/ Motoring

Is the clamping ban a good or bad thing?

Red car clamped

The recently announced ban on clamping and towing on private land sparked a heated debate. We’ve read your comments and thought it best to let you cast your votes. The clamping ban – good or bad?

A ban on the clamping and towing of cars on private land sounds like a great idea, especially since the industry is totally unregulated and generates thousands of complaints every year.

Which? Legal Service has dealt with many cases where consumers have been wronged – including two separate incidents where members were marched to a conveniently close cashpoint after stopping to answer a phone call in a lay-by. They were clamped with their engines still running.

Concerns about a ban on clamping

I posted about the government’s clamping ban when it was announced. Rather than regulating the practice, the government decided to ban the practice on private land out right. But comments on the piece have centred on concerns that it’ll create a free-for-all for rogue parkers parking on private property.

Graham Forecast thinks that the ban will give a “green light to motorists parking – deliberately – on private property.” And Brian Rogers suggests that instead of an outright ban, there should be “strict licensing and regulation of clampers”.

Following the announcement, the government advised using barriers and tickets instead of clamping, but some of you think this isn’t practical in all circumstances. For example, Judith Bailey said that if tickets were issued there’d be “no way of enforcing payment, except through the courts, and that would be a ridiculous waste of court time.”

So we thought we’d put this to a vote and accurately gauge your opinion on the clamping ban.

Read the original article and all comments on the clamping debate here.

What should have been done about clamping and towing?

I'm glad it's going to be banned outright (58%, 160 Votes)

It should have been properly regulated instead (42%, 115 Votes)

Nothing needed to be done (1%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 277

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I think clamping ban is good as company is charges exhorbant amount. I think company directors should be jailed for life. It is possible to modest fine but I would strongly suggest that no parking or private land should be displayed very promentatly, not hidden. There are possibilites that motorist parked unknowingly.

My another suggestion that it shoud be corden off with fence or any kind of restricitions which prevents motorist to park. I am strongly in favour of ban on clamping.


Your voting system is so at odds with what reasonable people are calling for. They want to see fair legislation that protects the clamping company and motorists.

Well done Watchdog, that’s why it’s so important that the Government tackles the rogue clampers but a Salem Witch Hunt is not the answer.

That clamper should be dealt with severely; the Sia and Trading Standards need to be looking to see if the Clamping Company even owns a tow truck and carry the correct motor trade insurance to undertake the task to which it is noteworthy that there are only about five companies out there that are insured to remove clamped vehicles to the best of my knowledge.

The Police need to investigate if the Clamper endeavored to obtain a pecuniary advantage by deception and take appropriate action against the individual and/or his company.

Don’t tarnish all people by the actions of others. See the person not the wheelchair.


Litrw – although the poll may not offer exactly what you want it to, there are three clear options – an ‘outright ban’, ‘proper regulation’ or ‘no change’. If you don’t think your vote accurately reflects what you think, then you can add your thoughts in a comment as you have done. We’ll take them into consideration if/when we report on the poll’s results. Thanks.


Clamping when used properly is a useful deterreant for selfish and inconsiderate parkers.

I live in a central London block of flats and we have gates to our car park but still have problems with drivers who force open or tailgate in. they park in our car park in spaces which are owned by residents during they day as its cheaper than usuing a proper car park.

Clamping is the only deterrent we have – issuing tickets will be a ridiculous waste of our time and the legal syastem’s too.

Properly regulated clamping needs to remain.

g r young says:
10 September 2010

yes – clampimg by regulated clampers. Some drivers are very mean and selfish. Non disabled drivers parking in disabled spaces should also be clamped. They have the same stupid mindset as those mentioned above going into areas where they should not.

robin carver says:
10 September 2010

clamping is a deterrent for inconsiderate parkers there will always be the odd case where someone has been wronged but regulating would have cured this.
i live on what used to be mod property but the houses are now sold and the purchasers become owners of the roads and grounds with a rule saying no parking on the roads.
the very people who ignore this are teachers who teach pupils with behaviour problems, the school exists on the grounds for free and the residents pay but the teachers just will not behave they regularly park on the road opposite drives and refuse all requests to not do so.
what do you do? my wife and i have one car each which is required as this is quite rural the school has around 30 to 35 cars coming and going all day along with delivery lorries and they pay not one penny but refuse to fit in with the residents who pay, arrogance beyond belief but what can you do withought seeming petty.


Of course, they will now issue thousands of tickets instead.

That industry is NOT regulated and it involves no heavy equipment – so will flourish.
Allegedly – 30% of motorists pay their fine without a quibble.

Terence Edwards says:
11 September 2010

I cannot see how a clamped car is freeing up a space. In fact it will occupy it for much longer. I have heard that clampers use threats and intimidation and there is no limit on how much they can charge to free a car. I cannot see that this is a civilised solution to a problem. There must be a better way.


I have a door on my house to stop uninvited visitors.In the same way owners of land who do not want people to use their land as a carpark should fence it off.
On the other hand if they want to use the land as a carpark they should set up a proper payment system charging a fair price.In no circumstance should they be allowed to trap motorists and then charge extortionate fees for release.Definately no clamping!