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Communtity Law Manual | Driving & traffic law | Complaining about a tow-truck operator

Getting towed: Your rights when dealing with tow-truck operators

Complaining about a tow-truck operator

Making a complaint about a tow-truck operator

If you have a complaint about your car being towed – for example if it was damaged, or you think the fee was too high – you should first complain directly to the tow-truck operator. You should put your complaint in writing. It’s also a good idea to send a copy of your complaint to the landowner, if it was towed from private property.

Land Transport Rule: Operator Licensing 2007, s 10.14

Tow-truck businesses have to keep a register of all the written complaints they receive. They have to keep the register available for it to be inspected by a police officer or traffic warden at any reasonable time. Complaints have to stay in the register for at least two years.

What can I do if I’m not happy with the towing operator’s response to my complaint?

If you’re not happy with the outcome after complaining directly to the tow-truck operator, consider one of the following options:

  • contacting the NZ Transport Agency – the NZTA deals with licensing of tow-truck operators and enforces the legal requirements that apply to tow-truck operations (see above, “Legal requirements for tow-truck operators”)
  • taking the issue to the Disputes Tribunal, if for example you want compensation for damage to your car (see the chapter “The Disputes Tribunal”)
  • complaining to the police if, for example, you believe you were assaulted.
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