It can be very stressful after a collision or vehicle breakdown to try to know what to do. Calling a towing company is sometimes your only choice about how to get your vehicle taken care of. But what happens then? Are you at the mercy of which ever truck shows up?
In association with the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario, the Canadian Automobile Association on Wednesday unveiled a glove box reference guide, they hope will help drivers avoid being gouged by towing companies. The “Towing Bill of Rights” should come in handy anytime Ontario drivers need roadside assistance.
According to a CAA survey conducted by Ipsos, nearly half of Ontario drivers aren’t aware of new towing industry rules put in place by the provincial government last year. The same survey finds that drivers are still worried that towing companies are overcharging them or that they are being misled as to what insurance will cover. The guide contains a list of eight drivers’ rights, based on Ontario laws already in the books.
The full ‘Towing Bill of Rights’ is:
- You decide who can tow your vehicle and where (unless directed by police).
- A permission to tow form must be signed before towing starts, unless you have an auto club membership.
- Before they can get paid, the towing company must provide you with an itemized invoice.
- The final bill cannot be more than 10 per cent above the quoted price.
- You can pay by credit card if you want.
- During business hours, you can access your vehicle to get your personal items, while it’s stored at a towing facility.
- A tow operator must notify you where your vehicle will be towed.
- Tow operators must disclose if they are receiving a financial incentive for towing your vehicle to a specific vehicle repair shop or storage facility
If drivers feel they’re being treated unfairly or overcharged, they can take their complaints to Ontario’s ministry of government and consumer services. The guide is an effort to help with the rare tow truck operator who doesn’t follow the rules and was unveiled during CAA’s tow safety week.
These rules are specific to Ontario Laws which is why this campaign is being rolled out provincially and not nationally. You can find all the towing rights and a downloadable/printable version on the CAA website here.