MORE than 60,000 motorists were clamped in Dublin city last year -- but the fines barely covered half the cost of parking enforcement.
The income from clamping in 2009 was €4.84m, while the enforcement cost was €9.9m -- indicating a €5.1m shortfall.
"You are not comparing like with like," a City Council spokesperson said when asked about the discrepancy.
"There are other costs associated with enforcement. We do get an income from clamping.
"The income from clamping fees in 2008 was €4.7m and it will be a similar figure in 2010."
Enforcement costs are also expected to be similar to 2009.
The clamping contract is held by Dublin Street Parking Services but expires next year when it will go to tender.
The council says the cost of running the enforcement service last year is "commercially sensitive information," although the amount "greatly exceeds" that from clamping fees.
Some 60,543 cars were clamped by the City Council in 2009, a jump of 865 on 2008.
The top 10 areas for enforcement include Noel Purcell Walk, where 1,143 vehicles were clamped.
It is followed by Shelbourne Road (950 cars clamped), and Jervis Street (765 cars).
Other happy hunting areas for the clampers include Wellington Quay, Parnell Street, Ranelagh, Clarendon Street, Camden Row, Smithfield and the SCR.
Motorists who fall foul of parking violations in Dublin must pay an €80 release fee.
None of the other three Dublin local authorities, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown or South Dublin currently operates clamping services, although South Dublin County Council is considering it.
Motorists who fail to pay the release fee of €80 in the City Council area faced having their car towed away after 24 hours.
They then must pay a removal and storage charge for the city car pound.