Vine v London Borough of Waltham Forest: CA 5 Apr 2000

The act of wheel clamping a car which was unlawfully parked is a trespass to goods. To avoid an action for damages, the clamper must show that the car parker consented to the clamping. He can do so by showing, in accordance with established principles, that the driver had had his attention brought to the fact that wheel clamping operated, through appropriate notices to that effect. Where, as here, the driver persuaded the court that she had not seen the notices, the clamping remained unlawful. No malice was intended, and no punitive damages could be awarded. ‘The act of clamping the wheel of another person’s car, even when that car is trespassing, is an act of trespass to that other persons property unless it can be shown that the owner of the car has consented to, or willingly assumed, the risk of his car being clamped. To show that the car owner consented or willingly assumed the risk of his car being clamped, it has to be established that the car owner was aware of the consequences of his parking his car so that it trespassed on the land of another. That will be done by establishing that the car owner saw and understood the significance of a warning notice or notices that cars in that place without permission were liable to be clamped. Normally the presence of notices which are posted where they are bound to be seen, for example at the entrance to a private car park, which are of a type which the car driver would be bound to have read, will lead to a finding that the car driver had knowledge of and appreciated the warning.’ The Recorder had held, correctly, that the appellant by parking her car where she did was trespassing. Unhappily, he then jumped to the conclusion that the appellant had consented to, or willingly assumed, the risk of her car being clamped. In making that leap the Recorder fell into error.

Lord Justice Roch, Lord Justice Waller, And Lord Justice May
Gazette 05-May-2000, Times 12-Apr-2000, [2000] EWCA Civ 106, [2000] 1 WLR 2383, [2000] RTR 27, [2000] 4 All ER 169
England and Wales
CitedLloyd v Director of Public Prosecutions QBD 1992
Mr Lloyd had parked his car in a private car park with five large notices boards located at the entrance to and exit of this private car park positioned at eye-level for car drivers. All those notices warned that unauthorised vehicles would be . .
CitedArthur and Another v Anker and Another CA 1997
Consent required for parking charge
The owners of a private car park engaged the defendants to prevent unauthorised parking. The defendants erected notices which warned of wheel clamping. Mr Arthur had parked knowing he was not entitled to park and of the consequences. Mr Arthur’s car . .
CitedRookes v Barnard (No 1) HL 21-Jan-1964
The court set down the conditions for the award of exemplary damages. There are two categories. The first is where there has been oppressive or arbitrary conduct by a defendant. Cases in the second category are those in which the defendant’s conduct . .
CitedMetropolitan Water Board v Johnson and Co 1913
. .
CitedMendelssohn v Normand Ltd CA 1970
The court was asked whether a term on a notice board at a car park might have been incorporated into a contract where it was not obvious as the driver came in but was obvious when paying for parking at the end, and where the plaintiff had parked . .
CitedArthur and Another v Anker CA 1-Dec-1995
Clamping on Private Land may not be unlawful
The owners of private land engaged the defendants to prevent unauthorised parking. The defendants erected notices at the entrance to the car park and placed notices around the perimeter in red and white under the prominent heading ‘Warning’ and . .

Cited by:
CitedAkumah v London Borough of Hackney HL 3-Mar-2005
The authority set up a parking scheme for an estate of house of which it was the landlord. Those not displaying parking permits were to be clamped. The appellant complained that the regulations had been imposed by council resolution, not be the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Torts – Other, Road Traffic

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.147139