Wheel clamping crackdown welcomed

Consumer NZ hopes wheel clampers are getting the message.

The Government announced on Wednesday it will amend the Land Transport Act 1998 to introduce caps to the amount that can be charged when a vehicle is clamped.

There have been reports of people being slapped with excessive charges of up to $700 to have wheel clamps removed from their vehicles.

The maximum charge for a removal of a wheel clamp will now be $100. Police can fine individuals up to $1000 if they charge more, and companies can be fined up to $5000.

If the matter goes to the courts, individuals can be fined up to $3000 and companies $15,000.

Consumer NZ spokesperson Jessica Wilson says it's a smart move.

"What we're hoping is that that might send a message to the cowboy operators that they should be thinking about shutting up shop," she said.

Ms Wilson said while the cap is good, Consumer NZ was hoping the Government would go further.

"Our preference was for a ban, we are pleased to see the cap but we do think additional safeguards will be needed."

The Government plans to introduce legislation for the ban to Parliament later in 2018.