section is hosted by our resident Master Clamp Cracker 'Alfred'.
If anyone has successfully removed a clamp tell us how you
did it Removing
a Wheel Clamp
better, if you have photo's of the deed well put them up -
just make sure your registration plate isn't in the photo!
are facing intimidation and extortionate fines.
are charging drivers up to £670 (US$1,000) to recover their
cars as they capitalise on a legal loopholes to make as much
cash as possible before new regulations come into force.
Foundation says it fears that in the meantime, clampers will
stretch existing laws to their limits and use staff recruited
from prisons to provide the muscle to persuade reluctant motorists
to pay up.
clamping on private property has provoked thousands of complaints
about intimidation and extortionate fines, but local authorities
and police have virtually no powers to tackle them
this year the House of Commons heard stories of wheel-clampers
who had threatened to hold a female driver's three-year-old
daughter hostage until she came back with cash to pay her
young woman was asked for sex unless she came up with her
fine payment immediately.
in Sheffield demanded a woman motorist's gold tooth as payment.
And a hearse was clamped outside a church with the coffin
still in the back.
Foundation said that East Berkshire Community Health NHS Trust
recently fired a company which had, in the past, attempted
to recruit inmates at Brixton Prison in south London to work
as clampers. It had started immobilising cars belonging to
patients and staff at a Slough clinic.
you can see we have a real problem here in the UK but clamps are
a worldwide menace. There is some UK case law on this page but
I feel the only real way to win is to get the cancerous tumour off
your car, throw it in the boot and then take it to the tip!
have personally removed 3 clamps, had 1 ticket ripped up and made
a clamper remove an immobiliser.
how I did it:
is similar to the clamp in this example except the lock was
an integral part of the main plate and the chain was held by
the locking pin and not a padlock.
The first clamp I removed was attached in a place where no warning
signs existed. I decided there and then to try to get it off as the
fine was £60 (US$90) and I knew that trying to plead with the
clampers was a waste of time. I walked across town and bought a hacksaw
for @£10 ($15).
problem with clamps is that they are usually made from hardened steel.
This particular clamp consisted of a plate and a chain which wrapped
around the axle. This is a design to stop people letting air from
their tyres and slipping the clamp off.
as I might the saw made no impression and simply polished the steel
- I spent several minutes attacking the device in various areas but
it was a seriously tough bit of kit...then...
found a weakness!
is a soft area on these clamps and on several other types. It is the
bolt in the locking mechanism, the locking pin which holds the chain.
This is the only component made from mild steel and which can be cut.
It's a good area because it releases the chain instantly.
I have touched on the next clamp in Example 1.
I have successfully removed two of these types. They are made
up of 3 bars which hook over the tyre held in place by a front
plate designed to restrict access to the wheel nuts.
idea is to let as much air from the tyre as you can drive away with.
Then add the secret ingredient...brute force!
you pull hard enough it is possible to bend the vertical arm back
away from the wheel leaving you free to drive out of the contraption.
the 3 clamps - now how I got the ticket ripped up and the clamp removed.
I go on a word of warning - I am 6" tall, weigh 16 stone (mostly
muscle!) and have trained in martial arts for several years. I can
look after myself.
clampers are serious bullies and rely on their intimidation
to frighten people into paying.
wife and her mother were out shopping four years ago when they returned
to find the dreaded yellow tumour on the wheel. My wife was 7 months
pregnant at the time and my mother-in-law is the meekest, most polite
person you'd ever have the pleasure of meeting.
they arrived so did the clampers. They refused point blank to remove
the thing until my wife handed over a cheque. Now she could have cancelled
it but unfortunately I have a real thing about scumbags who extort
money from defenceless women!
called their mobile throughout the night with language I'd rather
not publish, and because they were on a mobile with only a PO Box
number they refused all requests for a meeting to debate their tactics!
number 1 for the clampers is that if you call the Post Office they
are obliged, by law, to let you have the registered address
on the PO Box holder, and you can't get a box without a legitimate
I went round and as luck would have it the van was just leaving as
held back and followed it for a hour.
my younger days I'd have pulled the van over and had words with the
driver but past experience has proven that these types rarely want
to enter into a sensible conversation, so one usually ends up kicking
the living daylights out of them!
always the best route these days!
tracked their movements that day and later called them. I recited
their home address and recalled their route that day. I also told
them what would happen if they didn't placate me.
that evening there was a knock on my mother-in-law's door - it was
a police officer (she was the registered keeper)...
this!!! - He said that he had received a call from the clampers...here
we go...they were terrified!
had asked the officer to call me off, that they would not process
the cheque or press charges and was there any thing I wanted!!!
promise this is no word of a lie - I was amazed and have smugly dined
out on the story ever since.
