Who pays for towing after an accident?

One question everyone has after they’ve been in an accident is who has to pay for the tow truck. Accidents are already stressful and expensive enough, so let’s run through what you need to know when it comes to payment.

The answer will depend on a few simple factors, so we’ll lay them out clearly for you below, as they apply to Redlands, Capalaba and the Greater Brisbane region. If you want to dig deeper, check out TMR’s Tow Truck Scheme info and the areas they apply to.

When the other driver is at fault

The first factor in figuring out who pays for towing after an accident is who was at fault. In simple terms, the person at fault is the one responsible for the towing costs of all vehicles involved in the accident.

So, when the other driver is at fault, they’re the one responsible for paying the towing fees. Who actually makes the payment will be a matter of insurance.

If you have comprehensive insurance, you just have to call them. Generally, they’ll arrange a tow truck for you and take care of the associated fees. This also covers storage costs if they’re required too. Of course, check the details with your insurer as different companies and policies can vary.

If you don’t have comprehensive insurance, then the costs become the responsibility of their insurance company. Again, confirm the details with their insurer as the specifics can vary.

If neither of you have insurance, you’ll need to pay the towing costs out of pocket on the day. But, make sure you keep your receipt as you’ll be able to claim this expensive from the at-fault driver later.

When you’re the driver at fault

Unfortunately, you’re responsible for all necessary towing costs if you’re deemed to be the at-fault driver in an accident. If you have an insurance policy that covers towing, then this should cover towing costs for you and the other driver(s). Just make sure you confirm that with them over the phone to avoid any nasty surprises later.

Of course, this also applies for single-vehicle collisions. In those situations, you (or your insurer if you have one) are responsible for any associated costs.

What about when fault is unclear?

In some situations, fault becomes a complex matter for insurance companies, police and/or lawyers to figure out. Since you can’t wait by your vehicle for all of that to happen, what do you do on the day? Unfortunately, similar rules apply as if you’re the at fault driver.

The difference is, if the other driver is later found to be at fault, they’ll have to reimburse you for those costs–make sure you keep that receipt!

If you have an insurance policy that covers towing, give them a quick call while you’re on the scene. They’ll be able to guide you through the next steps and any payment that’s required. Generally, you won’t be out of pocket if your policy covers the tow.

What if you are partially to blame for the accident?

This is a tricky scenario and is often dependent upon the facts of the case. If you were 50% at fault, then you are only entitled to 50% of the recovery costs, which includes towing fees. 

However, if you are 51% or more to blame, it’s likely that you will be barred from receiving financial support.

We highly recommend gathering evidence from the accident, including witness statements, to refute these claims if you think they’re wrong. Determining who pays for towing after an accident is circumstantial and depends upon who is at fault and whether they have insurance.

However, it is always important to be aware of your rights when it comes to these situations as it may help you recover costs that you were originally liable to pay. 

If you have been in an accident and require accident towing in the Redlands or the greater Brisbane region, call SEQ Towing Service on 07 3245 6051 immediately and we can assist to get you to safety as quickly as possible.

Know the maximum towing operators can charge

The towing industry is heavily regulated, which includes a maximum amount towing operators are allowed to charge for accident towing.

Maximum allowed accident towing charges:

  • $405.30—for the first 50km
  • $8.05—for each kilometre over 50km.