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Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021

ONTARIO REGULATION 162/23

CHARGES FOR TOWING AND VEHICLE STORAGE SERVICES

Consolidation Period: From January 1, 2024 to the e-Laws currency date.

No amendments.

This is the English version of a bilingual regulation.

Interpretation

1. In this Regulation,

“maximum rate” means the maximum amount to be charged by an operator for a towing service or vehicle storage service or for any related or ancillary services; (“taux maximal”)

“maximum rate schedule” means a list of all maximum rates in respect of the services that an operator provides. (“barème des taux maximaux”)

Membership fees

2. For greater certainty, any amount charged by a tow operator for membership in an automobile club association is not considered an amount charged for a towing service or for any related or ancillary services and shall not be included in any of the maximum rates set out in the operator’s maximum rate schedule.

Form — content and updates

3. (1) The Director shall make available on a website of the Government of Ontario a form entitled “Maximum Rate Schedule Form” that complies with sections 5 and 7.

(2) The Director shall give written notice of any amendments to the form to every tow operator and vehicle storage operator.

(3) If an operator’s maximum rate schedule sets out one or more maximum rates that no longer accord with the most recently amended form, the operator shall, within the time period specified in the notice given under subsection (2), submit an updated maximum rate schedule to the Director using the most recently amended form.

Maximum rate schedule

4. (1) For the purposes of subsection 28 (3) of the Act, an operator shall submit their maximum rate schedule using the form mentioned in section 3.

(2) An operator’s maximum rate schedule shall not set out a service other than the services set out on the form.

(3) A maximum rate schedule shall not set out more than one maximum rate in respect of a service.

(4) For greater certainty, no maximum rate schedule shall set out different maximum rates for different persons in respect of the same service.

(5) A maximum rate schedule shall not set out a rate structure, such as a flat rate, a minimum rate, an hourly rate or a daily rate, in respect of a service that is different from the rate structure set out on the form in respect of the service.

(6) If an operator wishes to change or is required to change one or more of the maximum rates in a maximum rate schedule, the operator shall submit an updated maximum rate schedule to the Director.

Towing services

5. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), no towing services other than the following shall be set out on the form mentioned in section 3:

1.  Towing.

2.  Recovery.

(2) The Director may divide the towing service set out in paragraph 1 of subsection (1) into separate services on the form based on the following criteria but shall not otherwise divide it into separate services:

1.  The type, capacity and characteristics of the tow truck used to tow the motor vehicle.

2.  The weight and characteristics of the motor vehicle being towed.

3.  The distance the motor vehicle is towed.

4.  The geographic region in which the towing service is provided.

(3) The Director may divide the towing services set out in paragraph 2 of subsection (1) into separate services on the form based on the use of any of the following during the recovery but shall not otherwise divide it into separate services:

1.  Additional tow trucks or labour.

2.  Specialized vehicles, equipment or labour.

3.  Services to repair, adjust or reposition the recovered motor vehicle.

4.  Clearing debris from collisions on a highway.

5.  Any other services or equipment requested by emergency personnel.

(4) No service that is ancillary to or related to towing services, other than the following, shall be set out on the form:

1.  Time spent by a tow truck driver on stand-by at any of the following locations:

i.  The scene of a collision or other incident, if instructed by emergency personnel to do so.

ii.  A collision reporting centre, if instructed by emergency personnel or an employee or representative of the collision reporting centre to do so.

iii.  A truck inspection station or any other location, if instructed by a police officer or an inspector to do so.

(5) For greater certainty, the following services that are ancillary to or related to towing services shall not be subject to a charge:

1.  Transporting the driver and any passengers of a towed motor vehicle in the tow truck to the destination of the tow or other drop-off location.

2.  Allowing the driver or any passenger of a towed motor vehicle to have access to it while providing towing services.

3.  Changing the destination of a tow, other than an amount related to the change in distance that a motor vehicle is towed if the destination is changed.

4.  Any towing services in respect of preparing a motor vehicle at a location mentioned in paragraph 1 of subsection (4) for towing, if the operator charges for a service described in that paragraph in respect of the motor vehicle at the location.

