Whether you love winter or you hate it, it should be pretty clear to everyone that winter is on the way.  Within a few weeks, instead of getting those rain showers, we'll be getting snow showers.

For most people, even the ones who love winter, there is no experience more unpleasant than getting into a freezing car and hitting the road.  That's why we all warm our cars up.

But, is it even legal to do that in Maine?

The good news is that, despite what you have probably heard over the last few years, it is completely legal to let your car (or truck, or SUV) warm up before you take it on the road.  Well, it is legal as long as you are driving a personal vehicle.

According to the Maine Legislature website, in nearly all cases, a person may allow their personal vehicle to idle in order to warm the vehicle up - or for any other reason, for that matter.

Commercial vehicles, however, are not allowed to idle for more than five minutes in a sixty minute period of time.  The big exception to this rule, of course, is when the vehicle is stuck in traffic.  And, it is important to keep in mind that this applies to ALL commercial vehicles, not just big trucks.  So, it also applies to delivery vans, taxis, limos, etc.  Anything with a commercial plate.

Keep in mind that some towns, like Bar Harbor, for example, have their own restrictions on people allowing their vehicles to idle.

So, why do so many people believe that you cannot allow your vehicle to warm up in Maine?  It probably comes from a mixture of confusion about the law for commercial vehicles and the fact that some many other states have rules that completely prohibit vehicles from idling.

After you warm up your car, why not hop in and drive to one our great restaurants?

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