Can You Store Cars In Your Backyard? (Answered)

Storing cars in your backyard may seem like a convenient solution, but is it a practical and legal option? Our blog post answers this question and delves into the factors you need to consider before parking your vehicles at home.

Learn about local regulations, safety precautions, and potential impacts on your property’s aesthetics. Complement this topic with other backyard improvements, such as building a backyard driveway or restoring your deck. Dive into our blog and discover the ins and outs of storing cars in your backyard.

Can You Store a Car in a Storage Unit?
Can you legally store cars in your backyard? The answer may depend on where you live and the local ordinances.
Homeowners associations may have additional rules regarding backyard car storage. Be sure to check with them before storing any vehicles.
Storing cars in your backyard can lead to environmental concerns, such as oil and fluid leaks contaminating the soil.
Insurance requirements for backyard car storage can vary depending on your policy and the state you live in. Be sure to check with your insurance provider.
If you’re thinking about storing cars in your backyard, consider the impact it may have on the appearance and functionality of your outdoor space.

Your HOA

Many HOAs have rules against storing vehicles in the backyard. Check the HOA rules before you buy your home, and if they allow storage of cars, ask if there are any restrictions on size or type (some HOAs only allow golf carts).

When considering backyard car storage, it’s important to think about responsible property use. Learn more about the ethical and legal considerations of backyard breeding in our article on backyard breeders to gain a better understanding of responsible property use.

Zoning Ordinances

If you want to store cars in your backyard, the first thing you need to do is check with your local government. While it’s true that zoning ordinances are designed to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the community, not everyone needs one. 

A zoning ordinance can be used by a city or county to regulate what kinds of businesses operate in an area and how they function.

It is important to note that there are some basic guidelines for storing vehicles on private property:

  • If there are more than ten cars, it’s probably too many!
  • If they’re not parked neatly in rows like at a car dealership—or if they aren’t all facing the same direction—you should probably find somewhere else for them!
  • Cars stored outside should only be used intermittently (i.e., no year-round storage).


Setbacks are the minimum distance that must be maintained between a building and the property line. 

Setback requirements vary by city and state, but typically range from 10 to 30 feet. For example, in Los Angeles, California—a city known for its car culture—the minimum setback for a detached single-family house is 15 feet.

Setbacks are often determined by the size of your lot; if you have an oversized lot (and therefore want to store many cars), setbacks may be relaxed or waived altogether.

Pros and Cons of Backyard Car Storage

ConvenientCan be an eyesore
Can save moneyCan take up valuable outdoor space
Provides easy accessCan lead to neighbor complaints
Can prevent theft and vandalismCan attract pests
Can protect car from weather damageCan cause damage to backyard surfaces

Access to Utility Lines

It’s important to have access to utility lines. If you don’t, then you won’t be able to use the car. If you have an electrical car, you need electricity. If you have a gasoline-powered car, then you need water (and also gasoline).

If your backyard is too small for a vehicle, there are other options available for storing cars in your yard instead of on the street. 

One option is placing ramps against a wall and storing the vehicle on top of those ramps so that it doesn’t take up any space within your property boundaries

Wondering about the costs of backyard landscaping? Check out our article on fully landscaping a backyard to get a better idea of the expenses involved in creating a beautiful and functional outdoor space.

Underground Storage Tanks

Underground storage tanks (USTs) are usually made of steel and store fuels, such as gasoline or diesel fuel. 

USTs can be buried underground, above ground in a storage tank enclosure, or even above ground on a concrete pad.

You may have an underground storage tank if:

  • There’s a fuel smell near your house that doesn’t seem to match the vehicles you own
  • Your lawn is covered with dark patches of dirt where grass should be growing
  • You have black marks on the sides of your home that look like oil stains

Proper Permits

Depending on the jurisdiction in which you live, you may need a permit to store your car outside. Check with your local building department for more information about whether or not this is the case for you. 

Failing to get a permit could result in fines and/or lawsuits from neighbors who aren’t happy with the idea of cars being stored in backyards.

Safe Building Materials

Before building a garage, you’ll want to make sure that it is fire-resistant and durable. You also need to consider how much space you have available for your car in the backyard. 

If it’s just a small space, then building a large garage may not make sense—but if there’s plenty of room for expansion, then go for it!

If you’re working with limited space, one option is to build an above ground storage unit with metal framing and plywood panels. 

These units are easy to assemble because they don’t require any heavy lifting or complicated assembly instructions; they’re also sturdy enough to withstand years of use without breaking down like some other types of outdoor storage units might over time (although this depends on what type materials used). 

If using metal framing isn’t possible due too close proximity issues within your backyard—or if there aren’t any areas where such structures could be placed without being obtrusive—consider using wood instead:

while not quite as strong as metal frames under normal circumstances (they can bend more easily), 

these types materials are still very durable against exposure conditions ranging from direct sunlight

Looking to create the perfect ambiance for your backyard gatherings? Our article on hanging lights in a backyard provides helpful tips and tricks to create the perfect outdoor lighting setup.

Insulation, Ventilation and Waterproofing

Insulation is important to prevent moisture buildup and mold. If your car area is uninsulated, we recommend keeping a dehumidifier in there for the summer months. 

If you have an insulated garage, this won’t be as big of a problem (though it’s still good practice to keep the humidity level down).

