How Hot Does a Car Get in the Sun?

The interior of a car can get dangerously hot in hot weather. After just an hour in 70-degree weather, the interior of a car heats up to about 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
Written by Cameron Thiessen
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
According to a study from San Francisco State University’s Department of Geosciences, a car heats up by 19 degrees Fahrenheit after just 10 minutes in the sun. After 60 minutes on a 70-degree day, the internal car temperature can reach 113 degrees.
These numbers get even more intense as the temperature rises outdoors. On the more extreme side, a car left in 95-degree air temperature for an hour will heat up to 138 degrees inside.
Trying to keep the inside of your car cool on an especially warm day?
, the
car insurance
expert and
trusted comparison tool
, has some hot tips for you.
Read on to find out how hot a car gets in the sun. Plus, we’ll fill you in on how to find the hottest deals on car insurance!
Make safe driving pay
Get rewarded for safe driving. Earn points and unlock benefits. Totally free.
Start earning now

How hot does a car get in hot weather?

A car left in the sun when the outside temperature is hot will heat up the most during the first 10 minutes. A recent study (the same one mentioned earlier) found that vehicles will heat up by 19 degrees during this time and will continue to get gradually hotter as time goes on. 
After just an hour on a hot summer day, a car can warm up by 43 to 44 degrees!
Even if your car isn’t left in the direct sun, it’ll still get pretty hot inside. Another study showed that when left in the shade, the temperature on the inside of a car rose from 85 to 101 degrees in an hour.

3 ways to keep your parked car cool in the sun

Whether you use any of the following strategies or not, never leave children or pets unattended in a hot car for any amount of time. Even in the shade, a car’s internal temperature can reach lethal levels of heat and cause overheating, heat stroke, or hyperthermia. 
A body temperature of just 104 degrees is enough to cause heat stroke. Even air conditioning isn’t enough to keep little ones safe in a parked car in hot weather.
However, if you just want to ensure your steering wheel doesn’t scald your hands and your seats don’t roast your legs, try these tips to keep your vehicle cool!

Use a sunshade

A traditional reflective sunshade is designed to redirect the sun’s rays, keeping them from reaching the car’s interior. Other sunshades are non-reflective, and they’re able to absorb rays instead of reflecting them.
In many cases, a sunshade can decrease the interior temperature of a car by more than 30 degrees in high-temperature weather. Just make sure that you’re using the sunshade correctly, with the right side facing toward the sun.

Park out of direct sunlight

This one is fairly straightforward. The sun will heat your car much faster if you are parked in direct sunlight. Keeping your car parked outside in the shade isn’t as great as parking in a cool garage, but it’s definitely better than leaving your vehicle entirely uncovered.

Invest in window tint

Various types of window tints will also help. Most window tints are designed to filter out heat-producing rays, effectively keeping the interior of your car cool. 
Having tinted windows as well as a sunshade is an especially effective combo for keeping your car cooler while it’s parked in the hot sun. Just remember that not all window tints are legal depending on where you live, so make sure to follow the legal tinting guidelines in your state.
rating reverse-full
"I’m earning
awesome rewards
every week, just for driving safe!”

The coolest way to save money on car insurance

Not only does
have plenty of tips for taking care of your vehicles, but we also have a game-changing super app that can automatically shop for better-priced
car insurance
for you! 
The Jerry app helps users save money by scanning custom quotes from over 55 name-brand insurance companies. We’ll sort through these offers and present you with a shortlist of the best deals out there for the coverage you need.
All you have to do is download the app, fill in your profile, and let Jerry do its thing! You’ll be browsing offers in less than a minute, and Jerry can help you finalize your new insurance and cancel your old policy. Our users save an average of $800+ annually on car insurance.
has amazing communication! And even better deals! Thanks to Jerry, I went from $327 to $182 on my payments. I’m so grateful!” —Kim T. 
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare and find out in 45 seconds.
Find Savings!
No long forms. No spam calls. Free Quotes.
4.7/5 App Store Rating, 8,100+ Reviews
Trusted by 1.5+ Million Customers.
rating primary


The temperature of a car parked in the sun can go up by 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes. A 2005 study from Pediatrics found that the temperature of a car parked outside in hot weather can increase by 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit per minute.
Not really. A study that found that a car heats up by 3.4 degrees per minute in the hot sun also found that the temperature still rose by 3.1 degrees per minute with the windows rolled down 8 inches.
Compare Car Insurance Quotes For Free
Jerry automatically shops for your insurance before every renewal. Members save $872/year.
rating primary
Rating on App Store
Start saving money!
12,000+ Reviews
Trusted by 3.5M car owners like you

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free