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The law and clamping.....cartaxenforc ement.co.uk

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Ok, I'm maybe being a little naïve and probably more than a little thick (Not to mention coming from Scotland, who kicked clampers out years ago, so have no experience with this.) But aren't there laws over clamping?



I got clamped for being 11 days into the month without tax. I'd just got the van out the garage (Which hadn't fixed the problem,) so was waiting for it to get picked up again.



Next thing, I'm clamped. Fair do's I'm guilty, put me up against the wall and shoot me.



Now, I've had tickets before (Parking mostly, and speeding) and I always get a formal notification in the shape of some official government form.

In this case, I got a yellow sticker, and an "INFORMATION" pamphlet with a phone number on the back, which demanded I pay £100 immediately or I'd be towed and disposed of (I do hope they meant the van, not me personally.)



Two things that immediately make me balk, is that surely, under law, an INFORMATION pamphlet is not a legal notification of an offence. I've spoken to the police, and they said it looked like something someone had picked up at the post office for a laugh. The associated website (cartaxenforcement.co.uk) is also very dodgy looking, with no details of who you are paying, etc, displayed on the site at all. The police have taken copies and they have taken it, and are investigating it, as - in his words - "This looks so much like a con."



Now, after a morning of research, and talking to the DVLA, it turns out the "contractors" are a company called NSL. Now, at no point did anyone identify themselves to me, neither by phone nor in person, and the sparse documentation (The INF32 and website) does not mention the name of the company. I asked the DVLA directly "Is CarTaxEnforcement a contractor you use?" and they said no." Only NSL is used in my area apparently.



So the question of misrepresentation is eating at me too.



So what is the law? Can someone who doesn't tell you who they are, simply put a pamphlet under your windscreen and clamp you? Certainly the local plod don't think so, and my bank is supporting my withholding payment on the basis that the cartaxenforcement.co.uk website looks well dodgy.



I'm really ready for a fight, so if someone can give me a legal basis, I'll give them grief.

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It's rouge car parking companies who can no longer clamp. Authorities and the DVLA as well as bailiffs can still clamp you.


If it's not lawful, then remove the clamp and move the van.


Your image is too small, you need to do it in .pdf format.

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Reading the gov website, it states that you have up to 14 days to SORN a vehicle after the road tax has expired. Is the fine for an untaxed vehicle on a public road in which case I think you have to pay the fine. I am amazed that the bailiff was given your details so quick and I smell a rat.

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  • 1 year later...

Just to follow up...


1) where was the van at the time of clamping. Was it sat right on the carriageway of the road, or in any kind of marked of parking area, parking bay?


2) What was the conclusion - pay up and get on with your life?

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Just to follow up...


1) where was the van at the time of clamping. Was it sat right on the carriageway of the road, or in any kind of marked of parking area, parking bay?


2) What was the conclusion - pay up and get on with your life?


the post is over a year old so has probably been resolved.

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I guess so - but I am monitoring outcomes and also the precise places clamping is taking place.


I have just won a case that determined the DVLA are routinely clamping in locations where they have no legal right to do so:



'Land associated with a dwelling'... need not be parking area, need not be private and need not even be associated with your OWN dwelling.

This is confirmed within the DVLAs internal training documents and clampers handbook... they would not show you that, but I got copies under a Freedom of Information Request, and I have posted them in the thread linked above.

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'Land associated with a dwelling'... need not be parking area, need not be private and need not even be associated with your OWN dwelling.



But it needs to be 'associated with' and 'normally enjoyed with' - so there needs to be some connection between the dwelling and the land the vehicle is on, not just somewhere nearby.

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But it needs to be 'associated with' and 'normally enjoyed with' - so there needs to be some connection between the dwelling and the land the vehicle is on, not just somewhere nearby.


You are correct.


The point I was making is that when the DVLA are asked they will get it wrong - if they comment at all (they have a written policy advising staff not to discuss the definition of 'public road'). So will NSL and so will your local authority, both of whom are heavily influenced by the DVLA in interpretations.


The reason for this is partly because they have not got a proper grasp of the legislation but mainly because they tend to favour very narrow 'interpretations' that are convenient for them. These interpretations are not necessarily lawful until a court agrees to that effect.


What concerns me is that many hundreds if not thousands of motorists have paid 'out of court' settlements for offences they have not really committed and could not actually be convicted for. I would like to do what I can to stop that abuse.


Under Vera (Section 29 and Schedule 2A) a car that is SORN cannot be clamped unless it is indisputably on a Public Road... the Clarke vs Kato case at the House of Lords is binding on any Magistrates decision (it is used by the police to determine if an RTA offence has occurred). This judgement provided 4 characteristics of a 'road' that should must be met - however each case must ultimately be evaluated on its own facts.


The NSL clamper is also supposed to check with the local authority that the land is definitely 'public road' BEFORE he clamps which I doubt occurs often (it definitely didn't in my case). He may clamp if he has reason to believe the car has been used on a Public Road even if he finds it off road - however that can't be a 'gut feeling' he will need to have proof such as a record of the car on the 'Moving SORN' database, i.e. it was seen being driven around.


In my case: My car was SORNed and parked in a series of parking spaces opposite my house that are perpendicular to the road. It had been off the road and in this space for a few months with valid tax before I SORNed it and it didn't move from there until it was clamped. When I challenged the clamping they said the parking area was part of the Public Road (Actually they used 'Public Highway' which is commonly used term by DVLA staff but not really correct - 'Highway' appears nowhere in VERA - however Clark vs Kato deals with Highway under RTA 1998, so it doesn't matter much).


Neighbours have been parking there for 30 years since the council installed the parking area and luckily for me concerned neighbours provided letters from the 1980s that proved the council put them there for that purpose. However, DVLA argued that these were not numbered or allocated parking bays... that anyone could use them so they were not associated with a dwelling.


DVLA and NSL goons even told me that they can clamp ANYWHERE that is 'public'. Wrong - they cannot clamp anywhere but on a 'public road' if the vehicle is SORN. (They can clamp in many more places if it is neither SORN OR taxed... but even then, still not on 'land associated with a dwelling' and normally enjoyed with it etc).


I have uploaded PDF of DVLA's own internal guidance that makes this very clear. (see the 'matrix' of where they can and cannot clamp, along with the clampers operating instructions)


When at case management the DVLA prosecutor realised they were on shaky ground they then presented a NEW argument a week later that the parking spaces were a 'lay-by' - hoping this may persuade the court that the area in question could be viewed as 'part of the highway'.


The court in my case disagreed firmly with the DVLA's claims, even holding up a picture of my car in the parking area up for the prosecutor to see and saying 'This is NOT a road!' They said it was a public council provided parking area which although open to anyone to use, was ALSO clearly associated with a dwelling.


Furthermore, the law does not require that YOU are resident in the dwelling/s you may leave a car with a friend (as long as you didn't drive there on a SORN!).


This interpretation was upheld in a court of law - so while it may differ dramatically from what DVLA/NSL tell people, it is sound.


So, if there were any areas 'in the vicinity' of the OPs home that are 'normally used' by the residents to park vehicles he may have been done over by the DVLA. Regardless of how that land became associated with the dwellings, the DVLA cannot presume they can clamp. Equally, the public should not presume that they are automatically wrong or liable because some robot at the DVLA wheelclamping helpline says so.


I may be adding some images to the thread about my case later to illustrate some how Clarke vs Kato & Schedle 2A of VERA applied in my case:



I guess in this particular case the vehicle was probably on the road and the OP paid up.

Edited by TofuMan
Removed a statement the DVLA may use against me in legal dispute :-)
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