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Clamping, Towing and Tickets

An Expensive Mistake

woman-paying-parking-feeAt some point in our motoring lives, we are all possibly going to have our car clamped or towed away by the local authorities.It's possibly one of the biggest gripes of Irish motorists and one that we all fear will be a costly mistake for us and feel that the clampers are out to get us!

I write this as someone who was clamped recently due to my own mistake and running late to get back to my car. However I was met with a scene that leaves your heart in your mouth as my car has been towed and moved then clamped! My first reaction was my car has been stolen, but who really would want to steal an old Renault Megane? Once a bit of common sense kicked in, I called Dublin City Council and confirmed that it had been towed around the corner (luckily!). As I say, it was my own fault as I ran over the allocated time to park there and my car was causing an obstruction as after 4pm it was a clearway. My own fault but none the less an expensive mistake that not only cost me an €80 release fee, but a wee bit of my pride at the same time!

Genuinely we can all feel that we have been hard done by if we get clamped for running 2 minutes over our parking ticket time, or if we get a parking ticket. A friend of mine recently had her car towed away and impounded for parking on a residents only road. This caused more stress as not only was the car removed completely, but it was impounded 18km away and she was stranded with no means to get to the car before 6pm to pay the release fee. Luckily the old reliable parents were on hand to drive 30km to pick her up and take her to get her car. Again, a very expensive lesson and extremely frustrating!

It may sound simple, but the best way not to be clamped or towed, is not to park illegally! Often road signs can be confusing and misleading, so when we are parking on a road that we think says we are safe to park there, in fact we could be wrong. If you are ever in doubt, don't park there! Try not to be lazy either, as an additional 2 minute walk to the shop from your car could mean the difference of saving you €80 or a parking ticket.Do not park in allocated disabled, parent and child parking. These spaces are reserved for people who genuinely need them so an extra 60 second walk across the Tesco car park may get you a bit wetter in the rain but it's not the end of the world!

Keep an eye on the time, if you think you will only be an hour, allow for an hour and a half or two hours. Keep enough spare change in the car for parking and allow for a bit extra as on street parking in the city centres is getting costly.

Try not to argue with the clampers or parking wardens, I know it's frustrating when you come running back to your car and you are met with the line the ticket has been issued now but unless you have genuine proof that you were in the right, it really won't achieve anything by screaming abuse at them. If you genuinely feel you have a case to dispute the ticket, you will have to pay the ticket or fine then follow it up further with the authorities and seek compensation. If you were in the wrong, suck it up and accept it, it's a lesson you won't repeat!