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.