In today’s blog, we reflect on why debt recovery processes are an essential part of the private parking sector and why Debt Recovery Plus remains a partner of choice.
Across the UK, parking charges risk remaining unpaid if motorists are under the common misconception that outstanding parking charges are not legally enforceable. These motorists tend to ignore PCN notifications sent out to them thinking this will go away. This can escalate to the motorist facing court claims processes, solicitors’ fees and additional costs over and above an original parking charge as a parking company has the right to take court action for up to 6 years (5 years in Scotland). A CCJ may be imposed, which is legally binding and risks having property or other assets legally seized.
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, issue the tickets or deal with appeals, but we do offer advice on how to pay a charge as quickly as possible to avoid potential further costs. DRP provides clients with a dedicated account manager and 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 privacy notice sets out our lawful basis for processing personal data under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
How can debt recovery be a positive thing?
There are many unwarranted views of debt recovery built on hearsay and preconceptions, but the reality is many expert businesses perform operate professionally and ethically in this space. 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.
All frontline staff are trained to recognise potentially vulnerable debtors and our dedicated collections team often helps people by referring them onwards for support and advice. We work in close collaboration with Debt Advice professionals and are pleased to signpost anyone who is struggling with payment to organisations that can assist with free and impartial guidance.
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.
So, why Debt Recovery Plus?
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 Parking Eye, Euro Car Parks 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.
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. Our specialist teams deal with thousands of 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.
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.
A word from Debt Recovery Plus Managing Director, Stewart Clure…
“I have had the pleasure of working at DRP for the last 7 years, and during this time I have seen many changes. As a family business, led by my wife Lisa Clure, we quickly established ourselves as the leading provider of debt resolution services to the Private Parking Industry.
In March 2018 we were acquired by Bristow and Sutor on behalf of Sovereign Capital, which helped us to achieve our long-term ambition – grow by acquisition and merge into other debt resolution areas. Through being part of a larger group, we have been able to introduce new ideas to our clients, improve performance and benefit from the knowledge of leading specialists in the Public and Commercial area.
There are some big challenges ahead for DRP and our clients through the impending changes to the Parking Code of Practice in 2024. We have already started to build a new model to our debt resolution services, through pre and post debt solutions. Our aim is to support our clients through these changes, helping them to evolve and emerge under the new Parking regime stronger, more efficient and robust.”