For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.


How long can a Bailiff clamp my car for? 2022

how long bailiff clamp car

For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.

2 hours is the minimum time a bailiff can clamp your car for. If you fail to pay off the debt or make a repayment offer within 2 hours, the bailiffs can take your car. In this article, I share detail answering your question ‘’how long can a bailiff clamp my car for?’’. I’ll also touch on what you can do to prevent bailiffs from taking your vehicle.

Beating Debt Collectors

There are several ways to deal with debt collectors and improve your finances.

Choosing the right way to tackle your debt could save you time and money, but the wrong one could cause even more harm.

It’s always best to find out about all your options from a professional before you take action.

Fill out the 5 step form to get started.

Can a Bailiff Clamp My Car?

Yes, a bailiff can clamp your car. Cars are usually one of the most popular assets that bailiffs will try to take control of. This is because cars are often the most valuable item owned, and they can be easy to sell. Furthermore, a car is often easy to access as it is outside the house.

Can My Car Be Clamped on My Driveway?

Bailiffs can only clamp your car if it’s parked on your property, at your business premises or if it’s on a public road. They can clamp your car even if you don’t let them into your home. This is because bailiffs have the authority to take goods from outside your home without you giving them access.

Are you struggling with debt?

Affordable repayments

Reduce pressure from people you owe

Stop interest and charges from soaring

Get started

How Long Will My Car Be Clamped For?

Bailiffs cannot remove a car until it’s been clamped for a minimum of 2 hours. You must act quickly if you want to stop bailiffs from taking your car. You can stop the bailiffs from taking your car with one of the following actions.

Pay The Debt in Full

Clearing the debt in full, including fees and court costs. You can do this by using the contact information included in any documentation you receive from the bailiff. After your car is clamped, you’ll receive a warning of immobilisation. This document will detail when your car was clamped and provide a contact number for you to call.

Agree to a Controlled Goods Agreement

If you can’t afford to pay the debt in full you can make an offer of repayment and sign a controlled goods agreement. Work out how much you can afford to pay and make your offer. The bailiffs don’t have to accept your repayment offer. However, if you can show your income and outgoings and how you came up with the figure you may have a chance of your offer being accepted. Use the free budget tool I have made available for download to work out what you can afford.

The bailiffs can create a controlled goods agreement that means you can keep your belongings listed in the agreement providing you pay the repayment plan. If you fail to keep up with the payments the goods can be seized and sold. It’s important to only agree to a repayment plan that you can afford.

Can Bailiffs Clamp Cars on Private Property?

Bailiffs can’t take your car if you park it on private property that doesn’t belong to you unless they have a court order allowing them to do so. You can ask a family member or friend if you can park your car on their driveway. Ideally, lock your car in a secure garage as this will help to stop the bailiffs from finding it in the first place.

Can a Bailiff Clamp My Car on a Public Road?

You can move your car from outside your property, however, whenever you park your car on a public road it is at risk of being clamped. Bailiffs use a camera to detect registration numbers on vehicles as they drive around. This means parking your car a few streets away doesn’t guarantee it’s safe from the clamp.

Can Bailiffs Clamp My Car if it’s on Finance?

Bailiffs can’t take your vehicle if you are still paying for it through a hire purchase agreement. The car doesn’t become officially yours until you make the last payment on the agreement. Therefore, technically the car is still owned by a third party, the HP company. However, the law is not clear on this, and bailiffs will sometimes try to clamp it and take it away if you don’t pay.

Prove your car is a hire purchase by using the HPI check website. Use this website to prove that you are still making payments. You can also show your hire purchase agreement.

Can Bailiffs Take a Car That Isn’t Mine?

Bailiffs cannot take a car that doesn’t belong to you. Be ready to prove that the car or vehicle isn’t yours. If a bailiff takes a car that isn’t yours the owner will have to make a complaint to the bailiff company. If the bailiff refuses to return the car the owner should contact the creditor and inform them of the situation.

Complain if Bailiffs Wrongfully Clamp Your Car

You have the right to complain if you believe bailiffs have clamped your car without good reason. Complain directly to the creditor who instructed the bailiffs to recover the debt. You can send a copy of the complaint to the bailiff company too. Explain why you believe the bailiffs have broken the rules and show evidence to support your claim. Contact a debt advisor if the bailiffs refuse to remove the clamp.

Can You Legally Remove a Car Clamp?

You can’t legally remove a car clamp if it’s clamped by the bailiffs. The only way to get it removed is to arrange repayment of the debt you owe. Once you sign a controlled goods agreement or pay the debt in full the bailiffs will remove the clamp. Remember, you only have a short time frame to make this arrangement. Act quickly to avoid your car being towed.

How Do I Stop My Bailiff from Clamping My Car?

Making an offer of payment before the bailiff visits can stop bailiffs from putting a clamp on your car. If you’re unable to make an offer of repayment you can try to hide your vehicle by parking it on private property or in a locked garage. Read the suggested articles below for more information on what to do if you’re expecting bailiffs.

Are you struggling with debt?

Affordable repayments

Reduce pressure from people you owe

Stop interest and charges from soaring

Get started


Are you struggling with debt?
Are you struggling with debt?
  • Affordable repayments
  • Reduce pressure from people you owe money to
  • Stop interest and charges from soaring