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Does anyone know which part of the law allows a private towing company to impound a car until the fee is paid? It appears to me they are operating under a false analogy to council/police towing.

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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The only consolation I can offer is he result of our own court case this afternoon. It didn't get as far as the towing issue, but the court accepted that if an offer was made to pay a clamp release fee, then the car must be released. There are no grounds for demanding payment ahead of release.

 

“Nor might the clamper justify detention of the car after the owner had indicated willingness to comply with the condition for release: the clamper could not justify any delay in releasing the car after the owner offered to pay”.

Our case continues in the next few months to re-claim the release fee and "virtual" towing charge as well as breach of human rights (false detention) .

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Does anyone know which part of the law allows a private towing company to impound a car until the fee is paid? It appears to me they are operating under a false analogy to council/police towing.

I think that towing would be considered another part of "damage distress feasant" - the principle behind clamping on private land that was used in the Arthur V Anker case.

 

"the medieval self-help remedy, adapted to modern conditions, of distress damage feasant whereby if a landowner found property of another causing damage on his land he could seize the offending property and withhold it from its owner until adequate compensation had been tendered for the damage done"

 

For the record an amendment to the Private Security Industry Act has made towing a licensable activity.

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This does not constitute legal advice and is not represented as a substitute for legal advice from an appropriately qualified person or firm.

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