In today’s blog, we explain who Debt Recovery Plus (DRP) is and give some insight into how the business continues to achieve the highest recovery rate in the industry.
Debt Recovery Plus (DRP) is the leading provider of debt recovery services for the private parking sector, recovering money on behalf of private landowners and private parking companies across the UK such as Smart Parking, Euro Car Parks, APCOA and UK Parking Control (UKPC).
We are proud to be part of the Bristow & Sutor Group, comprised of ourselves, Bristow & Sutor and Credit Style; three businesses with aligned core values of accountability, transparency, respectfulness and integrity. We work in close collaboration to provide an ethical, compliance-focused and high-quality service to both the public and private sectors.
With a firm but fair approach, DRP helps educate and inform motorists that parking charges are legitimate and assist them in avoiding any further charges or unnecessary costly court proceedings. We don’t own the land or issue the tickets, but we do offer advice on how to pay a charge as quickly as possible to avoid potential further costs.
What is a PCN?
A Parking Charge Notice (PCN) is the result of a parking infringement on private land or in a car park that is operated by private organisations on behalf of the landowner. PCNs can be issued for various reasons relating to a breach of the terms and conditions stipulated on a specific car park’s signage.
Unfortunately, many parking charges remain unpaid, often because motorists have been misinformed that outstanding parking charges are not legally enforceable. In many cases, a motorist ignores the notices sent out to them as they have listened to myths that they don’t have to pay and eventually the process will end and the charges will disappear. This information is incorrect and can potentially leave motorists facing court claims processes, solicitors’ fees and additional costs over and above an original parking charge.
If you do not pay a parking charge, the parking company has the right to take court action against you for up to 6 years (5 years in Scotland). A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a type of court order in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland that might be registered against you if you fail to repay the money you owe. It is legally binding and if you do not deal with it in some way, then you risk having your property or other assets legally seized.
Our privacy notice sets out our lawful basis for processing personal data under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
How does our approach ensure we remain industry leaders?
Our business is based around people and we support parking operators with specialist teams, training our professional collection agents to the highest standards. Unlike other debt recovery providers, we focus purely on collecting PCNs. This means our experienced members of staff work solely in this area and gain expert knowledge and insight into cases of this nature.
We understand that some people may not be in a position to make a payment straight away and our team of advisors are trained to discuss payment plan options when this is the most appropriate course of action. As authorised members of both the International Parking Community (IPC) and the British Parking Association (BPA), we work in line with their best practice guidelines when it comes to settling cases where people have failed to pay a parking charge notice. We adhere to the Parking Code of Practice (part of the Parking Code of Practice Act 2019) and we are regularly audited by the DVLA to ensure that the data we handle is treated correctly.
DRP provides all parking operators who work with us with a dedicated account manager, who will have in-depth knowledge of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, as well as access to our group legal services division. Beyond our main area of specialism, we can also provide a gateway to several related services from solicitors’ reminder letters and LBA (Letter Before Action) right through to advice on how to take formal legal action against debtors and enforcing a judgment should a debtor not settle a CCJ obtained against them.
Our specialist teams deal with thousands of new cases each week and we offer a service to trace those ‘gone away motorists’, as we believe the faster we find someone, the sooner we can collect.
Why engagement matters
There are many well-known preconceptions around the debt recovery industry and the firms that operate in the space, but the reality is many expert businesses perform at a high level whilst always retaining an ethical and mindful approach. All frontline staff are trained to recognise potentially vulnerable debtors and our dedicated collections team often help people by referring them onwards for support and advice. We work in close collaboration with Debt Advice professions and are pleased to signpost anyone who is struggling with payment to organisations that can assist with free and impartial guidance.
At DRP, we take social value incredibly seriously and our people enjoy giving back to the community whenever possible. For example, we sponsor many local sports teams including Mossley Junior FC, Curzon Ashton FC, Oldham St. Annes RLFC, Saddleworth RLFC (Under 10’s), Glossop RUFC (Senior Colts), Failsworth West FC and Gorton Panthers FC.
A large amount of our success is down to working closely with clients and the communities we engage with. This helps to influence our ongoing training initiatives, which remain a fundamental component of our business and benefit the internal progression of our staff. We have a clearly outlined complaints process and welcome all feedback for the ongoing development of our business.