APPROACH IS NOT FOR THE FEINT HEARTED AND
IT COULD HAVE VERY EASILY GONE TITS UP!
same can be said for the next example!
to Get a Clamper to Remove it!
another occasion I returned to find the car clamped with the chain
type immobiliser. I had used the same spot for years and had never
seen a warning sign (because there wasn't one). It was late in the
evening so there were no hardware shops open from where to buy a hacksaw.
decided to take the Car Jack out of the boot and look for a way to
use it to break open the lock by forcing it apart.
was all dressed up for a night out and getting dirty set my blood
boiling. I had been at it for around 15 minutes when the clamper arrived.
exploded - before he'd got out of the car I was on him, Car Jack raised
"Get that f.....g thing off now" I asked politely!
was sufficiently taken aback and suggested I not beat the crap out
of him as he was only doing his job. He would call his office to get
the guys down with the keys...no he wouldn't!
LET A CLAMPER GET ON THE PHONE - HE'S ONLY CALLING FOR BACK-UP AND
WILL BULLSHIT FOR ALL HE'S WORTH TO STALL YOU TILL IT GETS THERE.
important thing to note is that the guy who turns up to remove the
clamp in usually the one who's put it on.
several attempts to use the phone my clamper gave up and tried to
drive away. I mentioned quietly in his ear that if he did, he'd be
driving without headlights and a windshield.
will give him credit for his tenacity though as he tried every trick
in the book not to unclamp me. The only problem was that I was more
determined to have it removed!
I suggested he put this one down to experience, which he agreed to
and said that he could remove it if he had clamped a disabled person
was not allowed to clamp disabled people...which opens up a new
you can produce a disabled card, which has 'fallen into the footwell'
they must remove the clamp.
suggestion would be to get a sample made up just to be used in the
case of a clamping where you feel uncomfortable about physically confronting
MORE WARNING - A FRIEND OF MINE RECENTLY TOLD ME ABOUT THE TIME HE
PULLED THE BASEBALL BAT OUT ON A CLAMPER AS A 'NEGOTIATING TOOL' ONLY
TO SEE SEVERAL MORE CLAMPERS PILE OUT OF A NEARBY VAN WITH BIGGER
publishing of these true stories is to show that we can fight back
- you don't have to resort to violence, but getting the clamp off
will give you back your freedom...for free!
you are clamped by a legitimate authority and remove it you open yourself
up to prosecution but if you use the loopholes in our book 'How
to Avoid Paying Parking and Speeding Fines' you will get away
LIE DOWN AND TAKE THE CRAP - DRIVERS ARE NOT A SOFT TARGET!
us your experiences of clampers right now! Removing
a Wheel Clamp
is high time that the bully-boy stand-and-deliver tactics should be
Edmund King, RAC (One of UK's leading motoring organisations)
you have any advice or experiences with wheel clamps and how to get
them off, or avoid having them put on let us know and we'll publish
it here: Removing a Wheel Clamp
better, if you have photo's of the deed well put them up - just make
sure your registration plate isn't in the photo!
you do successfully remove a clamp take it away because it
has been known for the scumbag clampers to sue for criminal damage
to their property!
far as you're concerned there was no clamp on your car when you returned!!!
the mind of a clamper!
I go on I would like to give you an insight into the mind of
a clamper. I recently received the following:
Alfred, I've never read such a load of tosh in my entire life.
If my mate TC (Top Clamp) and myself were on your patch, we
would clamp you into the next millennium for such outrageous
angered I replied:
you we're on my patch and I caught you clamping my motor I'd
ram it so far up your jacksy you'd never walk again!
