Is It Really Illegal to Leave Your Car Warming Up in Texas?
Central Texas is starting to see some cold temperatures, and you may be tempted to warm your car up in the mornings. However, you should think twice about how you warm up your vehicle in the driveway this winter, as it may get you a ticket.
Yes, You Could Get a Ticket for Leaving Your Car Warming in the Driveway
Believe it or not, warming up your vehicle unattended is illegal in the state of Texas and could result in a citation. It's true! Technically, it's against the law to leave your car warming up in your driveaway if you don't meet a very specific requirement.
Check the Code
According to the Texas Transportation Code, it's illegal to leave a car unattended without stopping the engine, locking the ignition, and removing the key from the ignition. That means a cop passing by could actually write you a ticket if your car's heating up in the driveway and you're not in it.
However, you can leave your vehicle on and unattended if you have a remote starter.
If You Leave It, Someone Might Thieve It
The point of the law is to prevent car thefts, and while the odds of you actually being cited for leaving your car idling are low, it's still a good idea to keep an eye on your car at all times if you're going to leave it running to warm up. Thieves watch for signs of unattended cars with the keys in the ignition, and next thing you know your stuff's missing or you're without a car.
Texas Ranks High in Auto Thefts
Texas consistently ranks in the top three states, along with California and Florida, for motor vehicle thefts. According to the Texas DMV, over 65,000 cars and trucks are stolen and almost 200,000 are burglarized each year. A major factor is keys being left inside and/or doors being left unlocked.
Texas Thieves Love Trucks
Here in Texas, full-size trucks are the top target for thieves. Chevy, Ford, GMC and Dodge rank 1-4 for most stolen vehicles.
Consider An Upgrade
The solution is simple: get a remote starter for your vehicle and keep your doors locked.
Lock it or lose it!