DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - yellowperil
I was late paying my road tax on my Honda Civic - i'd plain forgotten for the first time in 20 years of driving. I remembered at the weekend and paid online yesterday but couldn't back pay for January. I thought it best to make the payment and follow up with the local DVLA office afterwards.

Today I got in my car to drive to work, and as soon as i set off I realised I had a problem and I stopped the car. The leaflet on my windscreen turned out to be a untaxed vehicle notice and the clamp was attached on the passenger side which I can't see from the house. I admit, I didn't notice the leaflet on the passenger side before I set off. It didn't block my field of vision, and when i pull away from the house, I'm checking for people and vehicles...I'm so used to getting slips of paper advertising cut price offers for shops etc that I didn't even "clock" it until about 1 second too late.

I rang NCP Services immediately, cursing myself for having to make another payment but just wanting to get on with it and sort my car out so i could get to work.

It was 45 minutes before they actually had the vehicle on the system so it could be processed and fines paid. When I queried why i was being fined and how I could complain etc, I spoke to a real human being who upon realising I'd paid my car tax told me no payment was necessary and they would unclamp the vehicle at no cost to myself.

So, this was a good result, but I am left with the damage to the wheel arch, and a dent caused by pressure in the panel around the arch.

Am i right to think that I should be able to pursue NCP Services for the damages as they had in effect illegally clamped my car, and if this hadn't happened, I would not have a damaged vehicle. I also think clampers have a duty to ensure fair notice is given to the driver by putting a sticker on the drivers door, or fully across the windscreen, or even knocking on the house door (which might have saved them their later revisit).

However, I am feeling quite emotional about the whole thing so am looking for some less biased feedback.

Any thoughts?

{made non make/model specific, but have added car info into main post}

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 09/02/2009 at 20:36

DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - Altea Ego

I assume your car was parked on the public road? with the drivers side against the kerb?

Exactly where on the windscreen was the warning label and how was it fixed?

DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - daveyjp
If the sticker was like the one on my neighbour's car it is about A4 sized and stuck on the windscreen at eye level.

If it had been on my windscreen (even on the passenger side) I wouldn't have made any attempt to drive off without wondering what it was first.

Flyers tend to be put under windscreen wipers - DVLA notices certainly aren't.

Edited by daveyjp on 09/02/2009 at 15:01

DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - PoloGirl
I'm guessing it might come down to whether they caused the damage putting the clamp on, or whether you caused it by driving away with the clamp on?

DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - MVP
"DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor"

No it didn't, you driving off with the clamp on did the damage

I think you have to take some individual responsibility on this one


DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - rtj70
It does sound like the poster damaged their car because it was clamped and they tried driving.

If there was a notice and it was ignored, then I feel NCP will not pay anything. They clamped the car without damaging - or so it sounds.
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - Armitage Shanks {p}
I apologise for joining the general drift of the replies so far but you didn't think something odd about an A4 sized attachemnt to your windscreen, on whichever side?
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - Hamsafar
Unfortunately, I don't think you have a case, as you should externally check such things around the vehicle before you set off.
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - yellowperil
That is a fair point and a lesson learned.

Thanks to everyone for the constructive feedback. Looks like I have one damaged wheel arch and no leg to stand on. Could be worse, I could have started the day managing Chelsea Football Club.

Just to cover off some of the other queries in the feedback:
My car is parked on a public road in front of the house with the drivers door kerbside and I approach it from behind rather than eyeballing the front so i didn?t see the bright yellow notice from outside (ok ? i should have inspected the vehicle before setting off).

The notice was not at eyelevel but in the area where your road tax disc normally lives. The A4 notice was not stuck to the windscreen but curled up and held from being rained off by a road tax sized penalty notice. The sticky back protector is still on the A4 notice proving it hadn?t been ?stuck? to the screen.