Ventilation is also important to prevent moisture buildup and mold inside your garage or shed. You’ll want to open up some windows in your car space on nice days, though if you’re storing in an uninsulated structure like a shed, it might not be enough just opening up some windows! 

Consider adding additional ventilation features such as fans or vents (and possibly even exhausts).

Waterproofing should be done with tarps and tarps alone on all sides of your outdoor storage unit—you don’t want any water coming through because then mold could grow easily!


The first thing to consider when storing a car in your backyard is how much you can fit there. If you have plenty of space, then it’s possible that you can store a car in the driveway or garage of your home rather than outdoors. 

However, if this isn’t possible and you need extra space, it’s important to consider durability.

Your car will only be as durable as its weakest link—so don’t forget about those little things like:

  • weather
  • temperature fluctuations
  • humidity

Fire Safety

Fire safety is important, especially when storing a car in your backyard. You’ll want to make sure the vehicle is free of anything flammable (like gasoline) and that there are no working fluids in the engine. 

This will help prevent any potential fires or explosions from occurring. If you’re able to, it’s also advisable to install some sort of fire extinguisher nearby, as well as an escape plan if your home catches on fire. 

Smoke alarms are also a good idea—you don’t want them going off while you’re sleeping!

If you’re planning on using your car as a living space, having a fire hose outside may not be feasible due to space constraints; however, installing one inside can be beneficial if there ever is an emergency where smoke fills up a room or house.

Hosting a backyard party requires careful planning to make the most of your space. Check out our article on setting up a backyard party to get expert advice on how to create the perfect outdoor event.

Required Finishes and Overall Aesthetics

You should always be mindful of the finished product. If you’re not planning on finishing your carport, then it’s probably best to avoid doing so entirely. 

A good-looking and functional carport is essential for any backyard homeowner who wants to protect their vehicle from the elements or simply make it a little more convenient to park in their own driveway.

Durability is also key for an outdoor structure like this. Your garage door should be able to withstand strong winds and other elements that may damage it over time, especially if you live in an area where there are frequent storms or extreme weather changes throughout the year (such as hurricanes).

Fireproofing is another factor worth considering before building your garage door; after all, no one wants their house burning down because they didn’t take extra precautions when constructing something as important as this!

Backyard car storage can cause damage to surfaces such as decks. If your deck needs a little TLC, our article on restoring a backyard deck provides simple tips to help you bring your outdoor living space back to life

Factors to Consider Before Storing a Car in Your Backyard

Legal considerationsPractical considerations
City ordinancesAdequate space
Homeowner’s association rulesEnvironmental impact
Insurance requirementsAccess and maneuverability
Zoning regulationsSafety and security
Permits and licensesMaintenance and upkeep


In conclusion, if you have the space and can afford to build a garage, then it’s a great way to store your car. 

There are some issues that you need to consider before doing that though, such as whether or not your HOA will allow it. 

If they don’t then there’s not much else you can do except try another place where there isn’t any restrictions on building structures like this one. 

Another thing is zoning ordinances because if they are too strict then you might end up having trouble getting permission from them before starting construction work on this project which would mean that nothing gets done at all!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that may be of interest for readers who want to learn more about backyard storage and related topics:

How Do You Make a Small Backyard Private? Easy Guide: This article provides tips and ideas for creating privacy in a small backyard, which may be relevant for readers who want to store cars or other items in their backyard.

How Much Do Rocks Cost for Backyard? Explained: This article provides information on the cost of rocks for a backyard, which may be relevant for readers who want to use rocks as a surface for storing cars in their backyard.

How Do I Build a Backyard Driveway?: This article provides guidance on building a driveway in a backyard, which may be relevant for readers who want to create a designated parking area for their cars in their backyard.

How Do You Restore a Backyard Deck? Simple Tips: This article provides tips for restoring a backyard deck, which may be relevant for readers who want to use their deck as a surface for storing their cars.

What Fruits Can You Grow in Your Backyard? 11 Best: This article provides information on the best fruits to grow in a backyard, which may be of interest for readers who want to create a multi-use backyard space that includes fruit trees and car storage.

Can You Park Cars in Your Backyard? Or Is This Illegal?: This Quora post provides information on the legality of parking cars in a backyard, which may be of interest for readers who want to ensure that they are complying with local laws and regulations.

Can You Park Cars in Your Backyard?: This article provides information on the pros and cons of parking cars in a backyard, as well as some tips for doing so safely and effectively.


Can I store cars in my backyard?

Yes, you can store cars in your backyard, but you may need to check with local zoning laws and regulations to ensure that you are allowed to do so. Some municipalities have restrictions on the number of cars that can be stored in a backyard and where they can be parked.

What is the best surface for storing cars in a backyard?

The best surface for storing cars in a backyard depends on several factors, including the local climate, the type of cars being stored, and personal preferences. Options for surfaces include rocks, concrete, grass, and decking materials.

Do I need to protect my cars from the elements if I store them in my backyard?

Yes, it is recommended that you protect your cars from the elements if you store them in your backyard. This can be done by using car covers, parking under a carport or canopy, or storing cars in a garage or shed.

Is it legal to park cars in a backyard?

The legality of parking cars in a backyard varies depending on local zoning laws and regulations. It is recommended that you check with your municipality to ensure that you are complying with any applicable laws and regulations.