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Tow trucks

The Tow Truck Act 1973 was established to assist in the management of, and set standards for, the crash related towing industry within regulated areas.

The Act provides for the licensing/certification of:

The main purpose of licensing/certifying tow truck licence holders and drivers (including assistants) is to regulate and control the towing of damaged vehicles from the scene of an incident and subsequent handling and storage of those vehicles. The scheme does not regulate vehicle breakdown towing, trade towing or towing from private property.

Regulated areas

The tow truck licensing scheme operates in the following regulated areas:

  1. The Shires of - Beaudesert, Boonah, Caboolture, Esk, Gatton, Kilcoy, Laidley, Maroochy, Noosa, Pine Rivers and Redland.
  2. The Cities of - Brisbane, Bundaberg, Cairns, Caloundra, Gold Coast, Hervey Bay, Ipswich, Logan, Mackay, Maryborough, Redcliffe, Rockhampton and Toowoomba.
  3. The areas made up of the parishes of:
    1. Clement and Hinchinbrook in the county of Gray
    2. Beor, Bohle, Coonambelah, Ettrick, Halifax, Hervey, Lansdowne, Magnetic, Margenta, Rokeby, Ross, Stuart and Wyoming in the county of Elphinstone.

Note: For the purpose of the scheme the above pre 15 March 2008 local government areas (pre-amalgamation) are taken as the current regulated areas.

Maximum regulated towing charges

The Tow Truck Regulation 2009, provides the maximum charges that apply to standard crash towing in regulated areas.

The maximum regulated towing fees are:

  • $348.95—for the first 50km
  • $6.90—for each kilometre over 50km.


The Tow Truck Act 1973 provides for:

  • licences
  • certificates
  • licence conditions
  • cancellation and suspension of licences and certificates
  • offences.

The Tow Truck Regulation 2009 provides for:

  • obligations of licence and certificates holders
  • records/towing authorities
  • storage requirements
  • tow truck specifications
  • maximum towing charges
  • tow truck regulated areas
  • licence and certificate holders' conduct, at scene of a crash.

The Tow Truck Act 1973 and the Tow Truck Regulation 2009 legislation can be found on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.

Private property parking and towing

Towing industry investigation

On 14 May 2017 the Queensland Government announced an independent investigation into the removal of parked vehicles from publicly accessible private car parks and roads by tow truck operators.

The Queensland Government publicly released the report on 6 August 2017 and the government's response on 8 August 2017.

Tow truck hotline

Ring 1800 681 636 to provide the department with information about tow truck operator towing practices. 

Hot spot areas

Calls to the tow truck hotline, between 8 May 2017 and 21 July 2017, identified a number of hotspots in the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions.

View maps of the hotspots in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Last updated
22 January 2018