SIA Licences – Vehicle Immobilising – Who needs a licence?

by SIA Site Admin // February 9

Who needs a licence?

  • Directors, managers, supervisors and/or operatives in undertakings which provide vehicle immobilising, blocking-in or towing-away services. Further details.
  • An employer or employee (including directors or partners) engaged in-house or under contract handling vehicle immobilising, blocking-in or towing-away services. Also those who manage or supervise employees or contractors performing these services (even if you are a partner or director), for example, the staff of a supermarket chain who immobilise, block-in or tow-away the cars of shoppers who overstay their welcome in the chain’s car parks. This includes those who directly manage or supervise these staff.
  • Private land owners who do their own immobilising, blocking-in or towing-away and charge a release fee. This also includes those who instruct employees to vehicle immobilise, block-in or tow-away from their land.
  • Volunteers, for example, a person helping a vehicle immobiliser attach a wheel clamp on a car.

Who does not need a licence?

  • People immobilising their vehicles to protect them, such as a caravan, which is parked in an owner’s drive, or, in the case of a garage owner, cars for sale on the forecourt.
  • People immobilising or towing away another’s property with the owner’s consent, for example breakdown services.
  • Those immobilising or towing-away vehicles carried on public roads and highways within the scope of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

What is a licensable activity?

A licensable activity is immobilising a vehicle with an immobilisation device on private land against a release fee. The Home Office is looking at extending licensing to immobilisation of a vehicle in other ways than with an attachment and to include towing-away.

Licensable activities include:

  • Attaching a wheel clamp to immobilise a vehicle.
  • Attaching any other apparatus, instrument or gadget designed to immobilise a vehicle.
  • Towing-away a vehicle with any other apparatus.
  • Blocking-in a vehicle by any means. This does not apply to the blocking-in of a vehicle by a fixed barrier which was present when that vehicle was parked and which is reasonably understood to be for the purposes of ensuring payment accepted by a condition of parking.