HUNDREDS of thousands of cars are clamped in the UK every year for various reasons — and it can be very expensive to get the device removed.
A furious nurse in Northern Ireland had to pay £60 after her vehicle was clamped in the hospital car park this week.
But if you don’t pay, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) can tow cars away if parked illegally on roads or public land.
Getty – Contributor It is never fun to see a wheel clamp on your car
What happens if my car is clamped?
Cars are clamped usually because they are parked improperly on public parking land, or they are untaxed and on a public road.
But if you have been clamped in a privately owned car park, you have been illegally targeted. Clamping on private land was outlawed in 2012.
In this situation, demand the clamp is removed — even if you have parked improperly. You may still have to pay a penalty.
However, if you have made an error with your parked in an area governed by a local council, it can legally clamp the car. It’s often the case if the parking poses a risk to other road users.
The DVLA uses automatic number plate readers to recognise untaxed cars on our streets.
If you have been clamped legally, follow the instructions attached to the vehicle. You will need the reference number to quote, and there is usually a telephone number to call.
You’ll have to pay a large fee — usually ranging from £50 to £200 — to get the device removed. You may be asked to pay on the spot or instead within a short time-frame of around 14 days.
It’s advisable not to attempt to forcibly remove the clamp yourself as this can amount to criminal damage, for which you may be prosecuted.
Getty – Contributor You are risking criminal damage by trying to pull the clamp off
Getty – Contributor The authorities have stressed the importance of making sure your car is taxed and you are driving with insurance
How do I get it released?
In most cases, you should just follow the instructions left on a note on your car.
The authority will declare the fee you must pay to get the clamp released.
If your car isn’t taxed, the DVLA may decide to take it to a pound. If your car has been removed, contact the local police force on 101 or at the nearest station.
Getty – Contributor Hundreds of thousands of cars are clamped in the UK every year
How much does it cost?
The nurse at Newtownards Hospital in Northern Ireland was ordered to pay £60 to have the wheel clamp removed.
But the cost can vary widely.
It becomes more expensive if you haven’t paid your road tax. In which case, the fee may be in the hefty region of £200.
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