CHOICE membership

Wheel Clamping


I would like to see a campaign started to ban the use of clamping wheels of cars. My niece inadvertently placed the double sided parking permit up the wrong way on her daughters dashboard. When they came out next day to go to work the car was clamped. This resulted in a $170 fee to have the clamp removed. Gross inconvenience to say the least. Phone calls to the company responsible, showed a complete lack of interest on their part. To my way of thinking this is extortion. It is one thing to receive a fine for illegal parking but this is beyond reasonable.
Another thing is the tenants cannot use social media to discuss the wheel clamping issue as any mention of clamping results in censorship.


Is it correct to say the parking permit is valid and readable and identifiable as such on both sides, it was just oriented so the lettering/logo’s were upside down to a viewer outside the vehicle - ie - one could suggest it was completely visible and identifiable by any casual observer, it just may have breached a technicality.

If so, wow. These things seem like a hostage situation at the best of times to me, though I can understand the frustration some may have when rules are blatantly broken, it needs to be a balance.

In some parts of Australia there are documents that outline code of practice for car clamping or wheel clamping. Might be worth checking this out …


Yes Draughtrider, my understanding is one side is for daytime and the other for night time. The next day they came out and it was clamped again but through a lot of tears the company relented and removed the clamp without them having to pay the fee.


You would also have to ask “What if the car was parked unattended for several days which side of the permit should be facing upwards?”. This idea of flipping the card to the time coloured or otherwise time related side is somewhat mind bending. Again what if the car was parked at a point when one side should face out and the parking of the car then crossed into the time the other face should be showing, which side should be on display to cover both situations…procedural madness at it’s worst.


Excellent question. Perhaps the parks are time limited/delimited - but yes. Also I’d be interested to know from @garryleicester which state/territory this happened in, out of some investigative curiosity. I understand that the managers of the estate/strata/complex/whatever might be overbearing pumpkins (based on the social media comment) so no need to identify further but it might be an interesting point just on state/territory laws.

I have to say, parking can be something people do very irresponsibly and very inconveniently for others (eg parking across someone else’s driveway, or blocking someone in some way, or using a handicapped park when not handicapped, etc - from the original post I get the impression the car in this case was parked ‘responsibly’ just not displaying the pass in exactly and technically the correct manner), but often it’s just a law or rule that is broken and there is really no victim as such. Enter the wheel clamp, and suddenly the victim seems to be the alleged ‘perpetrator’. I reckon I have an 18v power tool and a few 6ah batteries that would quite likely be a game changer, which once said item was delivered to the scrap merchant or dropped off a pier would be hard to trace. “what wheel lock” - surely the burden of proof would be that the owner of the car was responsible for the act that gave it motoring freedom? Sorry, just thinking out aloud - did I ‘say that in my outside voice’ ? :wink: Probably fraught with legal danger - guilty until proven innocent, unless you are a big company/bank/politician.

Interesting topic.

Edit: I’m not suggesting anyone break the law - but knowing where you stand re the law can sometimes establish whether you can legally do things that bullies say you cant …


It may be useful to consider that regulations vary between states. For Queensland wheel clamping according to the link provided further on is prohibited.

This links to detailed guides produced by the TMR Qld re parking, towing etc.
It may be legally important to also understand the definitions used, and to also note that regulations, interpretations and legal precedents can change. It may be important to ensure the information you have is current. The QLD TMR update notes changes as of April 16th, 2018.

It may be necessary to consider vehicles parked or left on private residential property such as your personal driveway or front lawn and within your legal boundary can be a more complex situation requiring notification and involvement of the police prior to removal.

Says one who has often been parked in to substantial inconvenience!!! I still don’t have a clear understanding on whether you can also take the offenders to court for the losses if you miss your 5:30am flight or spend $140 on a taxi fares.

Apologies that the core documents in the link are pdf and Choice does not provide for the attachment of pdf docs. They can be downloaded from the TMR Qld web page.

ref: Fact Sheet August 2017 (extracts only)
Private property parking and towing
Information for private property owners and occupiers

Removing vehicles
You must ensure you have a legal basis to remove unauthorised vehicles from your parking area - there is no general right to remove vehicles parked on private property. Signage is one way you may be able to establish a lawful basis for removing vehicles.
If you are uncertain whether you have a legal basis to remove a vehicle, you should obtain independent legal advice. If you remove a vehicle you are not entitled to, you may be charged with a criminal offense or sued for interfering with or detaining the vehicle.

You cannot use wheel clamping to enforce the conditions of your parking area. It is illegal to detain a parked or stopped vehicle using an immobilising device including wheel clamps.


A perusal of the various state laws suggests that miscreants who block one’s driveway, or even park in one’s driveway without permission, have more protections in law than the homeowner/resident.

Seems very wrong when a homeowner cannot take a photo of the blocked driveway or car in the driveway and just have the offending car towed.


That was the impression I had last year when we were the victims. Until the recent Qld changes the situation re common areas for Body Corporates was also unclear with contrary legal outcomes to consider.

It may still be that if in an apartment situation for Qld you have what is termed an ‘exclusive use’ entitlement, the parking space is not common property and is still considered the same as the front yard of a typical suburban house. IE no automatic right to remove the offending vehicle despite the apparent trespass of who ever left it there.


Thank you Mark for that information. I shall look into it further. However I would like to see a nation wide ban on the use of clamps. I cannot think of any other situation where your property can be held to ransom like this.


I totally agree as it seems to me a clear breach of freedom of speech.


This occurred in Perth. The car was legally parked at the residents car park. The parking permit is double sided; ie. one side for day time and the other side for night time. Why don’t residents have two permits that can be displayed on the dash together or just one which applies day and night? What happens when the resident goes away on holidays and leaves the car there? It seems to me that this system is designed to provide revenue for someone?


Exactly right and this is what happened the next day when the car was clamped again- simply because the permit wasn’t the right way up by a certain time.


Thanks for agreeing, but how so about freedom of speech?

Unless that is the case even blind Freddy should be able to see the problem with a two sided permit for day and night.


There is always someone who thinks outside the square :slight_smile:


Most laws prevent the victim taking out their own action against the perpetrator (word retaliation comes to mind). Maybe one should rely on old fashion policing/Council enforcement officers to do their job?


Here’s a doc that relates to WA, however I haven’t found it on what I’d call an ‘authoritative site’ as yet - unsure if it is still valid …


Surely this would not have happened in the parking space(s) belonging to the apartment, because that is owned by the apartment. Perhaps there is an issue with the visitor parking being filled by residents?

I would suggest that if your niece is renting, ask the rental agency to request information on parking by the Owners’ Corporation/Body Corporate (in Minutes of meetings and by-laws) held by the Managing Agents.
If she owns the apartment she can make the request herself.

If the By-laws do not clearly stipulate the parking requirements and consequences, then the clamping is not legal and a complaint can be put to the Owners Corporation/Body Corporate via the Managing Agents…


Thank you for sending me this information. Much appreciated:-)


Unfortunately the perpetrators seem to have the law on their side. They can hold your property to ransom but the victim can be prosecuted for damaging theirs


Exactly it can only be revenue raising!