Header burger open
Search Logo

Jump To

Currently Viewing:

Is Sleeping In Your Car Legal?

image of our writer Filip Maric

Written By Filip

Sleep Advisor

Featured image for Is sleeping in your car legal.

29 November 2023 6 min read

If you ask us, there's nothing wrong with taking a quick nap in the car. Unless there is an explicit prohibition against sleeping in car. Sometimes you'll come across a physical sign, but most of the time you can't be sure. So, how do you know if sleeping in your car is legal?

Let's save you from overthinking. Buckle up, we're taking you straight to the answer!

First of all, you should know one thing. No specific federal law expressly prohibits you from sleeping in a car comfortably (or not so comfortably.)

But don't stop reading just yet. There are still laws like private property laws regarding trespassing. So there is no simple answer.

Looks like you'll have to dive deeper into the topic. But don't worry. We won't turn into lawyers for private property laws – that's not interesting. Instead, we'll provide some tips about car parks, service stations, and tricks that have worked for us. By the way, you will get an answer to your question!

Is sleeping in your car legal in the UK?

An image of a woman sleeping in her car.

The short answer is yes. You can charge your batteries occasionally so as not to endanger the traffic.

However, it is very important that you do it the right way. What does that actually mean? To begin with, you should know under what circumstances you should NEVER sleep in a car.

  • If you are under the influence of alcohol and drugs – Do not take the car as an alternative after a night of heavy drinking. Even if the keys are out of the ignition while you are sleeping in the back seats. You can still receive a fine and a maximum of ten penalty points.
  • If you are parked illegally – There are plenty of sleeping areas, so you don't have to choose the first available spot to park legally. Not only will you potentially endanger other road users, but you will be fined. If you need an idea, check out the list of the best places to sleep.

But there is the other side of the coin.

When is sleeping in the car illegal?

An image of a woman sleeping in her car.

Some specific circumstances and locations do not allow/allow sleeping in the car because of the parking restrictions. It refers to:

  • Private property – it would be good if you have a friend or family member on whose private property you can spend the night, as you will need the landowner's permission
  • Public roads – as long as you are parked in a legal parking space and familiar with local parking regulations, you can stay there
  • Motorway services and rest areas – specific rules apply here, because there are time restrictions or require payment for parking

Best places to park your car and sleep

You're lucky because we've explored everything from hidden gems to well-known parking spots. Here are the most comfortable and legal spots.

Official car parks, camping and caravan sites

Okay, you all know about this.

For those unfamiliar with the terms, these are places that allow parking and sleeping in the car. This way, travellers on wheels can rest or explore a certain area while car camping. If you do a little research, you can find a place with stunning natural landscapes. It can really enhance your car slumber or bring you an unforgettable experience.

On the other hand, most places offer access to service stations, including clean restrooms, electrical connections and water hookups. Of course, the more you research, the closer you will be to sites that provide additional facilities. Thus, there is a possibility to find picnic areas, barbecue pits, and communal spaces. Fun, isn't it?

Paid parking facilities

How to find paid parking facilities? As with everything else, use online directories and apps. They exist for a reason – to help travellers find the perfect camping and caravan sites.

All you have to do is enter your desired location, amenities, and use reviews. What we love most about apps is the detailed information. So, expect to find a lot of photos, but also virtual tours. The most important thing is that you will find legal parking facilities! Along the way, you will be informed about specific regulations or restrictions.

Gas stations

Guys, looks like we have another safe location in sight! It is impossible not to notice a gas station on the main road. That is one of its biggest advantages. In addition to permitted parking, you will find plenty of delicious food and drinks. You will also have access to toilets and other services. But, you will probably be surrounded by other travellers.

I guess people feel safer knowing they are surrounded by staff and cameras. Well, if you're hungry or just want to stretch your legs you can always stop by. It's an opportunity to freshen up your car too.

Hotels, motels, and guesthouses

Consider this option if you want a warm cup of coffee and a safe spot to park and recharge. Here you will find a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep because you will not risk being woken up by the police. Yes, they have the right to check you even.

 Well, if you don't want the flash of a lamp at 3 am, maybe hotels and motels are a better option. The hotel costs are certainly less than the fine you would pay for illegal parking, but there is an alternative. It all depends on the type of nap you want – 45 minutes or several hours of sleep.


Of course, where can you find a greater peace than in the church? And you don't even have to be a believer.

But overnight parking is not allowed everywhere. In order not to wander too much, make a plan before the trip. Spend some time researching the area you will be travelling through and make a list of churches.

Equally rely on local recommendations because the locals certainly know the places where travellers are welcome. Finally, contact them by phone to confirm their policies regarding car sleeping.

