There are lots of factors to consider when choosing which car to buy – brand, model, which colour you prefer and which colours are available in the spec you want, to name but a few. However, few people consider the likelihood of being clamped when choosing their vehicle. Now, new data from the DVLA shows which cars are the most likely to be clamped – and silver Porsches seem to be top of some clampers’ hit lists!
Choose your colour carefully
The new figures show that silver cars are more likely to be clamped around the UK than any other colour. According to the DVLA’s report on clamping figures for 2016, some 118,000 vehicles were clamped or impounded during the year due to not having valid tax. Of those, silver vehicles accounted for 30,035 of the total. Next came blue vehicles, at 23,411, followed by black vehicles at 21,270.
At the other end of the scale were gold, beige and yellow vehicles, with the lowest number of incidences of being clamped. However, could this be more to do with the popularity of the colours themselves, rather than the driver’s habit of getting into trouble?
UK drivers are rather a boring lot when it comes to car colour choices. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the most popular choice of vehicle colour in the UK in 2016 was white, which accounted for 20.51% of newly registered cars. This was followed by black in second place and grey in third.
The top primary colour is blue, which came in at fourth place with 15.38% of new registrations, an increase of 7.2% on the previous year – showing that colour fans are beginning to show their face in the car-buying world. Red came fifth, followed by silver, green and orange. The biggest decrease in popularity is the brown car, which has seen a 40% decrease in the number of requests in the last year.
It is interesting that silver cars are only the sixth most popular choice of colour, yet the most clamped for non-payment of tax. Could it be that those who are inclined to dodge their vehicle tax obligations have a penchant for silver? Or are silver car drivers just more forgetful than most?
Car makes and clamping
While silver may be the sixth most popular colour, and the most likely to be clamped, what about the type of car?
According to the DVLA, the make and models of cars most often clamped largely reflect the most popular makes and models of cars on the road. The Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra were top of the list in 2016, with more than 5,000 of each being either impounded or clamped.
But it isn’t just everyday vehicles that feature on the list of clamped vehicles. The 2016 figures showed that the most commonly clamped prestige car is the Porsche. 137 Porches were clamped for not having valid tax in 2016 – more than ten times the number of the second most clamped luxury vehicle (the Bentley, just 12 of which were clamped during the year).
There are also some unusual vehicles on the list. In 2016 the UK authorities clamped or impounded 68 London taxis, two Gulf Stream motorhomes, three Reliant Robins and even a tractor.
When can you be clamped?
Clamping has been a controversial subject in recent years. New guidelines have been brought in to reduce the number of ‘dodgy’ clampers out there. In most cases, for example, you can’t be clamped on private land. However, the police can remove a vehicle that is blocking a road, even if it has broken down.
The Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) can also clamp a vehicle if it is a danger to road users or if there are outstanding fines on the vehicle. And, of course, your vehicle can be clamped if you don’t have road tax on it, so if you’re in any doubt at all, double check now that you’ve paid your tax. Particularly if you drive a silver Porsche.
Why do you think that silver car drivers are clamped so much more often than those of other colours? Is clamping the right way to tackle non-payment of tax? Share your views by leaving a comment.