Challenge rogue wheel clampers with independent tribunals!

29 January 2010

Rejoice drivers! The Mirror is reporting that, at last, there is hope for motorists who get their car clamped by rogue firms.

Apparently, you can now take your case to an independent tribunal which will have powers to act if you're clamped on private land. These tribunals will cover England and Wales and Northern Ireland and are being established under an amendment to the Crime and Security Bill, currently going through Parliament.

Basically, you'll be able to threaten these mercenaries and challenge their clamping fee for things like their failure to comply with a code of practice setting out how much time must pass before a car can be immobilised.

Clampers will now have to make sure that any signs warning you of a potential clamping meet minimum standards of visibility. Hopefully, this means you'll actually be able to see them and they won't try pulling (yet another) fast one on motorists.

There will also be a ceiling on the release fee. Unfortunately, it's looking like it'll be above the £70 maximum charged by local authorities. That said, anyone who tries stinging you for more will have to pay the excess. If you can convince a tribunal that your car has been unfairly clamped, then you'll be able to claim compensation for the costs incurred - including things like your hiring of a hire car while you argued it out with clamping pricks.

Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said: "The government is committed to preventing abuses by unscrupulous wheel clamping firms and their employees. The introduction of an independent appeals process will for the first time provide independent recourse for motorists who feel aggrieved by unfair practices of rogue clamping businesses."

TOPICS:   Motoring   Travel

21 comments

  • Rob
    It would be better if you were just allowed to beat the living shit out of these scum bags
  • Finlay
    And just look at Scotland The cowboy clampers are breaking the law. It's fundamentally theft. If they pulled this crap on me I'd be sure to take them to the cleaners, including loss of earnings if I needed my car for work and the distress caused as a result of their actions.
  • Keith
    You can tell it's coming up to election time. Give the people what they've been asking for, just for a few months every 5 years.
  • Bob
    Won't work. • person gets clamped • person has to pay and goes to tribunal • clamping co don't turn up, tribunal says they have to pay • clamping company phoenixes and A1 Clamping becomes A2 Clamping the very next day • person doesn't get their money Pretty much as it is at the moment, but replace CCJs (which clamping firms collect as if they're going out of fashion). Introducing a criminal element might be interesting, but I expect we'd just get the usual 'It's a civil matter sir" from the police. It's an offence to clamp without a SIA Licence at the moment, but try getting plod to help you when your car's clamped. If a burgular nicks my stuff and I'm not insured, I won't get my money back! Big bolt cutters are the only way and will continue to be so.
  • Alexis
    Rob - here's something you might like: http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/2317095.clamper_tells_of_attack_ordeal/
  • Rob
    Some would say he got what he deserves.
  • James
    Wow that is taking things a little too far I reckon.
  • David
    I don't condone violence. Except to wheel clamping scumbags.
  • jack
    Actually wheel clampers are welcoming this legislation as the code of conduct will state a max charge (about £125) so those who currently charge a fair price (around £75) will now be able to increase their price to the max as the code says that this is an aceptable fee.
  • dados
    what Bob typed,sod the law in the UK,bolt cutters or angle grinder
  • andy y.
    Nice, another piss poor quango.
  • wombat
    So to summarise... Another toothless quango costing us all money. All clampers raise their fees to the new 'acceptable' £125 level as a minimum. If you win your challenge like as not they won't be around to repay you. Great :thumbsup:
  • Black C.
    What is this "clamping"? Cars go free in l'Ecosse!
  • jeff
    @dados: usually no need - see that hoop in the picture? stick two screwdrivers through it and pull apart. snaps thick metal.
  • Wheel C.
    Some wheel clampers are just doing their job
  • David S.
    I agree with ... whoever posted that comment above, I have a friend who works for a wheel clamping company and he hates all the bad press he gets. Although if he clamps me he gets a royal slap - I can see how people get annoyed withwheel clampers but just give them a break
  • beyonce
    @jeff care to elaborate on this technique?
  • KEVIN
    CLAMPED IN WAKEFIELD PUBLIC ROAD MARLBOROUGH TERRACE SIGN ABOVE A TERRACED BEDROOM WINDOW HAD TO PAY £150 TAKING LEGAL ACTION WITH THIS COMPANY
  • sandy
    Dear Sir/Madam. I went to hayes job centre this morning( 02/06/2010) just to double check an email address to send my CV. There were representatives of a clamping company waiting outside.i was not aware.it seemed they were having drugs or something sitting there. They were very improperly dressed and one gal sitting in the car and the other boy just standing outside the car. Just because i saw they had parked their car i intended to do so for a few minitues. By the time i was back they had clamped it and put the sticker on my window screen. It seemed like they have just put a trap and i have been a victim. i had no option but to pay them and get my car released. This seems so unhuman,they could have told me i can not park there,but they just waited until i went in the job centre. They demanded £ 300 from me to take the clamp.Towing cost as £150 plus £150 clamp fee.total cost £ 300. What can i do about it? is it legal to charge that much ?
  • Jamee S.
    Well, this page looks way more professional than my blogengine blog. I think I will use Wordpress aswell.What do you think? Regards.
  • John H.
    I know of a firm of clampers where the people employed are criminals - threats of violence from them are fairly common apparently, but of course there are only 3 or 4 witnesses - these men themselves, so the poor victim cannot prove this & even if it went to court 9the threats I mean) there would be 4 witnesses to 1, so it's a forgone conclusion it would go nowhere. They have the contract for a large well known building company... next to a hospital! The road leads to a housing estate. As someone who can drive an HGV, I feel qualified to say that if cars were parked up both sides of that road, I could *easily* pass another HGV coming the other way - no obstruction issue at all, yet they clamp people for parking on it! Nor is it where legitimate people owrking on the estate park or anything like that. Pure money making, nothing more. Obviously people sometimes park there to avoid being ripped off for parking in the hospital car park (er, what happened to "treatement free at the point of need" as a governing principle of the NHS? ) and these folks have seen an opportunity to screw some money out of them.

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