The Pros & Cons of Parking a Car on Grass

Your two-car garage is full. Your driveway is packed. You seemingly have no choice but to park your car on your front lawn or side yard.

While an unpaved, gravel lot would be preferred over a grass lawn, desperate times call for desperate measures. In the absence of gravel or asphalt parking spaces, parking on grass is a convenient alternative (especially for those who’ve purchased a home without a driveway, a garage, or even off-street parking)

However, before steering your car into the next patch of grass or turning your empty grassy yard into a car park area, it is crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this parking option. Remember, parking a car on grass, while convenient, isn’t without its drawbacks—whether you’re thinking about parking an RV or your SUV.

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of parking a seasonal car (also known as a “recreational-use” or “pleasure-use” car) on grass, you might consider storing this seasonal vehicle in a 10’x20′ storage unit instead—especially if you don’t need to regular access to this convertible or classic car.

A car parked on a grassy area

Grass Parking vs. Grass Paving

While the run-of-the-mill front lawn or side yard isn’t suitable for car parking (and are both generally unsafe for both the vehicle and the patch of grass), grass paving is a viable alternative to treating your front lawn like a driveway.

A grass paver system combines natural grasses and partial paving to form driveway/pathway-like surfaces, with the intent of reducing stormwater runoff and cooling your driveway.

There’s a reason why homeowners opt for grass block pavers as an alternative to asphalt, concrete, and traditional pavers. The benefits are undeniable.

  • Smoother and easier to maintain compared to asphalt or concrete.
  • More environmentally friendly than asphalt-concrete paving due to stormwater absorption.
  • Eradicates pollutants like carbon dioxide, reducing the urban heat island effect.
  • Cooler surface for tires compared to asphalt-concrete roadways in hot weather
  • Created using your own yard space.
A parking area with grass pavers

    Drawbacks of Grass Parking

    If you aren’t parking on grass pavers, and have chosen to, instead park on a standard side yard, you run multiple risks.

    Regular or long-term parking on grass areas will not only impact your vehicle’s health, but the health of your grass too. If you want to swerve around car maintenance issues (and hours of yard maintenance), consider the negative impacts of parking in grassy expanses.

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    Impact on Vehicle

    • Moisture Seepage: Extende­d parking on grass can cause moisture see­page, which can corrode the ve­hicle’s metal parts and damage its e­lectrical systems.
    • Risk of Rusting: Parking your vehicle­ on grass can increase the risk of rust formation due­ to the moisture content present in the ground.

    Impact on Grass

    • Effects on Grass Health: Extended or frequent parking can result in maintenance problems that negatively impact the overall health of the grass.
    • Soil Compaction and Erosion: Parking in one spot for an extended period of time can lead to issues with soil compaction, as well as cre­ating tire imprints and depressions. These issues can contribute to e­rosion.
    • Grass Care Challenges: Taking care of your grass can be a challenge and requires ongoing mainte­nance (i.e., regular mowing and watering, along with the installation of support structures to protect the root zone­). Additionally, parking on grass can make ongoing maintenance tasks difficult.
    • Impact on your yard’s appearance: Parking vehicles on artificial turf or grassy paving can result in unsightly bald spots and diminish the overall visual appeal of the area.

    Practical Tips for Protecting Your Grass and Vehicle

    If you’re set on parking your car in a grassy yard, it’s important to take pre­cautions to protect both your car and the grassy area.

    For the Vehicle

    • Choose a Flat Surface: Opt for an even area away from mud, trees, or shrubs.
    • Clear Debris: Rake the area to remove rocks and other objects that could damage your car or the grass.
    • Use Pavers: Consider using pavers to protect your tires and the grass, especially for erosion control.

    For the Grass

    • Weight Distribution: It’s important to distribute your car’s weight evenly to prevent soil compaction.
    • Plywood Boards: Place these beneath the tires to disperse weight and protect the grass.
    • Additional Measures: Consider using overflow mesh, parking mats, or permeable pavers to minimize impact on the grass.

    By following these guidelines, you can keep both your vehicle and the grassy area where you park in good shape.

    Legalities and Regulations Surrounding Grass Parking

    While parking cars on grass areas are typically permitted, it’s important to be mindful of any specific laws or re­gulations that may be in place.

    Rules and regulations about grass parking differ from one city and county to another. Thus, it’s necessary to familiarize yourself with local laws before parking on grass.

    Make sure to choose an appropriate grass parking area and adhere to the maximum duration for which a car can remain parked without being started, typically 2-4 weeks.

    Alternatives to Grass Parking

    If you don’t want to run the risks associated with grass parking, there are other parking solutions to consider, including:

    • Installing a gravel or asphalt driveway
    • Creating designated parking spaces with permeable pavers, like TRUEGRID PRO LITE
    • Utilizing large rocks to form barriers and safeguard your property from pedestrians

    Other options include artificial grass parking surfaces or using different landscaping materials like mulching or xeriscaping the parking strip.

    By exploring alternative solutions, you can find the best option that suits your property’s needs and keeps your vehicle in tip-top shape.

    An area with grass pavers and artificial turf, showing artificial turf as alternatives to grass parking

    Final Thoughts

    Grassy areas may work as a temporary parking solution, but if you’re looking for a long-term parking option, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

    For a more low-risk parking option, consider using peer-to-pee­r storage marketplaces like Neighbor to find long-term parking in your area. With marketplaces like these, you can find private garage­s and driveways for rent in residential areas (even in your own neighborhood).

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is It Ok to Park a Car on Grass?

    It’s generally OK to park on grass for the short term. However, it is not advisable to leave a car parked on grass for the long term, as the moisture could damage the underbody and attract pests.

    What Are the Benefits of Grass Parking Lot?

    Grass parking lots are more cost-effective to install and manage compared to asphalt or concrete and can last for a lifetime, providing significant long-term savings.

    Grass parking lots also require less energy to maintain as they don’t need to be resurfaced or repaired as often.

    How to Make a Parking Space on Grass?

    Create a grassy car park using Root Pavers. These pavers are made of poured concrete with added colorant.

    Root Pavers are cost-effective, designed to be locked into place long-term, and provide a durable surface that won’t create ruts or dips over time.

    Is Grass Parking Safe for My Car and Lawn?

    When taking the right precautions, parking your car on the grass for a short span of time can be safe. It’s important that you make use of tools like parking mats to prevent your car from sinking into the grass, exposing it to harmful levels of moisture.