Clamp quickly got back to me:
very fact that you have been clamped before Alfy dear boy indicates
to me that like most of the inconsiderate a$$holes I clamp on
a daily basis, we all have the capacity to break the law when
we feel like it, the trick in life is simply to get away with
it the most..
clampers job is simply to punish those people whom our customer's
deem to be illegally parked on private property. And for this
service to the community, I am not ashamed to admit that I do
obtain job satisfaction.
your c**k-sucking job anyway you wish, the same way muggers
justify mugging old ladies, the fact remains, Super-wimp dear
gay-boy, you're still a bully and a p**ck.
put your comments on the site and if you've got the bottle let
me know who you really are and where you operate, so people
know the way you feel about them - other side of the coin as
are you the same as the rest of the chicken-sh*t herd, hiding
behind PO Box numbers, mobile phones and oh, look ...a hotmail
Super Clamp Kicker
finally this came back - just pay attention to the part where
he say's 'And no, I am not afraid to reveal myself'... then
Alf twice - if you came within 10 feet of me, I would rip out
eyes, and p*** on your brain - I'm as hard as they come :)
aside, it is true that once a target has been assimiliated,
young or old - I stick to my guns no matter what. There can't
be one rule
for one person, and one rule for another - I treat all offenders
no, I am not afraid to reveal myself, after all I am a professional,
as a fellow professional yourself. I am surprised that you have
added a 'Clampers Corner' on your website to allow the 'other
side' to voice
its concerns about the violence/intimidation one recieves whilst
on duty. On
the other hand, revealing myself on your website may be a catalyst
much unwanted attention in the course of my duty, so I would
remain anonymous for the time-being.
I will say be wary, because whenever and wherever you park in
jurisdiction (Crowne Plaza Hotel - Manchester), like The Terminator,
cannot be reasoned with, I do not fell pity, or remorse, pain
or fear, and I
absolutely will not stop until the offender coughs up.
Judge, Jury and Executioner
really are a sad bunch eh?
keep ya all posted!
Man Wheel-clamp Superhero / Vigilante
love angle-Grinder man, the U.K.Õs first wheel-clamp and speed
camera vigilante cum subversive superhero philanthropist type
Man in Action
there..here it is in simple terms:
1.Do what I do.....buy a cordless drill and keep it in the
boot (trunk)....spend about £40 on the drill and keep
2 batteries fully charged.
2. You will need a titanium/cobalt drill bit...5,6,7,8mm
will suffice....these are only available from Locksmith
supply companies....I am a locksmith!
3. Locate the lock mechanism and or padlock locking mechanism...and
4. Make sure the drill is not on hammer!!
5.Do this and the lock is..well..opened!!
6.Keep an eye out for the clampers......they dont like there
If you would like more info please email me as I can provide
the drill bits needed
I have so far saved over £200 using this method
a power inverter that converts 12VDC from your car's cigarette
lighter to 120V AC
sure you get one with a high power output.
an angle grinder from a power tool store. When needed, plug
the angle grinder into the power inverter and cut the clamp
with the hydraulic suspension let right down are impossible
always carry a clamp removal tool kit - just in case! -
I carry a heavy hammer, a hard, heavy duty chisel, a crowbar
(jemmy), and a heavy duty hacksaw. Pain in the butt, but
then again paying the fine is worse!
best way to remove wheel clamps is by using the key!
one does not have the key of the device applied by the scumbags,
you should obtain one or two clamps of ones own and carry
those with you in the boot. Arriving at your destination,
you apply your clamp or clamps to the wheels that are clampable,
assuming that the other two wheels are protected by the
curb or the like. In this situation, the clampers either
think that someone was ahead of them and move on, or have
no way to apply their clamp over yours. To get on your way
remove your clamps with your keys. Make shure that the design
does not allow overlocking by the scumbags.
J. Laan Clampfree zone, British Columbia, Canada
I was private wheel clamped. The demand on the phone was
for £135 (plus 5% credit card surcharge).
So I removed it by finding one of the chain links was slightly
open, and then simply levering it apart with the end of
a wheel jack.
