Home | Browse Topics | Criminal & traffic law | Driving and traffic law | Wheel clamping

Criminal & traffic law

Getting towed: Your rights when dealing with tow-truck operators

Wheel clamping

Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Act 2019 Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Amendment Regulations (No 3) 2019

These rules apply to private parking operators who use wheel clamping (“immobilising devices”) on private property, like a shopping centre carpark. They don’t apply to vehicles parked on a public road.

  • The operator can’t charge you more than $100 (incl. GST) to remove the clamp.
  • The operator must be available (within reason) to respond to your request to remove the wheel clamp.
  • The operator must remove the wheel clamp as soon as reasonably practicable after you have paid the fee.
  • It is an offence for the operator to charge you more than the $100 maximum fee.
  • It is also an offence for the operator to fail to remove a wheel clamp within a reasonable time after you have paid the fee.

There are fines available of up to $3000 (for an individual) and $15,000 (for a company) for these offences.

When can you challenge wheel clamping?

  • If your parking did not break any rules (like there was no warning sign in the carpark), you could argue that the clamping was unjustified.
  • If you are charged more than the maximum $100 fee for removal, you could argue that the clamping was unreasonable.
  • If the person who arranged for your vehicle to be clamped was not the owner of the land or business (or their employee) where you parked, you could argue that the clamping was unauthorised.

Did this answer your question?

Driving and traffic law

Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres/

For Community Law’s guide to applying for a limited licence and template application forms: communitylaw.org.nz/resources/legal-letters

Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi’s site provides a wide range of driving and road safety information, including on topics covered in this chapter.

Website: www.nzta.govt.nz
Phone: 0800 699 000
Email: info@nzta.govt.nz

Search your question on Waka Kotahi’s resources section: www.nzta.govt.nz/resources

New Zealand Police

The New Zealand Police’s “frequently asked questions” section provides helpful information, particularly the “Driving/road safety” and “Tickets/infringements” section.

Website: www.police.govt.nz/advice-and-services/faqs

New Zealand Government

The New Zealand government website sets out more information about driving fines and penalties, including how to pay for infringement notices.

Website: www.govt.nz/browse/transport/driving-fines-and-penalties

Consumer Protection

The Consumer Protection website has useful information on a range of consumer topics, including private parking tickets and the towing and clamping of cars.

Website: www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/help-product-service/cars/parking-clamping-towing

Also available as a book

The Community Law Manual

The Manual contains over 1000 pages of easy-to-read legal info and comprehensive answers to common legal questions. From ACC to family law, health & disability, jobs, benefits & flats, Tāonga Māori, immigration and refugee law and much more, the Manual covers just about every area of community and personal life.

Buy The Community Law Manual

Help the manual

We’re a small team that relies on the generosity of all our supporters. You can make a one-off donation or become a supporter by sponsoring the Manual for a community organisation near you. Every contribution helps us to continue updating and improving our legal information, year after year.

Donate Become a Supporter

Find the Answer to your Legal Question

back to top