Excel Parking are a private parking company. They operate on private land, such as retail parks,
airports, and supermarkets. To generate income they issue Parking Charge Notices (aka parking tickets). However, these are not the same as Penalty Chargen Notices as issued by local authorities, these are based on contract law, but intended to look the same to motorists. They are issued when a motorist breaks the parking conditions, such as parking outside of a space, or staying longer than the free time allowed. See our page on PCNs, to understand what what a PCN is.
Excel operate under two trading names, Excel Parking and Vehicle Control Services (VCS). VCS tend to operate in airport locations, such as Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Doncaster Robin Hood Airport. Excel and VCS are known to use Rossendales Collect as a debt collection agency – see here for more information on debt collectors. Both companies are owned by Simon Renshaw-Smith.
Excel and VCS use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and parking attendants to issue PCNs. ANPR technology allows them to automatically issue tickets to motorists when the system detects that the car has stayed in the car park longer than it is allowed. More information on ANPR can be found on this page.
Excel and VCS are members of the IPC’s Approved Operator Scheme. They used to be members of the British Parking Association’s AOS, but as of the end of 2014 both companies moved to the IPC. This is presumed to be for cost reasons where IPC membership and services are cheaper. Membership of an Approved Trade Association’s (ATA) Approved Operator Scheme enables them to request keeper data from the DVLA. They need access to the DVLA’s data to lookup the keeper data to allow them to enforce payment of unpaid parking tickets.
Where do they operate?
Excel are known to operate in the following places:
- City centre car parks
- Retail parks, such as the Peel Centre in Stockport
- Iceland supermarket
- Private developments
VCS are known to operate in the following places
- Liverpool John Lennon Airport
- Doncaster Robin Hood Airport
- Humberside Airport
- Private developments
What do I do if I get a ticket
If you get an Excel or VCS Parking Charge Notice then you can choose to appeal or ignore the ticket. Now that both Excel and VCS are members of the IPC’s AOS, second stage appeals must go to the Independent Appeals Service (IAS). Unlike the BPA’s POPLA service which is relatively open and transparent, there are concerns that the IAS is a ‘kangaroo court’ where normal legal principles are not followed (e.g. showing all of the claimants evidence to the appellant, and placing the burden of proof on the claimant). As such, anecdotal evidence shows very few appeals are upheld.
If you do choose to appeal, then remember that the decision is not legally binding on the motorist. Instead the operator would need to attempt to enforce the ticket in court.
Keeper liability is the concept of holding the keeper of the vehicle liable for a parking charge, irrespective of whether they were the driver who incurred it (and therefore would usually have liability). Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act is the legislation relied upon to enforce keeper liability in English and Welsh law. PoFA sets out a number of criteria that parking companies must meet to enforce keeper liability.
If PoFA isn’t used (either by choice of the parking company, or because they haven’t achieved the requirements), then the keeper could be held liable if the parking company can demonstrate on the balance of probabilities that they were the driver at the time. This could be achieved, for example, if the driver intentionally or unintentionally reveals they were, or if the parking company has photographic evidence.
Excel and VCS do not usually rely on Schedule 4 of PoFA for keeper liability. As such, when dealing with them, you should not give them any assistance in identifying the driver at the time.
Do Excel and VCS take people to court
Excel do issue court claims, but not in large numbers. Like other parking companies, they have found that when court papers (e.g. an N1 claim form) are received motorists will often pay up to avoid court. However, those that have fought their tickets have been able to defend themselves against the claim. More information on legal enforcement of parking tickets can be found here.
If you have received a court claim from Excel or VCS our recommendation is to:
- If you don’t defend the claim, then it will default against you. If you don’t then pay it then you will have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) on your credit file
- Understand the legal aspects of private parking tickets
- Start a thread on Pepipoo forum
Other notable information about Excel and Vehicle Control Services (VCS)