The joints in the chains are welded so is that a good point
to hacksaw and then lever apart?
you didnt use the wheel jack to lever apart the wheel
Ill put your advice up on the site if thats
hate the bullying tactics too!
got one removed.
the MOBILE(!) number, seething, and basically threatened
them with mutilation for a bit if they didn't get it off!
They said eventually agreed, were shitting it, and said
"my guys will be at the car in 15 minutes."
there's me, 5'7 14.5 stone of steroid induced mass, and
good few years of
mate, a 6ft, 18 stone Birmingham Zulu, and his mate, 6"7',
weight, and a riot organiser for the Zulus but hey, who's
get a phone call saying, "my guys have arrived, but
he won't come over whilst you're all there, if you leave
he'll take it off"- He did, end of story.
stand up guys eh..?
you guys have any info you could post about how to stop
cars being taken from the street on the back of a lorry..?
Keep up the good work mate,
worse than bullies, which most of these clamping scum are!
is, they very rarely get stood up to so they continue to
extort good people.
more people stood up to them they'd give up - but, I don't
recommend face to face confrontation unless the odds are
in your favour which is why we continue to publish our guerrilla
of shooting out the tyres of the tow truck I wouldn't know
how to stop the truck once your car's on it!
returning from a day out with the family via the train to
London we found our car had been clamped along with three
others. Apart from a sign painted (probably by a neanderthal
thug) on the road as you entered the car park, which if
you were following somebody in the single lane entrance
it would be impossible to read or see, there were no other
at first I phoned the number on the sticker letting rip
at a very poor excuse for a piece of humanity. I then called
the police who told me its a civil matter and that they
could not intervene. (Surprise, surprise! - Alf)
lack of proper signs should be taken up with the local authority
they said. One of the other people to be clamped was an
Australian chap who considering their fairly laid back nature,
started to kick the clamp.
don't have a picture of it but the clamp was shaped with
a disk like hub cap on the front of the wheel and a V shaped
arm holding the back of the wheel. I walked over to see
if he had got anywhere and to my surprise he had kicked
it right off! He left it in the car park and drove away.
rushed back to my car and in less than three minutes I had
done the same, apart from the fact that I picked up the
offending clamp and hurled it over a high railing fence
into some large bramble thicket. (hasta la vista baby).
I have since read on the internet soliciters website that
if you have a letter on the inside of your windscreen (clearly
visible) that states 'you have not entered into an agreement
to be clamped or to have your car impeded in anyway by the
owner of the property, nor any persons representing them',
you cover yourself.
law states that if you park in an area where there are easily
visible signs about car clamping then you are agreeing with
the signs and you may be legally clamped.
if you have been recently clamped make sure you take your
window sign to the small claims court where you will be
awarded the clamp fee!
a pain, but why give them what they want.
tempting question is whether wheel-clamping could be a criminal
offence under the Administration of Justice Act 1970,(UK)
which makes criminal the collection of civil debts by causing
distress and public humiliation.
done - the type of clamp you mention is an easy one to remove
but my advice is always take it away. This means the clamper
has to buy a new one and there's no evidence - it wasn't
on your car when you returned!
got some great points - I'll post them at the site and see
if we can get some clarification.
possesion is 9/10ths of the law, once a scumbag has placed
a clamp on your car surely it becomes your property to do
with as you see fit?
in Hants (UK)
point, and one for the lawyers. The layman's rule is that
if you ever get one off make sure you take it away because
it as been known for the clampers to try to sue for criminal
damage Ð but just take it away as it gives you a great sense
of one-upmanship - besides it wasn't there when you returned
to your car was it???
To remove this example, let air from the tyre and pull the
top bar away from the wheel.
You will need a lump hammer and a cold chisel. Strike the
top of the padlock hard in a downward direction until the
body of the lock parts from the locking pin.
Features: As used by Police Forces and Parking Enforcement
Heavy duty clamp - ideal for theft prevention and parking
same technique of letting air out and bending back. It
is worth noting that not all clamps are made from hardened
steel and the bars can sometimes be cut through.
Weak in all areas, let air out and bend back.
Can also be sawn through!
Even weaker! Even my gran could pull this one off! The biggest
obstacle to removing these things is yourself and the belief
that they are indestructible. They are not and will
come off - don't lie down and take the crap any longer!
