Knowing whether enforcement or fees are unjustified, unreasonable or unauthorised is not always simple. If you feel your vehicle was clamped, towed, or ticketed without good reason, you may need to present your own case for why you deserve a partial or full refund.
Unjustified: Enforcement or fees could be unjustified if your parking did not break any laws or contract terms.
Unreasonable: Fees could be unreasonable if they far outweigh the cost to the agent or landowner. Possible costs include applying and removing the clamp, and sometimes any loss of income caused by your parking, eg if you park in a space reserved for customers only or block access to or from a business.
Unauthorised: Enforcement or fees could be unauthorised if the person who arranged for your vehicle to be clamped or towed is not the owner of the land, the owner of the business, or an employee of either.
To question or appeal a fee
Sometimes you need to pay to have your vehicle released from clamping or towing — even if you think you parked lawfully. If you think a parking ticket or release fee is unjustified, unreasonable or unauthorised, steps you can take include:
- Contact the responsible agency. For parking tickets, information about how to make a complaint or challenge the fee will be on the back of the ticket.
- You can try to negotiate with the agency for a reduced fee or partial refund if you think the fee paid was unreasonable.
- You can request a refund of any infringement fee if you use a parking facility but there are no clear signs about towing or clamping, because this may be misleading under the Fair Trading Act.
- You can contact the Disputes Tribunal if you can’t reach an agreement with the agency that ticketed, clamped or towed your vehicle, but you think you parked lawfully, or the fee was unreasonable or unauthorised.
What the tribunal can help with — Disputes Tribunal
Report misleading behaviour — The Commerce Commission