It didn?t look as obvious when sat in the drivers seat as you might think but I?ll make an opticians appointment, just incase.
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - turbo11
Many years ago,similar thing happened to a former work colleague. His 911 was clamped and a sticker was placed on the right hand side window. Unfortunately it was left hand drive, and he too attemted to drive off. He pursued the clamping firm in the small claims court for the damage to his vehicle, but I never heard what the outcome was. At first I thought it served him right for illegally parking, but I subsequently found out that it was in the car park of an empty office building , next door to the company he was visiting.
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - oldnotbold
Not a chance - the court (which is where you'd have to take it) would take the view of the reasonable man (or woman). It would be reasonable to look round your vehicle before setting off, to check for flat tyres, and I'm sure the Highway Code says as much.

That fact that most of us don't is no excuse in your case, in my humble opinion.
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - ifithelps
If I recall, when the Denver boot was first introduced in London, the clampers put a large penalty notice on the windscreen and an even larger warning notice on the window of the driver's door.

In this case, I wonder if a court might find the blame shared.

Perhaps 80 per cent on the car owner and 20 per cent on the company for not putting their sticker in a more prominent place.

DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - miata
Is it me but i do not understand where NCP which i assume is National Car Parks fit in to this scenario.

I understood it to be a DVLA unit dealing with untaxed cars that dealt with this. I understood they did their own clamping.

In any case i do not see you have a leg to stand on. The notice they place on vehicles is large and wherever its placed severely restricts vision so i do not think it was a good idea to drive off with it in place,
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - rtj70
miata, NCP runs the clamping units on behalf of the DVLA. They must have won the contract.
From the DVLA website:

Wheelclamping operators
DVLA works in partnership with NCP Services Ltd who operate the wheelclamping scheme and a number of local authorities and police forces who operate local wheelclamping schemes in their areas.


Edited by rtj70 on 09/02/2009 at 16:50

DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - miata
Thanks for that. You lve and learn.
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - Fullchat
Would have thought it was difficult to stick anything to a window that had been parked overnight taking into account our current weather conditions.
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - yorkiebar
please excuse my cynicism, but...

It seems odd that the car was untaxed the whole of january, partially February, parked presumably the same place during this spell?

But you retaxed it yesterday and it was clamped today, and you didnt notice the clamp or the sticker? Why wasnt it clamped during January, or was there some warning given that it would be clamped if not taxed?

Bit more to the story than may have been written maybe?

Dont wish to kick a man when he is down, but erm, its difficult not to in this case?
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - daveyjp
The car I spoke of had tax which expired about 3 months before it was eventually clamped.

"The notice was not at eyelevel but in the area where your road tax disc normally lives. The A4 notice was not stuck to the windscreen but curled up and held from being rained off by a road tax sized penalty notice. The sticky back protector is still on the A4 notice proving it hadn?t been ?stuck? to the screen."

If this is the genuine situation I'd be making a claim against NCP. Get searching for details of how they should operate and what warning they have to give.

As I said the owner of the cars I've seen clamped would have no excuse for not seeing the notice.

Edited by daveyjp on 09/02/2009 at 20:34

DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - rtj70
Why wasnt it clamped during January

The DVLA/NCP arrangement for clamping relies on the drivers of the clamping cars driving around in vans with ANPR cameras. They clamp (and will later remove) untaxed cars. If they are not in an area then they cannot find and clamp cars. Pretty simple.

These vans do not go to particular addresses - they drive around waiting for a hit. I once saw two cars clamped in a few hundred yards. On return journey one had gone (towed away?).
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - grumpyscot
I suppose you're lucky you weren't penalised for parking while facing the wrong way (contrary to the Highway Code). If you had been in the US, your car would have been towed away within the hour.
DVLA Clamping Damaged my motor - L'escargot
Going off at a slight tangent, I've often wondered whether it's possible to fit a wheel clamp without at least damaging the wheel ~ especially if it's an alloy. I don't suppose clamps have a soft layer on the inside surface.

Edited by L'escargot on 10/02/2009 at 07:32