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Tow truck complaints, infringements and audits

Information about complaints received, infringement notices and audits conducted will be published on the Transport and Main Roads website every 6 months.

On this page:

Tow truck complaints

All complaints that are received by the Department of Transport and Main Roads about tow truck licence holders, accredited tow truck drivers and accredited tow truck assistants are reviewed and if further review is required, referred to a Transport and Main Roads Transport Inspector for further investigation and appropriate action.

Private property towing - complaints and outcomes

Complaints have been received consisting of the following topics:

  • driver conduct
  • fee charged
  • no attempt to locate vehicle owner
  • authority to tow unclear
  • cannot engage tow truck operator
  • hotline availability
  • vehicle damaged
  • holding yard location
  • non-compliant tow truck
  • towing signage
  • possible collusion between carpark operator and tow truck operator
  • failed to notify Queensland Police Service (QPS)
  • disclosed personal information.
Complaint Outcome 1 October 2021 – 15 April 2022 16 April 2021 – 30 September 2021 1 October 2020 – 15 April 2021
13 complaints received 11 complaints received 9 complaints received
Finalised Outstanding from previous period Finalised Outstanding from previous period Finalised Outstanding from previous period
Action against licence holder – i.e. show cause / cancel tow truck licence
Insufficient evidence for investigation 1 1 1 1
Education provided 3 1 1 4
No offence committed 3
Advice provided to members of public 1 1 2
Only regulated fees were charged
Tow was revealed as non-standard
Signage is not regulated
Infringements issued 2 1 1
Tows occurred prior to new laws
Vehicle being released with no charge
QPS approved tow /investigating 2
Formal warning letter issued
Complaint withdrawn 1
Complaints Previously Outstanding - Now Finalised 1 1 6
Complaints Finalised 5 8 6
Complaints Remaining Under Investigation 8 4 3 2 3
Complaints Received Total 13 11 9

* Reporting of complaints commenced 16 April 2018. Previous period data available on request.

Crash towing—complaints and outcomes

Complaints have been received consisting of the following topics:

  • driver conduct
  • fee charged
  • authority to tow unclear
  • unaccredited driver / 3rd party in tow truck
  • double signing vehicles
  • non-compliant holding yard
  • non-compliant tow truck
  • car loaded before authority to tow completed
  • unsafe towing practices
  • not towed to nominated address.
Complaint Outcome 1 October 2021 – 15 April 2022 16 April 2021 – 30 September 2021 1 October 2020 – 15 April 2021
28 complaints received 23 complaints received 38 complaints received
Finalised Outstanding from previous period Finalised Outstanding from previous period Finalised Outstanding from previous period *
Action against licence holder – i.e. show cause / cancel tow truck licence 2 2
Insufficient evidence for investigation 7 7 3 13 9 10
Education provided 3 3 1 6 1
No offence committed 3 1 3 6
Advice provided to members of public 4 1 1
Compliance audit scheduled
Fees didn't exceed regulated fees
Outside regulated area
Infringements issued 1 2 1 1 2
Referred to QPS for investigation 1 1 1
Authority to tow was obtained by QPS or vehicle owner 2
Referred to TMR Prosecutions for action
Formal warning letter issued
Local government approval
Complaint withdrawn 3 1 2
Complaints Previously Outstanding - Now Finalised 8 16 23
Complaints Finalised 18 13 26
Complaints Remaining Under Investigation 10 11 10 9 12 13
Complaints Received Total 28 23 38

* Reporting of complaints commenced 16 April 2018. Previous period data available on request.

Proactive public reporting of complaints data ceased 16 April 2022. Should you require specific data, please contact tow.trucks@tmr.qld.gov.au with your request.

Infringement notices and matters dealt with by a court

Infringement notices are issued by police officers and departmental transport inspectors. A person who is issued an infringement notice has 28 days to either:

  • pay the fine or arrange for a payment plan through the State Penalty Enforcement Registry
  • respond to the notice by either requesting the matter be reviewed by the issuing authority or electing the matter be heard in a court.

*The department allows a 3-month delay in providing infringement notice data to ensure the data is complete.

Month Infringement notice issued Matters dealt with by a court
January 2022 49 0
December 2021 52 0
November 2021 51 0
October 2021 54 0
September 2021 37 0
August 2021 7 0
July 2021 11 0
June 2021 17 0
May 2021 9 0
April 2021 14 0
March 2021 10 0
February 2021 15 0
January 2021 7 0
December 2020 10 0
November 2020 6 6
October 2020 7 0

Audits conducted and outcomes

The departmental Transport Inspectors audit tow truck licence holders to ensure they are complying with the Tow Truck Act 1973 and Tow Truck Regulation 2009. Audits are conducted:

  • within 6 months of a new licence holder being approved
  • at least every 2 years
  • on receipt of a complaint, an audit may be conducted as part of the investigation to resolve the complaint.

Since 16 April 2018, 164 audits have been conducted. Of the 164 audits conducted 86 passed, 0 audits are still in progress and 78 were issued with corrective actions due to non-compliance.

If a tow truck licence holder is found to be non-compliant with the Tow Truck Act 1973 or Tow Truck Regulation 2009, they will be issued with a Corrective Action Request. The licence holder will have 14 days to rectify the non-compliance. If the non-compliance is considered to be serious and likely to jeopardise public safety, the Transport Inspector may immediately suspend the tow truck licence and/or issue an infringement notice.

If a significant number of non-compliances are detected or repeated over several audits, the department may issue a show cause notice to suspend or cancel the tow truck licence.

Last updated
12 August 2022