CAA Study Reveals A Majority Of Ontario Drivers Favour Provincial Towing Oversight


A recent study conducted on behalf of CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) indicates that 90 per cent of Ontario drivers agree with regulations such as tow truck licensing, certification and provincial oversight.

The study, commissioned in April 2020, revealed that only 1 out of 5 Ontario drivers feel “very protected” under the current system.

“Consumers should have the confidence that they will be protected regardless of where in the province they are and what kind of towing services they may require,” says Teresa Di Felice, assistant vice-president of government and community relations.

The study also showed that half of Ontario drivers believe that tow trucks in Ontario are licensed. This is not the case.

A lack of provincial oversight in the towing industry has led to a municipal patchwork of bylaws, which includes inconsistent towing rates, processes, and standards. It has also left motorists unsure on what the rules are, and how to protect themselves from fraudulent activities particularly when it comes to collision tow services.

At present, only 18 of Ontario’s 444 municipalities have bylaws regulating towing. That is less than five percent of all communities across the province.

“Provincial oversight should provide consistent levels of training for operators, ensure the vitality of an important service on Ontario roads, establish penalties for those that do not follow the rules and recognize people drive outside of cities boundaries.”

Some other interesting facts from the study are:

  • An overwhelming majority (91%) of the respondents oppose the idea of anyone driving a tow truck without specific tow truck driver education or training.
  • More than 4 out of 5 respondents agree that the cost of towing and related fees can be misleading.

In June, the Ontario government announced its commitment to assemble a task force to review and reform the towing industry. For over a decade, CAA has been advocating for changes to the towing industry. The announcement of a provincial task force is a strong step in the right direction.

As part of the journey toward a fair towing framework, please join CAA, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario (PTAO) for a virtual discussion on the challenges of the towing industry and an overview of what the future of towing could entail. The virtual townhall will take place on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

To register and for more information, visit:

The statistically representative study, commissioned by CAA SCO and conducted by Campaign Research between April 21st to 24th, 2020, surveyed 5,003 Ontarians that hold a valid driver’s license. The study was conducted through online surveys. A probabilistic sample of a similar size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4%, 19 times out of 20.


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