Province Introducing Legislation to Regulate the Towing and Vehicle Storage Industries: Ontario is taking steps to strengthen consumer protection and further reduce auto insurance rates, by introducing legislation today that would, if passed, regulate the towing and vehicle storage industries.
The province intends to introduce legislation that if passed, would help Ontario’s over nine million drivers make informed decisions and protect their money when getting their vehicle towed or having it held in a storage facility.
The proposed legislation and supporting regulations would require tow truck operators and storage providers to:
- Have permission from a consumer or someone acting on behalf of the consumer before charging for towing and storage services
- Publicly post prices and other information, like the operator’s name and contact information
- Accept credit card payments from consumers
- Provide an itemized invoice listing the services provided and the total cost.
Ontario is also proposing to include tow trucks in the province’s existing Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration system to improve road safety through government monitoring and enforcement measures. The proposed changes and additional oversight would contribute to lower costs in Ontario’s auto insurance system.
Protecting Ontario consumers is part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships.
- In 2010, tow truck operators in Ontario had a 19.7 per cent collision rate, compared to only 1.1 per cent for drivers of other commercial vehicles.
- Provincial oversight of the towing industry was a key recommendation of the Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force and is part of Ontario’s Auto Insurance Cost and Rate Reduction Strategy.
- There are approximately 1,200 tow truck operators and 3,000 tow truck drivers in Ontario.
Ministry of Consumer Services, April 15, 2014