Who Pays for Towing After an Accident?

Being in a car accident can be incredibly stressful, and the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether you’ll need to pay to have your car towed. Even small collisions can cause enough damage to make your car dangerous to drive, so it’s important to have your car inspected by a professional after any sort of accident. Whether you will be liable to pay for the cost of towing depends on who was at fault in the accident. In most cases, one of three parties will be liable to pay the towing bill: you, your insurance company or the other driver. We’re going to cover each of these in the article below and outline who will be responsible for the towing bill if you’re ever in a vehicle accident.

Two cars front crash accident

Who Pays for Towing if the Other Driver is At Fault?

Small accidents happen all the time. It only takes a moment of inattention from another driver to cause a collision that makes your car undriveable. Luckily, if the other driver is at-fault in an accident, they’ll be responsible for covering the cost of towing your car. There are a handful of scenarios to consider:

  • If you have comprehensive insurance – all you need to do is contact your insurer. In most cases, they’ll be the ones to organise a tow truck to come and collect your car. They will then recover the expense of towing from the other driver or their insurance company. You don’t need to worry about whether the other driver has insurance. Your insurance company will sort out the details.
  • If you don’t have comprehensive insurance – the other driver’s insurance company may be able to arrange for a tow truck to pick your car up. 

If neither of you has comprehensive insurance – you’ll need to pay for the tow truck out of your own pocket. Just make sure to save your receipt. You’ll be able to claim this expense from the at-fault driver at a later date.

Who Pays for Towing if You are At Fault?

If you were the at-fault driver in an accident, you’ll usually be the one who needs to pay for towing expenses. That includes towing your own car and the vehicle of the other driver. As above, if you have an insurance plan that covers the cost of accident towing, you can contact your insurer and they’ll handle arranging tow trucks. Your insurance company may require you to pay for the expense personally, depending on the terms of your policy. This is also the case if you’re involved in an accident where you’re the only driver, like if you ran into a fence or signpost.

Who Pays for Towing if the Fault is Unclear?

Not all accidents are so cut and dry. There can be confusion or disputes about who was at fault. If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing you can do is contact your insurer and let them sort it out. Make sure to gather any evidence you can, including:

  • Photos of your car
  • Photos of any other vehicles involved
  • Dash cam footage showing the accident
  • A copy of your police statement

If it’s unclear who’s at fault, the simplest thing is to pay for the towing out of your own pocket. Like we said above, if you pay for the towing yourself then you should save the receipt so that you can be reimbursed for the expense by your insurer or the at-fault driver at a later date.

Queensland’s Accident Towing Regulations

Accident towing of cars, motorbikes and other vehicles is regulated by the Queensland Government. In major cities like Brisbane, Gold Coast, Logan and Ipswich, the Department of Transport and Main Roads has set rules about how much professional towing companies can charge following an accident.

Brisbane’s accident towing regulations state that tow truck operators can charge up to a maximum amount (currently $391.90) for a “standard tow” following a crash. A standard tow includes:

  • Towing of your car
  • 60 minutes of working time at the accident scene to prepare the car for towing and clean up the site
  • Transport of your damaged car to the agreed destination
  • 72 hours of storage in the tow operators storage yard

Have You Been in an Accident and Need a Tow? Contact Harvey’s Towing Today!

Even minor accidents can do lots of damage to a vehicle. If you’re involved in a collision, you need to have your car towed to a mechanic or insurance assessment centre for an inspection. Whether you, your insurer or the other driver is liable for the cost, the professional team at Harvey’s Towing can get your car where it needs to go. We work with insurers across the Brisbane region, offering accident towing 24 hours a day. Our fleet is equipped to tow all motorbikes, cars and heavy haulage vehicles after an accident. Simply get in touch with us to make an appointment, or phone us on 07 3297 0911 and we’ll send our nearest tow truck to meet you.