DVLA clampDVLA clamp


Kent used car dealer has Fiat 500 clamped by DVLA despite being parked on its private land

  • Used car dealer hits out after car is clamped while parked in front of showroom
  • Fiat 500 was on private land owned by Strood Motor Centre when it was clamped by DVLA partner
  • Potential buyer walked away from deal as a result of the incident

Time 6:15 am, September 11, 2023

A used car dealer in Kent missed out on a sale after one of its vehicles was clamped while parked in front of the showroom.

Staff at Strood Motor Centre thought someone was playing a practical joke when they arrived at work to find the Fiat 500 with a clamp attached.

The vehicle was parked just outside the showroom, on land owned by the business, along with several other cars for sale – none of which had been targeted.

However, it soon transpired that the clamp was real and had been put on the car by the DVLA.

To make matters worse, the dealership had a buyer lined up for the car but was unable to complete the sale because the vehicle was immobilised.

When the DVLA was contacted, the agency told the dealership that to have the clamp removed, it would have to prove that it owned the land in question.

Max Mannouch, head of social media and marketing at the dealership, told Car Dealer: ‘We came into work and found the car clamped.

‘My first thought was that this was a joke or prank from a fellow colleague, but after closer inspection we realised it wasn’t a joke and that the clamp was from the DVLA.

‘After realising this, we phoned them asking why they had clamped a car on our private-owned land. They refused to comment and essentially said that we were guilty until proven innocent.

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‘This meant we would have to go through to our solicitors to get a hold of a copy of the deed showing that we own the land.

‘If we did not do this, we would have had to pay a £400-plus fine. Once we had received the copy of the deed and sent it over, they removed the clamp the following week.’

He added: ‘Where the car was parked in the photo, the fence used to be right up against the kerb, until 15 years ago we were forced to move it back, as a newly placed junction meant people could not see past it.

‘A common misconception is that we have parked on the path, but in the photos provided you can see the foot path next to the car to the right, between the bus stop and our kerb.

‘What we find strange about the whole situation is that only one car was clamped and the four behind it were fine. We have been parking cars here for the last 40 years and have never had this happen before.’

The incident happened on August 31.

The DVLA says the clamp was put on the car by its partner NSL Services Ltd. A spokesman for the firm told Kent Online: ‘Whilst we are unable to comment on individual cases, we understand that the vehicle in question has been declamped.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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