Brantford Police are encouraging drivers to know their rights when their vehicle needs towing.
Many neighbouring police services have received complaints from motorists who have been charged excessively high fees for towing their vehicles after collisions or to have their vehicles released from storage yards. Other reports received include drivers feeling pressured to pay cash for services or being required to sign fraudulent paperwork
To reduce uncertainty and potentially uncomfortable roadside situations, Police advise drivers refer to the CAA Towing Bill of Rights.
- You have the right to decide who can tow your vehicle and to what location unless otherwise directed by police.
- A permission to tow form must be signed before towing starts, unless you have an auto club membership.
- The towing company must provide you with an itemized invoice, before receiving payment.
- Final bill cannot be more than 10% above the quoted price.
- If you choose, you can pay by credit card.
- 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 particular vehicle storage facility or repair shop.
In addition to these rights the Brantford Police are also offering up the following tips:
- Know what your insurance policy covers. See if you have roadside assistance coverage and what the limits are. If you have been in a collision, find out how your car insurance company handles towing and how much your insurer will cover.
- Call your insurance company for direction on tow companies, repairs and car rentals.
- Don’t let a towing operator take your vehicle until you view a Government of Ontario Towing Consumer Bill of Rights. You should be shown a towing and storage rate sheet listing towing fees, daily storage fees (if any), and all other miscellaneous charges.
- You are entitled to a receipt for tow services rendered.
- Decline offers to store your vehicle in a tow compound unless directed by your insurer.
- Make sure that the company name on the tow truck matches the documentation and do not agree to a demand for cash payment to release your vehicle without consulting your insurance company first
- Never sign a blank contract.
- Do not give out your insurance information to the tow operator. Some fraudulent tow operators will use this information for additional scams, like calling the victim and pretending to be their insurer or providing it to a health practitioner.
If you’re concerned you are or have been dealing with an illegally operated tow truck in Brantford, call the Brantford police at 519-756-7050, or contact them online at www.brantfordpolice.ca.
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