Speeding fine admin charge!

Long story short, I got a speeding fine last year in Germany, whilst renting a car through Sixt. They emailed me 2 attachments one was the speeding fine thr other looked like the T&C's where I agreed to pay the speeding fine.

I paid the speeding fine immediately. 

A few months later I recieved another email saying I hadn't paid. So I sent them proof I had paid. Then Sixt said, no you havnt paid our admin charge. I replied and said I was never asked to pay an admin charge. 
To which I received another email saying they did ask me.
To be honest I totally forgot to pay this admin charge and longer story short I am now being charged £97 broken down thusly:

Admin fee - £22.46
Reminder fee £13.48
Debtor processing fee £18.63
Expenses for manual investigation of personal details £27.93
Debtor fee £6.65
Debtor fee £8.65

Total £97.80

Now I 100% agree I should have paid the admin fee and possibly a late fee. But I have never recieved anything in the post and have only had a handful of emails, to which I have replied to every one. I dont think the personal data investigation fee was necessary. I have offered them £50 to cover everything.

Its a German debt collection company and their emails are rather threatening. I'm not sure if they will be able to pursue me after December anyway, but are the above charges legal and fair? Should I pay them off and be done with it, or should I stick to my guns in offering them the £50?

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance to any advice :)


  • Barny1979
    Barny1979 Posts: 7,921 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Why can they not pursue you after December, I presume moving and think they won't track you down?
  • pogofish
    pogofish Posts: 10,852 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Hiring from Sixt was the mistake - they are notorious for hitting customers with “admin”/extra charges, anything up to many months after the matter concerned has run its course.

    And there isn’t a lot an overseas debt collector could do to you in the UK, even when we were in the EU. For stuff like admin charges, it would be purely a civil matter and that is fully covered by post four of the Newbies Sticky in the Parking Tickets subforum here.
  • Thanks for the replies, sorry for the slow response, clearly I dont have notifications on. 
    The debt collection company is based in Germany, so I just assumed from December when we leave the EU it would be harder to issue a small claims civil suit against me. I am pretty au fait with private parking, but I was wondering if like the additional £60 the additional £70 they are trying to claim would fall short at a hearing?
  • Dear Mr. Matthew Elder,

    thank you very much for your feedback.

    In view of the situation you have described and after internal review, we can accommodate you and offer a discount on the collection costs.

    Please transfer the amount of 80.00 GBP as soon as possible to the account:

    Upon receipt of your payment, the transaction will be processed directly and the claim to the invoice in question will be closed without reservation.

    Kind regards,

    Esra Düre

    eCollect AG
    email: contact@ecollect.online
    web: ecollect.online
    telephone: +49 201 99950222

    IBAN: DE31600501010405362013

    eCollect AG
    Ehrenbergstrasse 16A
    10245 Berlin

    Handelsregister Zug
    UID: CHE-180.481.291

    I have replied to their email with this:

     I would like to thank you for your offer of £80 however I still disagree with your fee breakdown and structure. I believe that due to my level of communication and the fact that you have not supplied me with a comprehensive breakdown of how you arrived at the inflated sums (for example, how you arrived at the sum of £8.65 to send me an email, or even where I agreed to this charge) I will revert my original offer back to you of £50.

    This is broken down by the admin fee of £25 (rounding up) and the same again to incorporate the late fee.

    As I reiterate, I have fully corresponded with Sixt at every email sent and the speeding fine was paid in a prompt manner. Your 'detail search fee' was unwarranted as I have always replied to any correspondence sent to me. Further more I have never received any physical correspondence from yourselves or sixt.

    If you agree then payment will be made immediately upon confirmation. Although I am remiss at paying the sum of £50 I am willing to offer it as a sensible resolution to this dispute. 

    Thank you for your time.

    what are your thoughts, have I screwed the pooch and should I just pay the £80 and be done with it asap or should I hold out and see if they come back with a lower offer???
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,474 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    You have acknowledged that the original error in not paying the admin fee was entirely yours so I would suck it up and pay.
  • tenchy
    tenchy Posts: 486 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    Ignore them. Do not pay a penny. There's nothing they can do.
  • tenchy said:
    Ignore them. Do not pay a penny. There's nothing they can do.
    Terrible advice, there’s plenty they can do - if they will bother or not is the question. 
  • pogofish
    pogofish Posts: 10,852 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Most if not all UK debt collectors trying to “accommodate” for something like this offer a 50% discount, so a paltry seventeen quid isn’t worth thinking about.

    Either way, it’s still a bribe to try and get you to pay-up because there isn’t much they can do beyond sending scary letters. Never mind that their cost breakdown is laughable.

    The only party who can instruct for any meaningful enforcement action in the UK are Sixt themselves and their having got shot of it (probably for a pittance) to a bunch of professional vultures says a great deal about the likelihood of that happening.
  • Thought I would give it one last go before I let them take me to court will see what they say! Although I am tempted to take the £80 on payday and just be done with it all

    Thank you for your reply, but as you will be pursuing me through the county court you should be familiar with the term genuine pre estimate of loss.

    "The parties to any contract can deal with the effects of breach of contract claim in a number of ways.  For example, the contract may leave the issue of the determination of damages for breach of contract to the court.  Alternatively, parties may choose to clarify, restrict or fix losses. This avoids the need for complicated and lengthy court proceedings and allows the damages to be paid and contact to continue.  Payment may be by deduction from the contract sum.

    If losses are fixed at the time that the contract is entered into (frequently called liquidated damages or liquidated and ascertained damages) then care must be taken to ensure that they are a genuine pre-estimate of the loss that would be suffered on the occurrence of a particular event.  If they are not, and the court views them as a penalty, they will not be enforceable.

    Whilst the court does not expect the parties to be entirely accurate, there must be a genuine attempt at pre-estimating the loss in order for a court to be prepared to hold the clause a valid one.  If an arbitrary figure is chosen then it is possible it may be open to challenge at a later date."

    I do not believe your cost schedule reflects the genuine pre estimate of loss. I have never received a physical letter and only email correspondence, of which the costs associated will be minimal at best. The main one being the charge to verify my details. I still firmly maintain that due to continued correspondance my details did not need verifying. Therefore in order to draw this matter to a close I would invite you to a final offer from myself of £69.87

    This is made up of full payment of all your purported fees save for the fee to verify my information. 

    To reiterate my final offer is of £69.87

    Thank you for your time in this matter

  • Long rambling emails are really just a waste of time.
    Do you think that anybody really reads them ??

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