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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Our vehicle was SORN this year and was parked in a residence

Customer Question

Our vehicle was SORN this year and was parked in a residence car park owned by the council, was clamped this morning by a clamping company. The reason which he gave for clamping was because the car was parked on the left side and not the right side of the car park. I have 24hrs before my car is towed away. What should I do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

What is the difference between parking on the left compared to the right?

Do you have the right to park in this car park?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


There is no signage or notice as to where to park nor did DVLA stipulated where one should park when a vehicle is SORN.

Yes I have the right to park as a resident for 13yrs.

Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.

If your vehicle was parked in a private car park, to which the public has no access and is away from a public road, then, as far as the law is concerned, you have complied with SORN.

The clamping company appears to be acting unlawfully. Under s.54 Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which came into force in October 2012, clamping became illegal.

The law states:

54 Offence of immobilising etc. vehicles

(1)A person commits an offence who, without lawful authority—
(a)immobilises a motor vehicle by the attachment to the vehicle, or a part of it, of an immobilising device, or
(b)moves, or restricts the movement of, such a vehicle by any means,intending to prevent or inhibit the removal of the vehicle by a person otherwise entitled to remove it.

Lawful authority means a court order, acting on behalf of DVLA or the police. Lawful authority is not failure to park on the correct side of the car park.

My suggestion is that you get back in touch with the police with the law mentioned above and indeed speak to the clamping company. In the absence of a court order or other lawful authority the clamping company has no right to clamp your car or tow it away - to do so is a criminal offence.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If the clamping company insist on towing it away, should I allow it or call the police?

Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
You should call the company plus the police immediately before its towed. If despite your protestations the vehicle is removed you will have to sue the clamping company to recover the car plus compensation. Keep a note of the name of the person you speak to plus date and time.
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.

I am following up our conversation to see how you got on with the issue. If you need any further help then please let me know - remember I am a qualified UK Solicitor and able to help on most aspects of English Law. I am London based and usually able to respond to your query very quickly. Please also take a moment to rate my answer if you have not already done so.

Alex Hughes