Tow Truck Industry Regulation

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  • The Issue

    Consultation period: 01/08/2019 12:00 am to 29/08/2019 5:00 pm

    What is this about?

    The existing Tow Truck Industry Regulation 2008 (the current Regulation) will be repealed on 1 September 2020.

    NSW Fair Trading is proposing to remake the Regulation, with changes to improve and enhance the regulatory framework. The Tow Truck Industry Regulation 2019 (the proposed Regulation) supports the Tow Truck Industry Act 1998.

    Key changes to the proposed Regulation include:

    • protecting consumers by improving compliance in the industry and ensuring all relevant information is provided to motorists
    • reducing red tape, for example by removing unnecessary automatic licence cancellation
    • exempting recreational vehicles (including caravans), licensed mechanics and multi-deck car carriers from licensing requirements where they do not represent a risk to consumers and businesses
    • updating penalties for consistency, to reflect the nature of the offence and allow for an escalated compliance response, which is also fairer for the industry
    • strengthening provisions in relation to false or misleading information for consistency and as an appropriate deterrent for tow truck operators and drivers
    • modernising the provisions for holding yards and tow truck equipment
    • streamlining fee structures by changing the business hours requirements to reflect peak traffic and accident time periods in metropolitan Sydney, increasing the surcharge rate and allowing for additional fees to be charged for the removal of debris
    • updating the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to be consistent with Fair Trading regulation practices.

    To seek feedback on the detail related to the reforms, the proposed Regulation and a Regulatory Impact Statement have been released for comment.

    What has happened so far?

    In December 2014, a review of tow truck fees and licensing was undertaken by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal entitled, ‘Review of tow truck fees and licensing in NSW,’ (IPART report), which made recommendations for legislative changes.

    In 2015, Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) (Department of Transport) released its response to the IPART report, which supported either in full or in part 59 of the 107 recommendations.

    On 1 July 2017, administrative responsibility for tow trucks legislation was transferred from RMS to Fair Trading (Department of Customer Service).

    A number of recommendations have already been implemented under RMS and the remaining recommendations will be considered as part of this proposed Regulation or a future statutory remake.

    Next steps

    Stakeholders and interested parties are invited to review the Regulatory Impact Statement and provide comments. Consultation will be open from 1 August to 29 August 2019.

    Complete our consultation survey using the online form below.

    Alternatively, please email your response to

  • Milestones

    • December 2014: Review of tow truck fees and licensing by IPART
    • 2015: Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) release response to the IPART report
    • 1 July 2017: Tow truck legislation transferred from RMS to NSW Fair Trading
    • 29 July 2019: Public consultation starts
    • 26 August 2019: Public consultation ends.
  • Outcomes

    During this consultation we received 30 submissions of which 2 were confidential. The remaining 28 submissions have been made publicly available with private information redacted where necessary.

    All the submissions made during the consultation have been read and considered. All publishable submissions can now be found below.

    View the submissions here

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