Drivers warned over clamp misery

Drivers should watch out for clampers over the bank holiday weekend after figures showed that British motorists have paid out at least £150 million for parking on private land.

Research by the RAC Foundation showed that at least 1.2 million British drivers have already had their cars immobilised on private property. This equates to more than 5% of all households that own a car in the UK.

The voluntary guidelines set out by the trade body the British Parking Association recommend that clamping companies charge a maximum release fee of £125, but evidence indicates that a large number of firms do not abide by these rules and charge significantly more.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "While most private parking companies are reputable, some are not. We regularly hear from people who are at their wits' end after they have had their cars clamped and removed, and then been charged an extortionate fee to get them back. Our research just proves the scale of the problem."

The RAC Foundation is advising motorists to check carefully for car park signage and to make sure they know the penalties they face if they stop in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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