Do you know your rights when dealing with tow trucks?
CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) officially unveiled a Towing Bill of Rights for consumers on Aug. 22 as part of a series of initiatives for Tow Safety Week.
The Towing Bill of Rights is based on Ontario law and outlines eight, easy to remember points for motorists to remember if they find themselves in need of a tow.
According to research done for CAA SCO by Ipsos, only half of Ontario drivers feel educated about their rights if they require a tow or roadside assistance.
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Drivers also worry about issues such as being charged unreasonably high fees or being misled and told by tow truck operators that insurance will cover costs when it doesn’t.
“Despite the rules that came into law in Ontario early last year, many consumers still seem to be unaware of their rights when it comes to towing,” said AVP of government and community relations at CAA SCO Teresa Di Felice.
“It can often be very stressful for motorists after a collision or vehicle issue, and the Towing Bill of Rights is a quick and easy reference guide to help put the power and knowledge back in the hands of consumers.”
The Towing Bill of Rights is an easy glove box reference guide designed to help ensure Ontario motorists are familiar with the provincial rules and regulations that protect consumers and regulate the towing industry in Ontario. The handy list, now broadly available in print and digital formats, outlines specific consumer rights in a digestible, consumer-friendly way.
In partnership with the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario, CAA SCO will distribute over 10,000 handy reference cards to motorists across the province.
“It is critical that motorists understand their rights when it comes to towing, and it is also important that tow truck operators understand exactly what is expected of them when a vehicle is to be serviced,” said PTAO president Joey Gagne.
“Distribution of the Towing Bill of Rights contributes to both of these goals and we are happy to work with CAA to promote the protection of consumer rights in Ontario.”
CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) encourages all Ontario motorists and consumers to familiarize themselves with the specific terms of the Towing Bill of Rights:
1. You have the right to decide who can tow your vehicle and to what location unless otherwise directed by police.
2. A permission to tow form must be signed before towing starts, unless you have an auto club membership.
3. The towing company must provide you with an itemized invoice, before receiving payment.
4. The final bill cannot be more than 10% above the quoted price.
5. If you choose, you can pay by credit card.
6. During business hours, you can access your vehicle to get your personal items, while it’s stored at a towing facility.
7. A tow operator must notify you where your vehicle will be towed.
8. Tow operators must disclose if they are receiving a financial incentive for towing your vehicle to a particular vehicle storage facility or repair shop.
The Towing Bill of Rights is based on specific rules and regulations set by the Government of Ontario through the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act.
Click here for more information.