When a vehicle is clamped or impounded, most drivers are keen to release it and back on the road. However, it may take, money and effort to release your vehicle which may be very inconvenient and frustrating specifically if you think you have done nothing wrong.
Let’s look at when a vehicle can be clamped or impounded, and what you should do to get your vehicle.
Why are vehicles clamped or impounded?
Clamping or impounding a vehicle is a fairly time-saving method of penalizing drivers for breaking laws. Rather than chasing down a driver, the relevant department can just take the vehicle and wait for the owner to visit them.
One of the most common reasons for a vehicle to be clamped or impounded is a lack of insurance. Vehicles should have valid insurance by law, and it is easy for the authorities to spot uninsured vehicles using their database.
The police run operations where they spend days at a time moving around to find uninsured vehicles either illegally parked on the road. Or logging the registration number into a database to check the insurance details.
Being illegally parked is also a common problem. If you illegally park in the wrong place on a public road or cause an obstruction, the police can clamp your vehicle or tow it away.
This is the case even if the vehicle has broken down. A vehicle that appears to be dangerous or unsafe to other road users can also be clamped or impounded.
Financial problems can lead to vehicles being impounded or clamped. Unpaid penalties or unpaid debts can result in a vehicle being clamped. While unpaid fines for commercial vehicles can result in clamping. Commercial vehicles can also be clamped if a driver has exceeded time limits for driving safely.
Your insurance may be affected by your vehicle being clamped or impounded. Check the details of your insurance policy to be sure.
Who can clamp or impound a vehicle?
The law denies those who can clamp a vehicle. You can’t generally clamp vehicles on private land. For example, even if someone parks on your driveway without permission. You are not allowed to apply a clamp to their vehicle.
How can you remove a clamp?
The action you should take relies on who clamps or impounds your vehicle and the reason for it. When a vehicle is clamped, the leaflet is left with the vehicle providing contact details and a reference number.
The most likely authorities you will need to contact are the local police pound or by calling 101. In both cases, you will likely have to pay a release fee plus daily storage charges for the release of the vehicle. If the fine is pending, you will also have to pay it. If the vehicle has been clamped due to unpaid vehicle tax, you will need to pay the outstanding tax or pay a surety fee.
What to do if your vehicle has been impounded?
They can find out if your vehicle has been impounded by calling the local police pound or dialing 101.
You will be required to attend the pound within 7 working days of the impound notice, providing proof of ID, ownership, and a valid MOT certificate with you. You will need to pay any outstanding fees to release your vehicle. It is necessary to act quickly if your vehicle is impounded. If you fail to reclaim your vehicle within 14 days, it will be scrapped or thrown away.