Dear Sir/MadamI had parked my car on Warehouse car park, which was vacant at the time and was for'to let or for sale' and there was no warning signboards by clamper's at that time otherwise I would not have parked it there.As I was not using the car I had not visited there for some days and when I went there the car was taken away and the wheel clamper's warning sign boards were stuck on the wall as the premises might have been occupied.The clamper's might have put a notice on my car but I had not seen or received it as Ihad not visited the place for some days and when I visited the car had already gone.The wheel clamper's are now demanding from me £250 Release fee, £200 towing and£50 per day storage charges until the car is kept in there pound, therefore the bill is goingup everyday. The car was taken away on 31/05/2012 so the bill is about £1500 till now and everyday£50 gets added. The clamper's are threatening me that they will send bailiffs to recover all their charges. The car is not worth that much and I had it 'SORN' declared therefore I had not parked it on the public road.I kindly request you to please advise and help me what to do as I am desperately worried.With kind regards.V.Shah.
Province/Country relating to question : U.K.
Hi, thank you for your question, I will assist you with this.
Were there any other signs at all?
Was this was private land?
Is the clamper a private company?
There was only an estate agent's sign for 'To Let/For Sale' which is still there.There were no other signs for parking warning at the time I parked,it was put up afterwards which I do not know when.Yes it must be a private land/property as it was for letting or saleand the clamper's sign board says is a Private property.Yes clamper is a private company.Thanks.
Thanks for your response.
I suppose there is also the issue here of whether you want your vehicle back or not?
If you pay to release your vehicle you will essentially have to issue court proceedings against the company and the land owner for the return of your money. In terms of getting this back from the clamping/towing company, they are often very difficult to get money out of (and in the event a court awards in your favour some of the more unscrupulous ones simply close down one company and open another!).
A lot of people who find themselves in this situation where the car is worth less than the fees simply leave the car with company. No matter how threatening the clamping company appear in correspondence they will be unable to take you to court for non payment of the fees as they would have to to prove:1) You were the driver who parked on the land2) You had a contract with them3) You agreed to their terms4) They suffered a loss
If you do not have the funds to pay and want your vehicle returned, I suggest as follows:
Write to the clamping company to ascertain if they are a legitimate company by requesting a copy of their Security Industry Authority license number and also a copy of the agreement or details thereof with the company who own the property.
Once you have this, check the ID number on the SIA website. It is an offence not to provide you with this and if they are not licenced they are also breaking the law. Also if they cannot provide you with the correct details of the landowner, then they have no right to remove your vehicle. If this is the case you need to contact the police for assistance.
If all the information is correct and there is an agreement with the landowner, then you should then write to the company and the land owner advising them that if they do not return your vehicle immediately/within 7 days you will make an ex parte application for an injunction releasing your car on the basis that there were no signs in the parking when you parked there (you really need independent evidence of this - maybe check with the estate agent for photos of the property to see if any signs are there or ask at any of the local buildings) and have since been placed there.
This will cost you far less than the fine that they are requesting.
If you have any further questions please ask.
Thanks for your reply.What about them charging £50 per day for the car remaining in their yard, which will add substantially.Can they send bailiffs to collect their charges from me.I do not want the car back if I have to pay them more than £200 If I do not claim the car back,than am I liable to pay them anything.If I do not want it back,do I have to inform them or remain silent and let them keep it as long as they wish to sell or dispose it.Do I have to inform 'DVLA' that the cars has been taken by clamper's or can I inform them that it has been scrapped. Can the clamper's or 'DVLA' take me to court. Thanks.
Hi, as I said the clamping company cannot force you to pay anything, regardless of what they threaten, unless they issue a claim against you.
The legal basis for clamping and/or towing by these company's is either contract law or trespass. They would have to prove what I provided above for a breach of contract or show that parking there at all amounts to a trespass. In either cause of action they will have to show that the signs they erected were sufficient.
Whilst the land owner can permit cars to be towed, again it needs appropriate signage at the site, and the vehicle should have been parked dangerously, causing an obstruction or blocking an emergency access.
In order to send bailiffs in, the clamping company would have to have succeeded in their claim against you. In doing this they would also have to show that their charges were reasonable.
If you applied for an injunction for the release of your vehicle, if granted it would be for the clamper to sue you for the charges.
If you cannot or will not pay the charges, then the clamper could either crush the vehicle (and then seek to recover their costs) or possibly apply to the DVLA to re-register the vehicle to recoup their costs.
I would recommend you follow the initial steps provided and see their response. Thereafter, if you do not wish to apply for an injunction for the return of your vehicle, you could reply and advise that you are unwilling to pay their unreasonable charges for there unlawful actions, but as a compromise you would be prepared to offer £x, failing which you require further advice as to their intentions regarding your car, i.e. crush or re-register with DVLA in order that you can advise the appropriate authorities.
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