Crackdown on wheel clamping fees

The government has announced it will introduce a $100 cap on wheel clamping fees.

Wheel clampers will now have a cap on how much they can charge unsuspecting motorists.

The government has announced it will introduce a $100 cap on wheel clamping fees in an effort to clean-up the industry. Operators that attempt to charge more will face fines of up to $1000 for an individual and $5000 for a company, or $15,000 if the matter goes to court.

We’ve been calling for a ban on wheel clamping. Consumer NZ head of research Jessica Wilson said steps to regulate the industry were welcome and will see an end to the huge fees charged by clampers, which have been up to $700.

“But without a ban on wheel clamping, additional safeguards are needed to bring this cowboy industry to heel,” she said.

Along with a cap on fees, legislation needs to include requirements for clear signage at carparks where clamping is used.

Consumers also need to be able to challenge clampers’ fees when they’ve been charged unfairly. The only option at present is to take the case to the Disputes Tribunal, which costs $45.

Ms Wilson said other countries have already outlawed wheel clamping. Scotland banned it in 1992, and England and Wales followed in 2012. “There’s no reason New Zealand can’t do the same.”

Legislation setting a cap on clamping is expected to be introduced this year.

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