IPART flags deregulation of heavy vehicle tow fees

Licensing would remain and a minor fall in tow cost is envisaged in draft report

IPART flags deregulation of heavy vehicle tow fees
Some towing fees could come down under proposed changes


A freeing of New South Wales heavy vehicle towing fees but a retention of licensing are main points among draft proposals released by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) review.

If accepted, maximum truck fees would go, with customers to rely on quotes, the Review of tow truck fees and licensing in NSW - Draft Report states.

While that may appear to leave owner-drivers somewhat exposed, IPART chairman Dr Peter Boxall believes otherwise.

"We have considered a range of submissions from insurance companies and operators, and we are confident that given the professional nature of the heavy vehicle industry, any risk associated with removing price regulation can be adequately addressed by requiring an approved quote before towing work is undertaken," Boxall says.

The tribunal expects operators to see a $16 fall in the cost of a tow, due to cheaper towing authorisation forms.

Consequently, the net revenue per tow for the initial tow will fall by less than the bill per tow (or increase by more)," the tribunal’s fact sheet explains.

"Net of the towing authorisation form cost, operators will receive less revenue for some initial tows and more for other tows.

"For example, net revenue per tow will be the same for short tows with no storage, but will generally be higher when vehicles are stored.

"Net revenue for long tows will go up for country operators, and may go up or down for metropolitan operators depending on the number of days the vehicle requires storage and where the vehicle is stored."

In addition to price deregulation, IPART’s draft report recommends that tow trucks carrying out heavy vehicle accident towing should be re-categorised as category B to reflect the lower risk.  

Category A plates would continue to be required for tow trucks undertaking both light and heavy vehicle accident towing.

The draft report also recommends a number of changes to tow truck licences to reduce red tape and costs.  

These include increasing licence periods from three to five years, facilitating electronic record keeping, reducing minimum age requirements and making it easier for operators to dispose of unclaimed vehicles.

A public forum will be held to discuss the draft report on October 28.

Submissions will be accepted until November 11.  The draft deport, along with further information, is available here.

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