The vanishing car glitch is a recurring glitch in the Grand Theft Auto games whereby one or more vehicles saved in a garage or parking space disappear, usually as a result of more cars being parked in the garage or parking space than the area is designed to hold, a situation which can occur intentionally (as a result of cramming) as well as unintentionally.
The vanishing car glitch first appeared with the ability to save vehicles in Grand Theft Auto III. Although it can occur at both the Staunton Island Hideout and the Shoreside Vale Hideout, it is more common at the former, as the large size of the garage easily allows the player to cram the garage, an exploit which allows more than the designated two vehicles to fit in the garage. When the garage is crammed, the vehicles inside may arbitrarily vanish during a game save. The glitch can be avoided by opening the garage door before saving the game, loading the vehicles inside into the game memory.
Due to the open nature of parking spaces in Grand Theft Auto IV, it is easier to attempt to save more than two cars at each of the safehouses; as such, the glitch is easier to trigger and is therefore more prevalent. Although parking more than the maximum number of vehicles in the parking spaces is possible, the vehicles may arbitrarily vanish, leaving only two (or less) behind. Unlike in GTA III, having the vehicles in memory does not guarantee they will be saved, and the vehicles may also disappear at other times during gameplay.
The glitch may also be triggered if a small vehicle or motorcycle is parked on the sidewalk between the parking space and the buildings when there are two vehicles parked in the parking space. This has the risk of causing one of the vehicles in the parking space to vanish, leaving the vehicle parked on the sidewalk in its place.