A ute being loaded onto a tow truck.
A ute being loaded onto a tow truck. Jonno Colfs

New tow truck legislation targets rogue operators

NEW legislation targeting rouge tow truck operators will come into effect today.

Queensland's peak motoring body, RACQ, has welcomed the introduction of the new law which stop tow truck 'cowboys' from being able to strong-arm drivers into paying exorbitant fees for private property towing from car parks.

RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said tow truck drivers would only be able to charge a capped fee of $250 for a private property tow and would not be permitted to charge more than $25 per day for yard storage.

"This is a huge win for motorists who'll no longer be taken for a ride by rogue towies if they're caught parking in a private car park," Mr Turner said.

"We've been fighting for these reforms for years so to finally get this legislation is a huge win."

Mr Turner said motorists now had the power to demand the release of their vehicle if they returned to find it on the back of a tow truck.

"If you spot your car being towed, by law, towies must give you the option to pay a one-off release fee of no more than $150," he said.

Mr Turner said the laws would see tighter restrictions placed on who could get a tow truck licence, which included taking an applicant's previous criminal history into account, and fines would be issued for intimidating and abusive behaviour.

"RACQ tow truck drivers, don't conduct unauthorised tows from private properties, and our club has long called for higher standards in the industry," he said.

Mr Turner said drivers could avoid being fined if they checked signage carefully before they parked.

"If you're unsure, don't risk it - simply find a space somewhere else."

Visit the Department of Transport and Main Roads website for a full break down of changes.