UK CASE LAW
Gore Litigation Department
my car has been clamped by a private firm on private property
do I have the right to remove the clamp providing I cause
There have been numerous criminal cases where motorists have
been convicted for unlawful damage to a wheel clamp contrary
to s.1(1) Criminal Damage Act 1971 for removing a car clamp
without lawful excuse.
can still be clamped on private property, provided there is
a notice warning that unauthorised vehicles will be immobilised/clamped
and any charge for their release is reasonable. By parking
in an area where such a notice is displayed you will be consenting
to the risk of clamping. The payment of a fee is a reasonable
alternative to removing the clamp yourself, therefore there
is no lawful excuse in relation to the criminal damage caused
to the wheel clamp.
forcible removal of a wheel clamp may be sufficient to amount
to an offence under the Criminal Damage Act even if you take
care in the removal of it and try not to cause damage to it.
it would be advisable to pay any fee for the removal of the
clamp if the fee is reasonable.
Certainly don't agree that you should pay the fine but at
least you know where you stand from a legal point of veiw!
is why we recommend anyone who removes a clamp to take it
with them - Although it would be ice to see the face of the
clamper when they return to find their precious clamp in bits!!!
Clampers bite the dust?
many years motorists in England, at least those who are ready to
take desperate measures to find somewhere to park, have run the
risk of having their car disabled by the application of a wheel
case of Vine v Waltham Forest London Borough Council CA Times April
12th 2000 shows what bloody-minded persistence can achieve. The
Appellant sued for damages after having her car clamped when she
parked on private land owned by the Respondent Council.
case had to deal with three issues. Was there any trespass to the
car, what level of notice was required, and what level of damages
was appropriate. The case is useful because it establishes that
the clamping of a car is a trespass to that car.
Court of Appeal decision is considerable authority. It follows that
wheel-clamping is unlawful unless the person who applies the clamp
can demonstrate that the owner of the car consented to the clamping.
To establish that consent the car clamper must show that the parker
knew of and assumed the risk of, being clamped.
second issue was whether the Claimant was given sufficient notice
of the clamping policy. If she had notice then she was to be deemed
to have consented to the clamping. In this particular case, the
Claimant demonstrated that she was subject to very considerable
distractions, and that it was a medical emergency, which required
her to stop.
court looked at the case law regarding the giving of notice to those
parking cars. These cases are well known to contract law students.
In effect the court applied the standard that "there must be some
clear indication which would lead an ordinary sensible person to
realise ..." the existence of the notice, and also the requirement
that the notice must be "brought home to the parties so prominently
that he must be taken to have known of it and have agreed with it".
third issue was the measure of damages. The more optimistic motorist
must recognise that the court does not intend to encourage such
claims by awarding exemplary, or even useful, damages. The court
said "the conduct É could not be described as insolent, malicious
or cruel, nor was it calculated to make a profit exceeding any likely
compensation payable". Those who successfully argue this case in
future may perhaps recover the cost of fees paid, but little more.
defendant here was a local authority, perhaps a private company
might be less well treated. One interesting question is this. The
court clearly made the right of the clamping company to clamp a
vehicle dependant on the implied consent of the motorists who parks
being aware of the notice.
would happen if the motorist places a sticker on the windscreen,
or possibly the wheels themselves, stating, in the clearest of terms,
that they do not consent to any clamps being placed on the vehicle?
if that consent could not be implied?
court found that the clamping required consent. That consent was
inferred, and no more, from a notice. An explicit denial of that
consent might lead to interesting court cases.
we must commend the firm of solicitors and Counsel for their enterprise
and the Claimant for her persistence.
tempting question is whether wheel-clamping could be a criminal
offence under the Administration of Justice Act 1970, which makes
criminal the collection of civil debts by causing distress and public
Swarbrick consultant with Wrigley Claydon, Solicitors, 29/33 Union
St, Oldham OL1 1HH email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 0161 785 3527
note relates to English law only. A short note cannot reflect the
complexity of real life. The law changes constantly and unpredictably.
This law-byte was last amended on 24 February 2002, and the law
may have changed after that date. Do not rely upon this note alone,
but ask about your situation.