Majority of drivers complain of 'unfair' clamping


THREE-QUARTERS of people who had their car clamped in the last year say it was unfair.

A study by AA Motor Insurance published yesterday finds almost 7 per cent of drivers had their car clamped in the last 12 months.

The highest proportion of clampings – 11 per cent – was Dublin-based, with the lowest (3 per cent) in Limerick.

Of Cork and Waterford drivers, 5 per cent were clamped, while 4 per cent of Galway drivers had their vehicles clamped.

Almost 20,000 motorists were surveyed for the study, and of the 1,369 who had been clamped just 7.2 per cent felt it had been “completely fair”.

Some 12.3 per cent thought it “reasonably fair”, 5.3 per cent were neutral, and 26.8 per cent thought it “somewhat unfair”. Almost half – 48.4 per cent – thought it “very unfair”.

The most common comment among those who felt cheated by clampers was “obscured or unclear parking signage”. Another complaint centred on expiry times, with some saying they had returned minutes after the disc expired to find their car clamped.

Pleading ignorance (10.4 per cent) was the most common excuse used to try to avoid a fine. The second most common approach was yelling at the phone operator processing payment (6.6 per cent), followed by crying (3.5 per cent) and a “bleeding heart” excuse (3.2 per cent).

Women (9.1 per cent) were more likely than men (0.7 per cent) to try crying their way out of paying, but men (0.9 per cent) were marginally more likely than women (0.7 per cent) to claim they had been in dire need of a toilet.

Women (4.7 per cent) were far more likely than men (0.5 per cent) to try toflirt their way out of a fine.