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Vehicle repossession

Vehicle repossession is often the last resort, but swift action will limit any potential loss

George Skentzos
Head of Customer Experience
Last updated on 
September 15, 2022
Introduction

Introduction

Sourcing Vehicles

Sourcing Vehicles

Procurement

Procurement

Financing

Financing

Acquiring Customers

Acquiring Customers

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Point of Sale

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Key Value Propositions

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Lead Management

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Inbound Lead Generation

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Managing Customers

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Customer Onboarding

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Customer Service

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Customer Experience

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Legal Agreements

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Receivables & Arrears

Receivables & Arrears

Collection & Handover

Collection & Handover

Delivery

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Fines & Tolls

Fines & Tolls

Breaches & Reposession

Breaches & Reposession

Insurance & Claims

Insurance & Claims

Eligibility

Eligibility

Claims Management

Claims Management

Incident Management

Incident Management

Fair Wear & Tear

Fair Wear & Tear

Fraud Risk & Prevention

Fraud Risk & Prevention

Managing Vehicles

Managing Vehicles

Subscription Structure

Subscription Structure

Profitability & Performance

Profitability & Performance

From time to time, you may need to request a recovery or repossession of a subscription vehicle from a customer as a last resort for a major infraction or unpaid arrears. The value of the subscribed vehicle and the size of any deposit will dictate when a vehicle repossession is necessary to minimise any potential loss.

It is advised to undertake a vehicle recovery sooner rather than later as while the repossession costs can typically be passed on to the subscriber, your ability to recover these fees is often low.

How much does a vehicle repossession cost?

The cost of a repossession varies depending on the number of recovery attempts needed to secure the vehicle and the towing distance required. The typical cost of a vehicle repossession through a reputable recovery agency can vary from between $700 and $1,400 depending on the circumstances.

Repossessions should only be used as a last resort due to the cost. Clients should urge the customer to return the vehicle on their own by stating that the insurance will be cancelled, that they will be considered in breach of their agreement, or that their registration will be cancelled.

How to repossess a vehicle

Loopit highly encourages the use of a reputable and authorised vehicle recovery agency to perform vehicle repossessions only. We discourage internal staff from performing vehicle repossessions where possible.

Notifying a customer that a repossession will take place

For the most part, customers will be compliant during the repossession stage. It is recommended that you make the customer aware that a vehicle repossession will be taking place, to remove any belongings from the vehicle and to be compliant with the attending agent.

Hi (customer name),

We have attempted to reach you via SMS, email and phone to arrange for the outstanding account balance to be paid and for the vehicle to be returned.

As we received no acknowledgment or response and the amount in arrears was not paid, a vehicle repossession has been authorised for the vehicle - the expense of which will be included in your outstanding balance.

Any personal belongings should be removed from the vehicle. Any items left in the vehicle will need to be collected within 7 days or they will be discarded. We assume no responsibility for any items that may have been left in the vehicle.

Locating a vehicle for repossession

For Loopit platform users, you can choose to fit each vehicle with a telematics device to determine the live location of the vehicle. This information can be provided to the recovery agent so that they are able to attempt recovery of the vehicle at an appropriate time or place.

Even in the event that the vehicle is not tracking live, there are many other means to locate the vehicle through prior usage data or simply by attending the registered address of the customer.

When a vehicle has been repossessed

It is important to perform an inspection of the vehicle at the earliest opportunity and record its current condition to highlight any potential damage, repairs needed or items left (or not left) in the vehicle.

Ideally this should be performed at the time of recovery by the recovery agent, however it is good practice to repeat this step once the vehicle is in your possession for posterity.

Once the vehicle has been recovered, you should also pause any further recurring payments as continuing to generate arrears after the vehicle is no longer in the possession of the customer is frowned upon should this reach arbitration.

About the author
George is the Head of Marketing and Customer Experience at Loopit. Having originally started his career as a motoring journalist and founding team member for one of Australia's top automotive startups, George has a strong passion for automotive, business and growth marketing.
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