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How to appeal a ticket
How to appeal a parking ticket

Removing Clamps From Your Car Hacks

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Janine Marsh

Financial Expert

My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.

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· Mar 1st, 2024
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removing clamp from car

Has your car been clamped? This can be a big stress. Each month, I guide over 32,000 people who need advice on tickets and fines.

In this article, we’ll talk about:

  • How to ask for the clamp to be removed and win.
  • If it is okay by law to clamp your car.
  • If a bailiff can clamp your car.
  • Can you get out of your ticket?
  • If removing clamps from your car is okay by law.

We know this can be a big worry. You may be scared about what can happen if you just take off the clamp. Or, you may be worried about how much it costs to have it removed. We have offered advice to many people in your shoes, and we know what you are going through.

Let’s learn more about car clamps and how to deal with them.

Do You Have to Pay?

In some circumstances, you might have a legitimate reason not to pay your fine.

It’s a bit sneaky, but the last time I needed legal advice, I paid £5 for a trial to chat with an online solicitor called JustAnswer.

Not only did I save £50 on solicitor feeds, I also won my case and didn’t have to pay my £271 fine.

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Can I lawfully remove a wheel clamp from my car?

No. You would be committing a criminal offence if you try to remove a wheel clamp from your car. In a worst-case scenario, it might land you in prison and you risk getting a hefty fine.

However, only a judge can rule whether the actions of a bailiff are legal when they clamp your car!

What happens when you remove a clamp from your car?

First, the bailiff will tell the police. Second, the police use ANPR to track the vehicle. Third, when the police track down the vehicle, they will impound it. Next, you could be arrested!

Whether it’s legal to clamp your car or not depends on the situation. For instance, it’s illegal for a car park management company to clamp, block or tow your car away when it’s parked on private land.

An operator can issue you with a Parking Charge Notice but they can’t clamp your vehicle!

On the other hand, the police, local councils and other authorities can legally clamp your car. For example, when you park unlawfully or your car’s untaxed.

I’ve added an excerpt from moneysavingexpert here:

removing clamps from car legal

Source: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2010/08/wheel-clamping-to-be-banned-on-private-land/

Successful Appeal Case Study


Initial Fine £100
Additional Fees £171
Total Fine £271

The Appeal Process

Scott used JustAnswer, online legal service to enhance his appeal. The trial of this cost him just £5.

Total Fine £271
Cost of legal advice £5

JustAnswer helped Scott craft the best appeal possible and he was able to win his case.

Scott’s fine was cancelled and he only paid £5 for the legal help.

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Can a bailiff lawfully clamp your car?

Bailiffs can only clamp (take control) of your car when you’re the owner of the car and owe money to a claimant.

Your car cannot be lawfully clamped by a bailiff if the following applies:

  • A vehicle is owned by a third party
  • There’s a Blue Badge displayed on a vehicle

There are other reasons why a bailiff can’t clamp or take your car which I’ve listed here:

  • The vehicle is on hire purchase
  • There’s finance on the vehicle
  • There’s a logbook loan out on the vehicle

There are several factors in play when it comes to finance agreements on a vehicle though. You should seek advice from a professional if you’re unsure whether removing a clamp is legal or not!

For instance, if you remove a lawfully placed clamp from your car, you could end up in hot water. Your legal woes could be exacerbated if there’s a lawful authority to have clamped your car!

Then, of course, there’s always the option of parking your car somewhere other than on your property. Especially when you’re worried a bailiff may clamp it!

Are bailiffs allowed to clamp my car in a private car park?

No. A bailiff cannot lawfully clamp your car when it’s parked in a private car park. A bailiff can only clamp a vehicle in the following situations:

A bailiff can’t legally clamp your car in the following situations:

  • When your car is parked on another person’s private property
  • When you park at a supermarket/retail outlet etc
  • When you stop at a motorway service area

When you need time to sort out your finances, you could opt to remove your car from your property. To a place where bailiffs can’t lawfully clamp it!

Also, bailiffs are legally obliged to provide you with a Warning of Immobilisation before they clamp your car!

Getting the support of a Solicitor can take a huge weight off your mind.

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How long do you have to pay a bailiff after they clamp your car?

Yes. There’s a time limit to how long you have to pay what’s owed when a bailiff clamps your car. For example, once your car is clamped, you typically have 2 hours to pay the outstanding amount.

If you fail to pay or can’t afford to pay what’s owed, the bailiff has a legal right to take your car away!

» TAKE ACTION NOW: Get legal support from JustAnswer

It’s worth noting that bailiffs can’t legally add a removal fee to the amount you owe unless the 2 hours have expired.

Can car park management companies clamp your car?

No. Car park management companies cannot lawfully clamp your car when it’s parked in a private car park. Nor can the operator tow your car away!

However, before you do anything you should check the following:

  • Find out who placed the wheel clamp on your car
  • Determine whether it’s the police or DVLA

You shouldn’t try to remove the clamp yourself because you could face prosecution if you do. Instead, call the number on the clamp and ask for it to be taken off.

That said, car park management companies and landowners have the right to give you a Parking Charge Notice, but they can’t legally clamp your car!

What are the rules about clamping vehicles?

I’ve listed a summary of the rules surrounding wheel-clamping vehicles here:

Can a private operator clamp your car? No
Can the Police, council, DVLA clamp your car on private land? Yes, in exceptional circumstances
Can the Police, council, DVLA claim your car on public land? Yes
Can the DVLA clamp your car on your property? No
Can bailiffs claim your car? Yes, if you have several outstanding fines

The DVSA has the power to clamp cars when:

  • A vehicle is deemed unroadworthy
  • A vehicle is overloaded
  • A vehicle is driven for too many hours by a commercial driver
  • A DVSA fine remains outstanding

Hire a Parking Solicitor for less than a coffee.

If you’re thinking about appealing your parking ticket then getting some professional advice is a good idea.

Getting the support of a Solicitor can make your appeal much more likely to win.

For a £5 trial, Solicitors from JustAnswer can look at your case and help you create an airtight appeal.


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The authors
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My name’s Janine, and I’m a mum of two who’s always been passionate about trying to cut down spending costs. I am now sharing as much financial knowledge as I possibly can to help your money go that little bit further.