Wheel clamp

An early wheel clamp device offering a $100 reward for arrest of tamperers, mounted on a 1920 Hudson
A modern wheel clamp placed on a vehicle for a parking violation in Melbourne by the Victorian Sheriff; note the tire spikes and panel preventing the vehicle being driven or the wheel being removed
Wheel clamp as used by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation

A wheel clamp, also known as wheel boot, parking boot, or Denver boot,[1][2] is a device that is designed to prevent motor vehicles from being moved. In its most common form, it consists of a clamp that surrounds a vehicle wheel, designed to prevent removal of both itself and the wheel.

In the United States, the device became known as a "Denver boot" after the city of Denver, Colorado, which was the first place in the country to employ them, mostly to force the payment of outstanding parking tickets.[3]

While primarily associated with law enforcement and parking violations, a variety of wheel clamps are now available to consumers as theft deterrent devices for personal use as an alternative to the steering-wheel lock.


Wheel clamps have five main functions:

  • To punish unauthorised or illegal parking, in lieu of towing the offending vehicle; in these cases, police or property owners who place the clamp may charge a high "release fee" to remove it
  • To enforce unpaid fines previously applied to the vehicle; a certain number of nonpayments or time elapsed from the issuance of the most recent fine results in clamping upon the next violation
  • To prevent driving by a suspended driver or moving of a disabled vehicle
  • To preclude escape of a prosecuted person
  • For security purposes, such as preventing a car, trailer, or caravan from being driven or towed away by a thief
Other Languages
العربية: مشبك العجلة
čeština: Botička
Deutsch: Autokralle
español: Cepo
Esperanto: Radblokilo
فارسی: قفل چرخ
français: Sabot de Denver
Bahasa Indonesia: Gembok roda
Nederlands: Wielklem
norsk: Hjulklamp
svenska: Klampning