24-hour stores, gyms, and malls

If you've been telling yourself for a month – I'm going to the gym from Monday, this is a sign! We'll start with parking to get you out of your comfort zone. So, these places have great places used not only by athletes but also by travellers worldwide.

As always, you should not rely on someone else's recommendation. Check all available information on the site, forums, travel groups and other places. The same applies to 24-hour stores and malls because these places have the most people.

Advantages of sleeping in your car

An image of a woman sleeping in her car.

Are you attached to your car too? If so, leaving it alone in some unknown place wouldn't be fair. That's right. Stay with your four-wheeled companion because various benefits await you.

We have in-depth article with numerous tips, and now we will present some of the main advantages to you.


And here we will end the story! Just kidding, but the cost savings can be huge. If you plan to catch a quick sleep, there is no need to spend money on hotel services. But some hotel deals can be tempting. What to do in that case?

There is a chance that someone will win the jackpot, but we haven't met that person yet. You are more likely to sleep with mouldy walls and dust mites. From that perspective, your car will feel like a five-star hotel!

Flexibility and mobility

That's what our adventurous spirit loves the most! And if you're like us, we have great news for you. Sleeping in the car will allow you to change travel plans immediately.

In that case, you can take a spontaneous road trip or opt for unfamiliar terrain. Wow, imagine yourself staying in remote areas, chasing stunning sunrises, or simply relaxing in nature.

Connection with nature

Connecting with nature has invaluable benefits for your physical and mental health. Therefore, sleeping in the car means escaping from the everyday city bustle, chirping birds and fresh grass under your feet.

You cannot feel that during a coffee break at a gas station and with traditional accommodations. This is a chance to feel true nature and establish a connection with it.

Simplified travel logistics

Sleeping in the car can make your travel logistics much simpler. For example, you don't have to worry about creating a plan and booking hotels, campsites, or guesthouses at your destination. It will give you more time for yourself!

Forget about specific check-in and check-out times because now you can be spontaneous. If you are not a control freak (or you are), you will like the freedom to adjust your travel plan on the fly.

Since you drive a car, you have easy access to remote locations while saving money. All you need is one of the best sleeping bags you can find.


During long drives, the road often seems endless. If you're tired and there's a gentle breeze in your hair, resisting the temptation is almost impossible. But be smart before your lids get too heavy!

Different countries, states, and cities can have quirky regulations. Ah, it's like icing on the cake – in a bad way. However, be prepared for pleasant surprises. So there is a way to get a good night's sleep completely legally.

Don't forget about known public places to sleep, like parks and large shopping centre parking lots. So, before you dismiss the idea, consider the benefits of taking a nap in the car.

Recommended reading:

Comments (0)

There are no comments yet

Popular News

The most popular from The Sleep Advisors

Featured Image for How to Keep Mattress from Sliding
06 December 2022

How to Keep Mattress from Sliding?

First, let's discuss why mattresses tend to slide in the first place. Well, given how much you'd typically move around in your sleep, it cou...
Featured image of Spundown pillow review.
15 August 2022

Spundown Pillow Review

We use Fine Bedding Company Spundown pillow for medium support, comfort and hypoallergenic features. Anyone who wants a supportive pillow th...
Don't Miss Out!
Get the latest reviews, special offers, new releases and more…
Deal Alert!
We loved this Deluxe microfibre duvet from Otty. And we love it more now that it's on Black Friday sale!
Hit the link in bio to check this deal and all the rest this Black Friday

#DealAlert #BlackFridaySale #MicrofibreDuvet #Otty #DeluxeQuality #SleepInStyle #ComfyBedding  #LuxurySleep #BlackFridayDeals #Discounts #ShopTillYouDrop #BedroomUpgrade #HomeDecor #CozyNights #SleepWell #BedroomGoals #LimitedTimeOffer #SaveBig #BestDeals #OnlineShopping #BargainHunting #MustHaveItem #SaleAlert  #SleepInComfort #BudgetFriendly #ShopSmart #DuvetLove #BlackFridaySpecials  #GetItWhileItsHot #HomeComforts
Shhhh.... I'll tell you a secret! Black Friday isn't over!
We've rounded up the stragglers to cater for your Black Friday FOMO. 
Mattresses, Beds & Bedding are still on MAJOR discounts, so don't delay! Get a bargain today.

