends on the local laws regarding sleeping in the car and the amount of time you will be sleeping

Sometimes sleeping in a hospital parking lot may go unnoticed. But only if you don’t attract attention and just sleep quietly.

Remember: This is not legal advice. You are solely responsible for knowing and understanding your local laws.

However, most hospitals advise against this. So, you will most likely find security guards patrolling the parking lots in most hospitals.

You may also like:

11 Best Cars To Sleep In (Tips From Avid Campers).

How To Quickly Get Bed Bugs Out Of Your Vehicle.

How To Permanently Get Rid Of Roaches In The Car (Fast & Effectively).

Can you sleep in your car in a Walmart parking lot?

Yes, Walmart will allow you to sleep in the parking lot, but not all stores will allow it.

Before you park to sleep in a Walmart parking lot, first find out if it is allowed. You can also use online apps to help you find Walmart stores that allow you to sleep in their parking lot.

How do you find a Walmart store that allows overnight parking?

Personally, I use AllStays to find Walmart stores near me that will allow me to park overnight and sleep in the car. This way I’m able to have a good night’s sleep without the fear of being kicked out in the middle of the night.

Before you park to sleep in your car at a Walmart store, make sure that it is allowed. Read their parking lot signs (No Overnight Parking or Maximum Parking hours) or ask the security guards if you are allowed to park and sleep in your car.

Advantages of sleeping in a Walmart’s parking lot

  1. It is safer.

It feels safer to sleep in your car at Walmart’s parking lot than at truck stops or rest areas.

  1. Facilities.

Most of them have bathrooms. It is also easy to access food and drinks from nearby restaurants and stores in Walmart.  

See also: How To Plan A Road Trip On A Budget.

Can you sleep in the car overnight at an airport? 

Yes, but be prepared to pay more in parking fees.

Additionally, just ensure that you are doing nothing suspicious or illegal and that you are not intoxicated.

See also:

MSP Airport Parking Rates & Best MSP Offsite Airport Parking.

LAX Airport Parking Rates & Best Parking at LAX.

Other places where you can legally sleep at the parking lot

  1. Religious buildings 

Before you park for an overnight sleep in a religious building, first ask whether they will allow you. 

Most of the time, they will allow you to park and sleep.

  1. Search online for safe parking programs.

If you Google ‘Safe Parking Programs,’ you are like to get a good parking lot near you to crash at.

Examples of these Safe Parking Programs include;

Hello there! My name is Rose. I’m passionate about electric cars and clean energy. My adventurous spirit and journalistic pursuits make each day fascinating and far greater. I consider traveling not just about the grandeur moments, but the little elements that transform the whole experience.