Many people mistakenly believe that sleeping in a hotel parking lot is safe. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. If the hotel has a valet service, they will bring your car to you which could potentially lead to break-ins or other crimes. In fact, many hotels are so strict about not allowing overnight parking that they will ticket you if caught sleeping in the lot and there’s no one around to help you with it. Sleep in a hotel parking lot or sleep in my car? I personally would choose sleeping in my car. It’s not safe to sleep overnight in a hotel parking lot or hotel garage and you can be ticketed by the hotel or the authorities. Please read this article and make an informed decision.
Please be advised that the following information may change at any time without notification. This page is provided for informational purposes only, so please check with your local parking authority to verify all of these details before parking overnight in a public lot. You should never park overnight in a public parking lot, such as one at a mall, grocery store, gas station, etc., unless it is an emergency situation (i.e., you are stranded). In addition, as most of us know, cars can overheat with no warning and kill you if left unattended for too long.
1. Sleeping In Hotel Parking Lot Is NOT Safe
In fact, many hotels are so strict about not allowing overnight parking that they will ticket you if caught sleeping in the lot and there’s no one around to help you with it. Some hotels will also tow your car if it’s found to be illegally parked for more than two hours.
2. Many Hotels Have The Valet Bring Your Car To You
This may not seem to be a big deal, but it is. Sometimes the hotel valet will bring your car around in the middle of the night, when you’re asleep. If so, and you are parked in a remote spot, you could be at risk for having something broken into. Another thing is that the valets might be nice people, but they are not going to call the police if they see your car has been broken into while they were parking it.
If someone was waiting in your car while the hotel valet brought it around, they could grab your belongings and you might never know until later that morning when you wake up.
3. There Could Be Thieves Who Break Into Cars
Many thieves (especially those who have a lot of criminal intent) will park their car in a remote spot and then break into the cars they see parked there while the owners are asleep. You could wake up and find your car broken into, and it might not even be reported to police because of the remote location you were parked in. Also, if something was stolen from your car, you may not notice for many hours/days until after you try to back in or open your door to leave it. So you might be stuck in that parking lot all night with no way out.
4. You May Be Issued A Ticket
Depending on the hotel, they may not allow overnight parking to begin with. Even if they do, some hotels will issue you a ticket for not checking in by a certain time or for having an oversized vehicle (like an RV). If this happens, then you have an issue for the rest of your trip until you can get the ticket resolved. If you leave your car there and it gets towed as a result of the ticket, then you’re left without transportation until the day you leave. So even though it is illegal to sleep in a hotel parking lot, if your car gets towed due to being illegally parked for more than two hours – well that’s another story.
5. You May Get Your Hotel Room Canceled
I know this might sound ridiculous, but it’s true. Some hotels will cancel your room if you don’t check-in by a certain time. So let’s say that you’re on a road trip and you haven’t had the chance to check in yet because of the circumstances at your last hotel (like getting there late or something). The next morning, you try checking in early and they tell you that because your room hasn’t been used yet, they have canceled it and given it to someone else. The hotel has no way of knowing that. So it will just give the room away, and you might end up sleeping in your car in a parking lot.
6. You Could Be Ticketed & Towed For Sleeping In A Parking Lot
The above point is very important, especially when you’re smart enough to realize that sleeping in the parking lot is not safe. So if the hotel did have a valet service and they got a call from someone saying there was someone in their car (who wasn’t supposed to be there) and then saw your car parked at an odd place like that – well, your car could get towed as a result of it being broken into while you were sleeping in it.