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Dublin City Council made almost €100,000 from impounding hundreds of cars this year

More than 800 cars were impounded by the council during the first nine months of the year.

Image: Rollingnews.ie

ALMOST HALF OF drivers in the capital who had their vehicle impounded by Dublin City Council this year did not have their car returned to them, new figures show.

Records released to TheJournal.ie under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the council impounded 826 vehicles during the first nine months of the year.

Vehicles can be towed if they cause a hazard or obstruction, if they are illegally parked, or if the time allowed on a pay-and-display ticket has expired.

If a vehicle is towed, it is taken to the city car pound. Drivers are required to pay a storage charge for each day that their car is held, as well as a removal charge to get their vehicle returned to them.

Overall, the council made €92,290 from drivers who paid to have their vehicles released.

However, almost half of drivers did not pay to have their vehicles returned to them this year, with 392 vehicles left in the city pound.

Vehicles that are not returned to their owners are scrapped, although the council refused to release information about this as it was deemed to be commercially sensitive.

Clamps removed

Meanwhile, more records released by the council revealed that 33,798 vehicles were clamped in Dublin during the first nine months of the year, a drop of 21% from 42,926 over the same period for 2017.

Of this, a total of 1,763 drivers appealed to Dublin City Council about being clamped between January and September, 992 of whom were successful.

While the number of people who were clamped saw a drop from the figure in 2017, the success rate of appeals increased year-on-year.

Of the 3,048 drivers who appealed being clamped for the entirety of 2017, 1,079 received a refund.

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“The majority of refunds are granted as gestures of goodwill, e.g. compassionate reasons, medical emergency/delayed at hospital, etc.,” a council spokesman said.

The council made €2.5 million from clamping between January and September this year, with January the busiest month for parking enforcements, when 4,513 vehicles were clamped.

However, this was higher than the number of parking enforcements carried out in just two months during 2017, when 4,386 people were clamped in September and 4,489 people were clamped in August.

Separately, ten people were also identified by the council this year as having removed clamps without the authorisation to do so.

A council spokesman told TheJournal.ie that it had notified gardaí about each of these cases, and that prosecutions against the offenders had been initiated.

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