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Firstly clamping in Scotland is illegal (see the case of Black - v- Carmichael  (1992 S.C.R 709) so if you have been clamped on private land in Scotland contact the police immediately.

If you are outside Scotland and have paid to have your vehicle unclamped you should write to the clamping company and the landowner if you can find this out giving them 7 days to refund your money or else you will issuing proceedings.  This letter should be addressed to the company's registered office ( you can obtain this free from Companies House at  ).

This is a suggested letter:

The Managing Director
[Company Name]
[Address of Registered Office]

Dear Sir/Madame
On  [date] individuals acting on behalf of your company illegally clamped and/or towed*  my vehicle as a result of which you illegally detained my vehicle.  In order to get my vehicle back the sum of £xxx was paid to your company.  I must insist that the aforementioned amount of £xxx is refunded to me so as to reach me no later than seven days from today's date.  If you fail to refund the amount of £xxx I will issue proceedings for recover together with damages without any further reference to you.
Yours faithfully"

* delete or amend as appropriate

For £ XXX put in the sum that was paid over

If they don't respond after say 12 days then you can issue a writ against the clamping company ( there are pros and cons about including the landowner as joint defendant) on line in the small claims court using the government website. 

At this stage gather all your facts together and put down your claim in an easy to understand way.  There is a limit on the number of characters you can put in the claim so do be concise (I suggest that do this in a word or text file and then copy and paste the final document into the claim area of your claim.)  A basic template for a claim is shown below.

"On  [date] my vehicle was illegally clamped and/or towed* away by individuals acting on behalf of the defendant.  I paid the defendant £xxx by credit card/cash in order to have my car released.  I am claiming for £xxx being the amount I forced to pay to retrieve my vehicle together with the sum of £ZZZ for damages."

* delete or amend as appropriate

For £ XXX put in the sum that was paid over and for £ZZZ the sum you are claiming as damages.

You should be aware however that many of these companies operate from post office boxes or have no assets so even if you do win your case you may not get your money back.

UPDATE I recently gave an interview on BBC TV's "Look North" Programme.  It was about a lady who had sued the clamping company.  The company had not attended court and the lady won her case.  However the clamping company has now been dissolved and it is not clear what money, if any the lady will receive.  I did point out, however, that she may have a claim against the landowners as preseumably the clamping company was the landowners's agent and therefore as the principal is responsible for its agents activities.  This matter is being looked into.  

So am I suggesting that you should not sue?  No I am not.  There is always a possiblty that you can obtain the money from the landowner.

Click on this link to be kept up to date on parking ticket news, everything about parking tickets, clamping towing, bus lanes and yellow boxes.

Disclaimer:  This information is my interpretation of the complex law relating to the issue of clamping or towing on private land.  It is based on my understanding of the law but as in all matters of opinion relating to legal matters I cannot guarantee that a court will agree with my opinion. 

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