What To Do If Your Car Got Clamped

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Sometimes people take their chances and park where they shouldn't thinking they're not going to be long enough to get a ticket or have their wheels clamped. Some are lucky but for others who have had their car clamped, everything halts down. If you're car hasn't been towed away, then you can make a phone call and pay the release fee and get back to what you need to do. However if you're car has been taken, then the fees will work out more expensive.

Car clamping law

All wheel clampers must have a licence from the Security Industry Authority (SIA). They must also have their licence number on a badge clearly visible on their clothing when they are clamping a vehicle. There are no regulations at the moment but clampers have to charge a reasonable fee to release the car. Release fees start from £50 up to a staggering £670 which is absolutely ridiculous. If you have checked that the clamper is registered and still do not accept the fine, then your car will not be released. The more time you lose getting your car back, the more you're going to pay in charges. This is because you have to pay storage fees (a daily charge while your car is at the car pound), the release fee and the Fixed Penalty Charge (FPC) for illegal parking. The best thing to do is to pay the car clamping fees and contact a solicitor to get your money back.

When a wheel clamper releases your vehicle on payment, they must provide a receipt with the following information clearly on it:

  • Location where vehicle was clamped
  • Their name and licence
  • Their SIA number
  • The date

You can also check to make sure a clamper is registered by going on their website http://sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/. If the clamper fails to provide a valid licence or starts to use threatening language/behaviour, then call the police. Clamping without a licence is illegal and they will suffer the consequences. Remember you have the right to ask to see documentation to check they have the licence to clamp your car to make sure there's no illegal car clamping going on as quite a few people have reported clamping on their private property and they had to make complaints to stop it from happening again.

gices Level 6
I'm a Software Developer and the co-founder of Clever Dodo. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.

5 Replies

MandySmith Level 1

Parking ticket had run out and got fined and clamped

My daughter had a pay and display ticket that had run out buy 6 mins. She returned to her car to find that she was just clamped and had to pay £200. I have read somewhere you have at least 15 minutes to return to your car when your ticket has run out, is this correct?

[Migrated from previous topic 10803 dated 05 Jan 2010]

gices Level 6


If you are not back to your car by the time your ticket expires, then you will be fined. There's no extra time given for pay and display tickets for parking purposes where it clearly states how long you've paid for parking. If you paid for 30mins of parking, then you need to move your car before that time elapses. Some (not all) councils will add an extra 3 minutes on top of the total time you've paid for parking as a measure to match up the time displayed on the warden's watch with yours. You can check with the council which fined your daughter but then again it was more than 3 minutes.

When you park in multi-storey car parks or certain other places, you are given some extra time (like 10-15mins) to remove your car from the parking lot after you've paid the parking ticket. However that's clearly stated either on the ticket or the machine where you make payment.

[Migrated from previous post 721 dated 06 Jan 2010]

Sam_5 Level 1

Car clamped with brother inside while I was going to get ticket

Hi, my car was clamped when i went to Birmingham Indian Consulate, i parked the car for 2 minutes and went to the consulate for the ticket and came back my brother was in the car still they clamped my car and charged me £150. Please help.

[Migrated from previous topic 11561 dated 28 Oct 2010]

dave22 Level 1

Yes the road which the indian embassy is on is private, and wheel clamping notices are up all over the road. I have been there myself for a visa, don't think you can do much as the road is very clearly signed.

[Migrated from previous post 1401 dated 16 Nov 2010]

AaronFraser Level 1

What could happen, in a legal sense, if people started to clamp their own cars?

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