London

DVLA payout over wrongly destroyed car in Harrow

A woman whose car was wrongly clamped and destroyed has been paid £1,300 in compensation by the DVLA.

The teacher, from Harrow, north-west London, had a Statutory Off Road Notification on the vehicle, which was parked on a private road outside her home.

However, a contractor working on behalf of the DVLA still clamped it.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman said the mistake caused "unnecessary distress".

The woman, who has not been named, said she felt forced to sign a disclaimer as she could not afford the £100 release fee. The vehicle was then destroyed.

She had parked the car on the road in January 2011 as she was waiting until she had enough money to pay for repairs.

'Unnecessary distress'

She complained repeatedly to the contractor and the DVLA about the vehicle being clamped, but the mistake was not corrected.

Following an investigation by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, the DVLA apologised and paid the woman £1,000 for the value of the car and £300 for the stress, inconvenience and frustration caused to her.

Ombudsman Julie Mellor said: "Our investigation found that the DVLA's contractors should not have clamped the car and the DVLA failed to resolve the mistake.

"This mistake caused this mother unnecessary distress.

"Its complaint handling was poor and its explanations about why it clamped her car were inconsistent."

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