Is It Illegal to Do a Burnout in Your Driveway? (The Laws)

Is It Illegal To Do A Burnout In Your Driveway

Sometimes burnouts are the highlight of a car show, showcasing the raw power of the engine. Although it’s cool to witness, can you try it at home with your car? Is it illegal to do a burnout in your own driveway?

Unsurprisingly, it is illegal to do a burnout in your driveway (in most jurisdictions). Burnouts are classified as reckless driving, so you can expect anything from a warning to a hefty fine or even jail time for doing burnouts.

Burnouts can not only pose a threat to anyone standing too close to the car, it can also cause some serious damage to your car. In this article, we discuss why this is illegal and what the possible damage can be to your car.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Even though performing burnouts are illegal, many still attempt this reckless act. Here are some products that you’ll probably need to repair potential damage to your car or to your driveway.

Products you’ll probably need to buy:

1. Break Pads– Brake pads can be damaged from a burnout, so they would probably need to be replaced. Be sure to purchase brake pads that actually fit your car’s make and model.
2. Concrete Patch– This can be used to patch your concrete driveway when your car leaves tire rubber burns.
3. Asphalt Patch– This can also be used to patch your asphalt driveway when the extremely hot tires leave rubber grooves on your driveway.

What is a Burnout, and Why is it Bad?

A burnout is the act of keeping a vehicle stationary while spinning the wheels. This increases the friction between the wheels and the road and eventually produces smoke. A burnout is usually performed at a car race or car show to showcase the engine’s power.

Although they are performed regularly at car events, they are illegal in most states.

Legality of Burnouts

In most jurisdictions, burnouts are illegal. Some areas only prohibit burnouts on public roads, while others also prohibit them on private properties.

The act can be extremely dangerous and cause extensive damage to the car and wheels.  If you perform a burnout on your own property, the police will (usually) not have a problem. 

However, it could potentially be dangerous to onlookers since you never know what could go wrong when putting that amount of stress on the tires of your car.

Law Enforcement And Burnouts

Laws differ per state, although burnouts are illegal in most jurisdictions. A law enforcement officer can issue you with a Reckless Operation ticket – which is a serious offense.

Fines for these tickets can vary between $100 and $1,000, whereas you could also get up to 90 days of jail time if it’s proved that you put other people’s lives in danger from reckless driving.

If you’re planning to perform a burnout, it’s best to find a quiet and private stretch of road where you are not posing a safety hazard to anyone.

You might also enjoy our post on Whether You Can Work On Your Car in The Street

Your Driveway Will Suffer

Not only can a burnout cause damage to your car, it can also cause some damage to your driveway. Attempting to burnout on a gravel driveway will pelt your house, neighbors or yard with tiny rocks. 

Your concrete driveway will probably not be damaged while doing a burnout, however, the generated by the tires can cause the rubber to melt off your tires. You’ll end up with a really ugly driveway that drags your property value down.

Asphalt driveways are softer than concrete. The heat that your tires generate will cause deep grooves into the driveway, which can only be fixed by redoing the whole driveway.

How to Fix the Damage to Your Car

So just how much does a burnout damage your car? Well, that depends on a lot of factors – although it’s almost certain that your car will be damaged in some way. The biggest possible issue that can arise is engine failure.

Although this is quite extreme and is not likely to happen from one burnout, it is a possibility. Burnouts put a tremendous amount of stress on your car and, specifically, your engine, which is never a good thing. The tires, brake pads, and clutch cal also take a beating during a burnout.


The intense heat that a burnout generates can cause your car’s tires to deform, degrade or even completely burst. The burst of heat can also cause the tires to thread unevenly, leading to instability and difficulty handling when driving.

If you perform a burnout, you’ll probably need to purchase new tires – which can cost you up to $1,000 per tire.

Brake Pads

Brake pads wear down over time as you use a car. However, while performing a burnout, the driver is repeatedly (and forcibly) pumping the brakes. This creates a lot of added heat and friction, ultimately rapidly wearing the brake pads down.

This can cause longer stopping distances or even hamper the car’s ability to stop effectively. Obviously, this has the potential to be extremely dangerous if your car fails to brake when needed.


The excessive heat is damaging not only to your brake pads but also to your clutch. Burnouts can cause the clutch to slip or even completely fail. This will also eventually lead to less effective power consumption for the car’s engine.

Final Thoughts

Burnouts might seem cool and fun when it’s done at a car show, but it’s really not a good idea to do it at home. Not only will you be placing a lot of stress on your car, you’ll also probably damage your driveway and leave ugly tire tracks.

Burnouts are illegal in a lot of jurisdictions, so be sure to do your research if you’re considering this trick. Also, have your mechanic on speed dial – just in case.

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