5.  Preparing invoices, consents or other administrative services related to the towing services.

(6) In this section,

“recovery” means specialized services, including the use of extraction devices, winches and skilled personnel, that are required to relocate or reposition a motor vehicle to prepare it for towing but does not include the use of standard towing equipment in respect of an upright motor vehicle that is located,

(a)  in a parking lot or on private property,

(b)  on a roadway or shoulder, or

(c)  at a location where it can be returned to a roadway or shoulder by using,

(i)  standard towing equipment, or

(ii)  a winch, if the distance that the motor vehicle is required to be moved by the winch is less than five metres.

No charge for specified services

6. No tow operator shall charge an amount in respect of any of the following services:

1.  Any portion of a towing service or a related or ancillary service that takes longer than usual because of defects associated with the tow truck or inefficiencies caused by the actions of the tow operator or tow truck driver.

2.  Services, including equipment and resources used to provide a service, that are unnecessary for a towing service being provided.

Vehicle storage services

7. (1) Subject to subsection (2), no vehicle storage services other than the following shall be set out on the form mentioned in section 3:

1.  Outdoor storage of motor vehicle.

2.  Indoor storage of motor vehicle.

(2) The Director may, when setting out a vehicle storage service mentioned in subsection (1) on the form, divide the service into separate services based on the following criteria but shall not otherwise divide the services into separate services:

1.  The length and characteristics of the motor vehicle.

2.  The geographic region in which the vehicle storage service is provided.

(3) The only service ancillary or related to vehicle storage services that may be set out on the form is the service of providing access to or release of a stored motor vehicle during hours other than,

(a)  8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday; or

(b)  9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.

(4) Despite subsection (3), a vehicle storage operator shall not charge an amount in respect of providing access to or release of a stored motor vehicle when the vehicle storage yard facility is open for business.

(5) For greater certainty, the following services that are ancillary to or related to vehicle storage services shall not be subject to a charge:

1.  Preparing or cleaning storage spaces in a vehicle storage yard facility.

2.  Moving a motor vehicle within a vehicle storage yard facility or between vehicle storage yard facilities, unless the move is requested by the owner or operator of the motor vehicle.

3.  Preparing invoices, consents or other administrative services related to the vehicle storage services.

Unreasonable amount, criteria

8. When determining whether an amount in respect of a service is unreasonably high for the purposes of subsection 28 (7) of the Act, the Director shall consider the following criteria:

1.  The amounts charged by other operators in the same geographic region in respect of comparable services.

2.  Any previous amounts charged in respect of comparable services by:

i.  The operator.

ii.  Other operators in the same geographic region.

3.  The amounts charged in respect of comparable services by persons authorized to provide towing services in restricted towing zones under Ontario Regulation 325/21 (Pilot Project — Restricted Towing Zones) made under the Highway Traffic Act.

4.  The time and labour required to provide the service.

5.  The level of skill and expertise required to provide the service.

6.  The type of equipment required to provide the service.

7.  The importance of the service being available to members of the public with limited means.

Unreasonable amount, notice

9. (1) A notice given under subsection 28 (7) of the Act shall include written reasons setting out why, in the opinion of the Director, the amount submitted by the operator in respect of the service is unreasonably high.

(2) If a notice given under subsection 28 (7) of the Act includes an amount under clause 28 (7) (b) of the Act, the Director shall publish the amount on the list mentioned in subsection 28 (6) of the Act as if it were the amount submitted by the operator in respect of the service under subsection 28 (3) of the Act.

Payment

10. (1) Every tow operator and vehicle storage operator shall accept the following methods of payment in respect of the towing services and vehicle storage services they provide:

1.  Commonly accepted credit cards.

2.  Commonly accepted debit cards.

3.  Contactless payment made using mobile devices.

4.  Cash.

(2) No tow operator or vehicle storage operator shall coerce or induce or attempt to coerce or induce a person to use one accepted payment method over another.

11. Omitted (provides for coming into force of provisions of this Regulation).

 

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