Is it illegal to sleep in your car in California?

I’m planning to road trip across California for two months. To cut costs, I’m going to sleep in my car. Is it illegal to sleep in your car in California?

Eric Schad · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Since you want to cut costs, you’ll be pleased to know that it is not illegal to sleep in your car in
However, the state does have two notable laws:
  • You can’t sleep or park in a rest area for more than eight hours.
  • It’s illegal to park on the side of the freeway for sleeping or any other reason other than an emergency.
Local law may also impact your ability to sleep in your car. Some cities and counties ban sleeping in your car unless you’re in a designated area. 
Do some research during your planning phase to find out where you can sleep in your car.
Pro tip: Before you set off on your journey, plan ahead by packing an emergency kit and getting roadside assistance or
towing and labor coverage
View full answer 
Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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