Links in bio

#BlackFriday #SecretDeals #MattressSale #BedSale #BeddingSale #Discounts #Bargains #BlackFridayFOMO #MajorDiscounts #StillOnSale #LimitedTimeOnly #DealAlert #ShopSmart #SaveMoney #SleepBetter #QualitySleep #LuxuryBedding #ComfortableMattress #GoodNightSleep #BedroomUpgrades #HomeDecor #InteriorDesign #HappyCustomers #OnlineShopping #Convenience #LinkInBio #Don'tMissOut #ShopNow #GetABargain #GreatDeals
Mattress Deal Alert! 
Here are some top value deals we've sniffed out for you this Black Friday!
We love these from Emma, but they're not all! Check our Black Friday deal summary for all the best bed and mattress deals to save you money and upgrade your snooze this Black Friday!

#MattressDealAlert #BlackFriday #TopValueDeals #EmmaMattress #BlackFridayDeals #BedDeals #MattressDeals #SaveMoney #UpgradeYourSnooze #BestDeals #SleepBetter #SnoozeBetter #BlackFridayShopping #Bargains #BigSavings #HotDeals #LimitedTimeOffer #Discounts #SaleAlert #SleepComfortably #SaveBig #MustHaveDeals #BlackFridaySales #GreatOffers #DreamBedroom #ComfortableSleep #BudgetFriendlyDeals #QualityMattress #SleepHappy
Best Mattresses With Edge Support UK – Top 5 Picks Reviewed 💤

The best mattress with edge support UK has to offer is… Well, let's not get that ahead of ourselves. First, let's understand what edge support is and why it might be important to you!  Check out the link in BIO🔗

#thesleepadvisors #sleep #sleeping #edgesupport #mattresses #topmattresses
Don't snooze! Well.... not yet! First pick up a bargain in the Black Friday sales! 
We've rounded up all the best deals to save you searching. You can find them all at the links in bio... then snooze your little socks off!

#BlackFridayDeals #BargainHunting #Savings #DealFinder #BlackFridaySales #ShopTillYouDrop #Discounts #BestDeals #LimitedTimeOffers #BigSavings #MoneySavingTips #OnlineShopping #SalesAlert #HolidayShopping #ShopSmart #ShopOnline #EarlyBirdGetsTheDeal #MustHaveItems #HolidayGifts #ShoppingSpree #Don'tMissOut #ClearanceSale #BiggestSaleOfTheYear #GetThemandSave #ScoreABargainGiveaway
Do you sleep on your tummy? On the side? Or on your back?
Can a topper suit your sleeping position & improve your sleep?
With 15% Off for Black Friday, the Panda Mattress Topper is worth a try!

#thesleepadvisors #topper  #mattresstopper #saggymattress #panda #sleepingpositio
Beat the queues and get your black Friday shopping done early!
You won't miss out as we've pulled this year's best deals together in one handy page. You'll find it on the link in bio

#blackfridaydeals #blackfridaysale #mattress
You can make or break your bedroom style with the perfect bed! What can make this easier? A HUGE Black Friday discount on your chosen bed frame of course!
From Ottoman to Sofa Beds, Metal or Wooden. The Sleep Advisors have pulled together the best in beds this Black Friday and here they are.
Link in bio

#bedroomstyle #perfectbed #BlackFridaydiscount #bedframe #Ottomanbeds #SofaBeds #Metalbeds #Woodenbeds #SleepAdvisors #bestinbeds #BlackFridayDeals #FurnitureSale #interiordecor #comfortablebed #sleepwell #homeimprovement #dreambedroom #discountshopping #shoppingtime #homefurnishings #cozybedroom #interiordesignideas #bedroominspo #masterbedroom #comfybedroom #sleepingbeauty #bedroomupgrade #relaxationstation #styleandcomfort #sweetdreams
Black Friday deal alert!
Get 15% discount on the award-winning Panda Hybrid Bamboo Mattress Topper!

#BlackFriday #DealAlert #Discount #PandaHybrid #BambooMattress #MattressTopper #SleepBetter #BedroomUpgrade #LuxurySleep #Sale #LimitedTimeOffer #SleepComfortably #SaveMoney #QualitySleep #ComfortableBedding #NaturalMaterials #SustainableChoice #EcoFriendlyMattressTopper #AffordableLuxury #BestPrice #HolidayShopping #HomeDecor #GreatDeal #BlackFridaySale #LimitedStock #InnovativeDesign #PremiumQuality #SleepWell #CozyBedding #BetterSleepingExperience
Do you sleep on your tummy? On the side? Or on your back? Can a topper suit your sleeping positions, and improve your sleep? Let’s find out! Check out the link in our BIO
#thesleepadvisors #topper #mattresstopper #saggymattress #panda #sleepingposition
Close button

Don't Miss Out!

Get the latest reviews, special offers, new releases and more…

By submitting this form, you are opting into our mailing lists.
See our privacy policy.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.