It’s inherently dangerous to park and rest in residential areas, but state rest areas, welcome centers, parks, and service plazas all have designated parking lots where you can sleep. However, each location has its own limitations.

If your car is damaged by another vehicle or vandals, insurance can cover the cost of repairing it. Here are some frequently asked questions about sleeping in a vehicle, as well as an in-depth look at where and when you can and cannot do so in your state.

Before you scroll down this list of places to sleep in your car in Phoenix, Arizona, you can check out these other recommendations from our team at Wandering California: Where Can You Sleep in Your Car in San Diego?

Places to Sleep in Your Car in Phoenix

Arizona Rest Area

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is a multimodal transportation organization that serves one of the country’s fastest-growing regions. ADOT is in charge of long-range planning, construction, and maintenance of the state’s highway system as well as bridge-building and administration at Grand Canyon Airport.

The Motor Vehicle Division, which is part of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), is a major portion of the agency. It provides title, registration, and driver’s license services to residents and visitors throughout Arizona.

The gasoline tax is paid by drivers, fuel purchasers, vehicle owners, and business operators who use transportation services. Individuals and businesses contribute money to build and manage the state’s transportation systems through petroleum taxes, motor-carrier charges, and auto title, registration, and license fees.

ADOT collects 80 percent of its income through taxes and fines from the private sector in the form of paychecks and transportation services and materials.

ADOT does not specifically prohibit parking your car or RV overnight at a rest area. You are welcome to park your car or RV for the night at an Arizona Rest Area as long as you and it do not stray beyond the line into “camping.”

At all Arizona Rest Areas, including those along Highway 73 and near the Grand Canyon, DOT welcomes travelers to sleep in their vehicles. A rest area’s primary aim is to encourage safety, thus ADOT uses the phrase “Safety Rest Area.” You are not permitted to camp at a rest area, however.

There is no restriction on the amount of time you may spend at a rest area under ADOT’s rules. Although, it is not meant that you may remain there indefinitely. One of the goals of rest areas is to enable safe driving. You are expected to depart the facility once you have rested sufficiently to resume driving safely.

Arizona Rest Area Rules

  • Pets should be kept on a leash and poop cleaned up after.
  • Place trash and recycling in the provided containers.
  • Water usage is important; every drop counts.
car sleeping phoenix arizona

Tips For Sleeping in Your Car in Phoenix

Before you park your automobile and sleep inside it, be sure to study local parking regulations. Some municipalities have rules that ban certain people or places from sleeping overnight in specific areas. Keep an eye on the street signs for parking restrictions.

If you park outside of a business, check with the management or staff to see whether overnight parking is permitted.

If you park overnight in a lot that permits it, you must follow certain standards of good behavior. Make sure you don’t obstruct any routes for overnight deliveries by determining the optimum place to park overnights.

Consider leaving your license plate number and car make and model with the company so you don’t get towed. Some businesses have restrictions on towing vehicles that are parked overnight without authorization.

Above all, when sleeping in your vehicle, keep safety in mind. Keep the doors locked and cracked windows open for ventilation but not enough for anything to enter your automobile.

Maintain an eye on the weather conditions and, if at all possible, park in well-lit locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Sleep in Your Car in Phoenix?

At any Arizona rest area, you can sleep in your car at any time of day or night, but you cannot camp there. Sleeping in your automobile while intoxicated may result in an arrest. If you want to catch a good night’s sleep, some people advocate parking on Bureau of Land Management property or in the desert, which can be chilly at night.

Why are cities banning you from sleeping in your car in Phoenix?

To fight the rise in homelessness, many jurisdictions have restricted sleeping in automobiles. The purpose of these regulations is to push homeless people into government programs and homes.

It’s unlawful to sleep on someone’s property without permission, regardless of where you live, since it’s trespassing. Also true is that if you fall asleep behind the wheel while intoxicated, this is also against the law in every state because of drinking and driving laws.

In other words, car camping is illegal in many states. State regulations limit how long you may park in public areas, such as rest stops. This is done to prevent vehicle camping and make a rest stop a short-term residence for road-weary drivers. The difficulty lies with resting rather than parking for too long.

Sleeping in Your Car in Phoenix Law Enforcements

The court determined that governments can’t enforce a law prohibiting people who are homeless from sleeping on the street when no alternative shelter is accessible.

There are only a few refuge beds in the Valley, and Phoenix’s primary emergency shelter is frequently full.

On a given night, more than 1,000 individuals sleep unsheltered in Phoenix, and hundreds of others are homeless in other sections of the Valley.

If you are too intoxicated to drive and must be removed from the vehicle under state law, the driver must do two things to establish that you are not physically controlling the car.

  • Move the vehicle off the road and out of ordinary traffic lanes.
  • Turn off the engine.

Additional Tips if you feel that you cannot drive but want to sleep:

  • If you believe that you shouldn’t drive, don’t do it.
  • If the automobile is not in a secure place, do not try to move it; instead, walk away and find someone who can safely remove it from the dangerous location.
  • If the automobile is in a secure place, do not put the key in the ignition.
  • Get into the backseat or the passenger’s seat.

Conclusion for Where You Can Sleep in Your Car in Phoenix Arizona

Sleeping in your automobile is legal under federal law, with the exception of a few circumstances that I will go through below. Despite this, certain US cities have rules (local laws) regulating or restricting overnight sleeping in automobiles.

After studying this intricate topic, it appears that these rules are designed to control long-term residency. As a road traveler, it is critical to be aware of the law so that you may safely arrive at legal stopping places.

If you are exhausted while driving, you must pull over. Never drive when fatigued. We advise catching up on sleep at rest stops instead!