Tow truck companies can no longer set their own fees after “dodgy” Queensland operators were found to be charging up to $1000.
Charges regulated by the Palaszczuk government came into effect on Monday, along with massive fines of up to $10,000 for breaches of the rules.
An on-site, pre-towed release will now cost no more than $150, a holding yard release fee is capped at $250, while operators can charge a flat $25 per day for storage.
“We are also increasing the maximum penalty that can be imposed under the Tow Truck Regulation from 20 penalty units ($2523) to 80 penalty unites ($10,092),” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said in a statement on Monday.
“Tow truck operators should also take a close look to make sure they are doing the right thing.
“I am confident this legislation appropriately balances the rights of private property owners and occupiers and the rights of motorists, while ensuring towing practices are fair and reasonable.”
Tow truck operators are prohibited from charging for locating the owner, travelling to the place where the vehicle is located, allowing the vehicle owner access at the holding yard within business hours, and other incidental fees.
Tow truck drivers are also required to notify police as soon as possible after removing a vehicle.
Mr Bailey said the legislation came from recommendations made by an independent investigation.
The LNP opposition welcomed the new regulations.
“Queensland motorists do not deserve to be ripped off by dodgy tow truck operators,” Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander said on Sunday.
“It’s now up to the Palaszczuk government to make sure these laws are implemented effectively and that Queensland motorists are protected.”