Sunday, November 29, 2009


The Facts about wheel-clamping

  • In Scotland, in 1992 wheel-clamping on private land was banned overnight, as it was declared to be extortion and theft.
  • Many clampers don’t have offices and work from PO Box addresses or from mobile phones. Charges can range from around £50 to over £500 for the removal of clamps and towing away fees.
  • It is estimated that the clamping industry is worth somewhere in the region of £240 million per annum, with around 350 firms operating across England and Wales.

Examples of Cowboy Clamping behaviour

The RAC Foundation has received hundreds of complaints about cowboy clampers over recent years. Our dossier of cases includes:

  • A postman who was clamped whilst delivering a parcel to a customer’s front door
  • A lady who reported her car stolen, only to be telephoned by clampers a month later, demanding £900 for the release of her car
  • A clamper who forced a heavily pregnant lady to walk two miles to a cash point to get the clamp release money
  • A hearse was clamped with a body in the back of it
  • A disabled lady was clamped when her badge feel off the windscreen of her car. Despite producing her badge, the clamper demanded payment and claimed he was “clamping for charity”.
  • A man was clamped when he stopped because the clamping lorry had run into the back of his car.


  • In 2001, in response to The Foundation’s and motorists’ concerns, the government passed legislation in the form of the Security Industry Act in order to set up a licensing scheme for clampers. The Security Industry Authority (SIA) was later set up in 2003 to implement the scheme.
  • As of 3rd May 2005, clamping without a Security Industry Authority Licence became a criminal offence. Anyone clamping, towing or blocking vehicles for a fee will now need a licence.
  • All wheel-clampers now have to undergo training, criminal record checks and identity checks in order to be granted a license to clamp.



  1. One should immediately take snaps of the surroundings and anything that can favour you as proof and then report the incident to the authorities. An SIA Licence was required to eliminate such incidents itself.

  2. Remember that clamping a car without having an authorization is a criminal offense. But if the wheel clamping company is a perfectly authorized one, you have to pay the release fee.


Alasdair Baxter, Nottingham Discusses Clampers in His Area:

"From what I have seen most clampers come from the fringes of the criminal classes. They are of the same ilk as those who come to your door offering to tarmac the drive, demand a huge price and then drive you to your bank to get cash to pay them with.

Why does England and Wales not get in line with Scotland where private clamping is totally illegal."

Alasdair Baxter, Nottingham, UK.Tel +44 115 9705100; Fax +44 115 9423263

"Fred" from :


"The present legal position of clampers is a scandal and amounts to barely legal extortion in many cases. There is absolutely no excuse for failing to bring in a system of licensing that will regulate them.

We have all heard the horror stories, up to and including the deliberate setting up of tempting-looking sites to entrap the unwary. At up to £300 per victim the costs are easy to recoup.

I recently heard a case in court where the driver of a clamper truck was seen by the police to clamp a vehicle, whereupon they checked him over. It turns out that he has no licence, and his truck is uninsured. He then tried to give the officers false details, and only adjusted his attitude when they handcuffed him and put him in the police vehicle. He then failed to turn up to court, and I issued a warrant for his arrest.

The Government needs to find time for a short Bill bringing in licensing of clampers, with a proper code of practice. Perhaps a private member will oblige?"

"My point has nothing to do whether clamping is legal - it obviously is. What has happened though is that some clamping firms are in the extortion business rather than that of parking control.

In my area a car was towed away within four minutes of being left and the owner was told that it would cost him £385 to get his car (which was in an adjacent street) back.

Clampers have threatened and intimidated old and vulnerable people. All I am asking is that clampers are properly licensed, checked for criminal backgrounds, and that their behaviour be subject to a code of practice.

My story about the unlicensed and uninsured clamper who then tried to get arsy with the police was to illustrate what some of the clampers are like. They should be controlled."

Krissie Labanauskas "Car-Boot Racket; Old Navy Chicago, 60290"

"No Savings Here!"

"...Had a terrible experience here. Parked with intention of using coupon at Old Navy but had to use the restroom before shopping so ran across street to Starbucks....On way to shop at Old Navy, saw boot on my car! Store managers claim their hands are tied and cannot do anything regarding their customers being booted.

Car next to me was booted as well, when they had already shopped at Old Navy, one person was still in Old Navy at time of boot, and three others ran to Starbucks for a drink.

All in all, I paid $115 to remove boot...terrible experience, did not use coupon or shop at store after being rudely dismissed by manager.

No discretion to help out customers regarding boots sounds like a bunch of b*** s*** OR terrible corporate management/policy. Either way, avoid this store and certainly avoid the lot. Global Parking Management Inc. supposedly runs the lot.

March 17, 2009 by Krissie Labanauskas in Chicago, IL