Councils can tow away or clamp a vehicle in certain circumstances.
Before towing or clamping a CEO must first issue a PCN.
The vehicle will be released upon payment of the penalty charge and a release fee. The person to whom the vehicle is released must be informed of their rights to challenge the PCN and/or the towing away or clamping. You will receive a form upon release of the vehicle on which you can make an appeal to the council..
You must challenge a PCN with towing away or clamping quickly if you believe you should be refunded the penalty charge and release fee.
The following are grounds upon which you can challenge the clamping or removal of your vehicle.
1. The vehicle was not parked in circumstances in which a penalty was payable
· The signs and lines were wrong
· The vehicle was not parked as alleged (for example, it was in a parking bay, not on a yellow line as alleged).
2. The council had no power to remove or clamp the vehicle
-The council may not clamp a vehicle if a current disabled person's Blue Badge is on display. In extreme circumstances, such a vehicle may be relocated to a safer place but it should not removed to the pound.
-If the PCN was issued because there was:
- no pay-and-display ticket displayed; or
- an expired pay-and-display ticket
The council must wait 30 minutes after serving the PCN. This is reduced to 15 minutes in the case of a persistent evader. In other circumstances, the council may clamp or remove the vehicle immediately.
3. The vehicle was taken without the owner's consent
This ground covers stolen vehicles and vehicles used without the owner's consent. It could apply, for example, to a vehicle taken by "joy-riders". It does not generally apply to vehicles in the possession of a garage or borrowed by a relative or friend.
If possible, the appellant should supply a Crime Reference Number from the police.
4. The vehicle was not in a civil enforcement area for parking contraventions
· The TRO was illegal or invalid
· The vehicle was on land where the council had no right to enforce parking.
5. The penalty charge, release or storage charge exceeded the applicable amount
This means that the council has asked for more than it was entitled to under the relevant Regulations.
6. There has been a procedural impropriety by the council
This means that the council has not complied with the TMA or the relevant Regulations. For example:
· The PCN or some other document did not contain the required information
· The council did not respond to a challenge or responded too late · Insufficient time had elapsed before the clamping or removal took place.
7. No PCN was served before the vehicle was removed
Note: This ground applies only to removed vehicles.