It feels a little early for this friendly reminder, but with temperatures set to plummet into the 20s tonight, there will be plenty of people in Ocean County who will want to warm their cars up instead of hopping into a frigid vehicle.

But here in New Jersey, there are some pretty specific rules for warming up your car. Yes, even in your own driveway.

Ignoring those rules could be expensive, with fines that could cost up to $1000.

Right off the bat, yes, you can warm your car up in New Jersey, but there are some pretty specific conditions.

For starters, under normal conditions you can only let your car idle for up to 3 minutes.

If it's really cold out, below 25 degrees (which it probably will be tonight) and your car has been stopped for more than 3 hours, you can let it warm up for up to 15 minutes.

There's one more condition, too, according to the NJ-DEP website:

" idling is allowed in a parking space with available and functioning electrification technology".

I'll be honest with you, I don't know what that means.

Outside of those parameters, the fines start at $250 and escalate from there all the way up to $1,000.

So, the short version goes like this:

  • You can let your car warm up any time for 3 minutes
  • When it's really cold out, you can give it 15 minutes
  • Outside of that, if you get caught and ticketed, it'll be expensive.

You can read the full text of the rules for yourself by clicking here for the full law.


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