How Long Can a Car be Parked on a Residential Street

Parking on a residential street is not a problem as long as you’re a resident of that area but if you’re not a resident, the duration of your parking may differ depending on which state you’re in. So, how long can a car be parked on a residential street?

Essentially, the duration of parking on a residential street ranges from 3 days (72 hours) to 1 week if you’re not a resident of the area you’re parked in.

However, in some states, as long as your vehicle is registered, roadworthy, not blocking any driveway, and is properly parked, you can park for as long as you want without the fear of your vehicle being towed or being issued a ticket.

How Long Can A Car Be Parked On A Residential Street?

A car can be on a residential street for as long as 72 hours and sometimes one week in areas where there are rules against parking on a residential street.

Issues related to parking for long in residential areas have different rules depending on which state you are in.

Most states do not allow parking in residential areas for too long because the street can be jam-packed with cars and that way, it is easy for any stranger to park a car and go unnoticed. Also, some people might park their cars in such a way that other people won’t be able to get out.

However, residents of a particular area are not bound by these laws, so long as you have been registered as a resident, your car can be parked properly for as long as you want.

What If I Park My Car On A Residential Street For So Long?

If a car is parked for longer than 72 hours, a week in some states without anyone claiming it, the vehicle would be towed away after it has been checked and it has been confirmed that it doesn’t belong to anyone living in the area.

Cars that do not belong to residents of a particular area cannot be parked for long because usually, residents of an area where on-street parking is allowed have permits to park on the street and so any car that doesn’t have a permit is believed to be owned by someone who doesn’t live in that area, that’s why they’re towed away.

Pros of Parking Cars On A Residential Street

Here are the pros of parking on a residential street:

1. Increased Air Quality

When cars are parked in residential areas, there’s a reduction in the number of people driving through the area, looking for a space to park their cars thereby reducing the amount of exhaust gas that is being released into the air which increases the air quality.

2. Reduced Risk of Pedestrians Getting Hit By Cars

When cars are parked in a residential area, it reduces the risk of people getting hit by cars because the cars that have been parked would serve as some sort of shield from car accidents.

3. Reduction In The Rate Of Car Abandonment

It reduces the rate at which cars are parked and left there for long in such areas because drivers and car owners already recognize that it’s a residential area and their cars would be towed if it’s left there longer than the stipulated time.

4. Accountability and Security of Residents to One Another

It makes the residents accountable and security-conscious towards each other because over time they will recognize the cars that are being parked and can easily spot any strange vehicle in the area.

5. Reduced Risk of Towing

In residential areas where the residents have permits to park in the streets, there is a reduction in the rate of towed cars because people already know the repercussion of parking beyond the permitted duration so to avoid their cars being towed they don’t leave their cars beyond the stipulated time.

Cons Of Parking Cars On A Residential Area

The disadvantages of parking your car in a residential area are:

Difficulty in Detecting Strange Vehicles

When cars are parked on residential streets it won’t be easy to detect anything suspicious and anyone can just park a car on the street for days and they won’t get queried or be asked any questions because it’s not unusual for people to park their cars in the streets.

Obstruction of A Driveway Or Other Vehicles

Some drivers do not properly park their cars before getting out of the car for different reasons, maybe they hurriedly left the car to do something.

If such a car is wrongly parked or is blocking the driveway or the car of another resident of that area, the car can be reported and it may lead to getting a ticket or the car being towed away.

Restriction of Pedestrian Movement

Sometimes people park their cars partially on the pavement thereby blocking the sidewalks and restricting the movements of pedestrians on the sidewalks when there’s a rush and there are too many people struggling to walk through.

Increased Rate of Car Damage

In the process of trying to park their car, people can unintentionally hit another person’s car thereby causing damage to someone else’s car. This could lead to heated arguments, violence, unplanned expenses they may incur trying to fix the damaged vehicle, etc.

Increased Rate of Car Theft

When cars are allowed to park in residential areas, it is very convenient for just anyone to get into any car and steal it without anyone even noticing because there are too many cars and too many faces to try to recognize.

That way, the car thief would get away with the car easily. This is why you will hear people looking for who broke into their car.


Parking has been a huge issue across many societies considering the rate at which the population is growing and spaces reducing. Residential areas have started creating underground parking lots for their residents to avoid parking in the streets.

However, for the old residential areas that didn’t make out space for parking lots in the plan, no unknown vehicle can be parked for more than 72 hours.