Can I remove a wheel clamp from my car?

Sadly, this particular page from our website is one of the top five pages visited daily. In relation to motor vehicles, the Taking Control of Goods Regulations provide that:

A bailiff may only take control of a vehicle owned by the debtor.

A car belonging to a third-party cannot be taken.

A car displaying a valid Blue Badge cannot be taken

In addition, in many cases, a vehicle that is subject to finance/hire purchase/log book loans should not be taken. Our webpage on this subject can be found  here.

Location where a vehicle can be seized

The regulations specify that a vehicle may only be clamped either on the debtors premises or, on a highway. A vehicle must not be clamped on  private  property such as another persons driveway, supermarket car parks or motorway service areas etc.

It is very important to be aware that if your vehicle is located on a highway (usually by way of the enforcement agents ANPR equipped vehicle) Regulation 18.2 of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations specifically  provides that the vehicle must be secured by way of an immobilisation device.

A bailiff has clamped my car on private property

March 8th 2024…….We are updating  this section over the next few days.

The notices that must be provided

If a bailiff has clamped a vehicle, Regulation 18.4 of the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013  provides that he must provide a Warning of Immobilisation. Further details of the statutory notices required can be read here.

How long can the vehicle be clamped for?

Regulation 18.5  specifically provides that a vehicle should remain clamped for a minimum of two hours. What this means is that if the vehicle is clamped, it cannot be actually removed to a vehicle pound unless it has been clamped for more than two hours. In addition, a bailiff  cannot charge a  ‘removal’ (sale stage fee) of £110 unless this time period (of 2 hours) has elapsed.

Unfortunately, legislation does not provide for the length of time that a vehicle can remain clamped for.

Can I cut off the wheel clamp?

No you certainly cannot!! Under Section 68.1 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunal, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 specifically provide that it is a serious offence to remove a wheel clamp or to obstruct the bailiff  from clamping or removing the vehicle. A person found guilty on conviction may face being fined (level 4) or sent to prison for a term not exceeding 51 weeks…or both. Sadly we have received many reports of debtors being arrested and charged following the removal of a wheel clamp.

While the internet can be a great source of information, please be very careful of internet sites which advise you to remove a wheel clamp on the basis that the ‘clamping’ had apparently been illegal and claiming that you may be entitled to compensation.  It would be for a court to decide whether a bailiff has acted illegally.

The wheel clamp fell off.

Many times we receive enquiries from a motorist saying that the wheel clamp ‘fell off’ or was not in some way ‘secure’. It is always the case that when an enforcement agent clamps a vehicle, he will ensure that the clamp is properly secure, and most importantly, he would usually record the clamping on his body worn camera.

What is likely to happen if I remove the wheel clamp?

If an enforcement agent discovers that the vehicle has been removed, then in every case, he will report the matter to the police. The police will then attempt to locate the vehicle by way of ANPR. If found, it will be taken to the police pound. Unfortunately, there are many reports of arrests being made for this offence.

Commentary from Bailiff Advice Online

If you have any queries in relation to a vehicle that has been clamped by a bailiff, you can email a question to us using our popular Enquiry Form.  Alternatively, you can contact us by phone. Please refer to our  Contact Page  for further details.

A simple overview of the new Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 can be read here.