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Truck Renting and Leasing Association

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TRALA-SUPPORTED REPAIR AND STORAGE LEGISLATION TAKES EFFECT IN ONTARIO

On July 1, 2016, TRALA-supported new rules under the Repair and Storage Liens Act (RSLA) went into effect. As part of a long-running effort to reduce insurance premiums, the Ontario government had reviewed several pieces of legislation that could help to lower vehicle insurance rates in the province.  TRALA had lobbied the provincial government to remedy the outrageous towing and storage fees being charged in the Greater Toronto area as a key component in helping to reduce costs for motor carriers and their customers.

On July 1, 2016, TRALA-supported new rules under the Repair and Storage Liens Act (RSLA) went into effect. As part of a long-running effort to reduce insurance premiums, the Ontario government had reviewed several pieces of legislation that could help to lower vehicle insurance rates in the province.  TRALA had lobbied the provincial government to remedy the outrageous towing and storage fees being charged in the Greater Toronto area as a key component in helping to reduce costs for motor carriers and their customers.
 
The new law entitled the "Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act 2014" was passed in November of 2014 and finally begins to take effect this week.  In its final version, the law states that if a vehicle being stored is subject to a lien and is received from someone other than its owner or a person having the owner's authority, then the storage facility must give notice to the owner and other interested parties of the lien in writing. Storage facilities however, now have the option to give written notice by fax or e-mail.  For vehicles registered in Ontario, the notice period is reduced from 60 days to 15 days from the day after the vehicle is received.  If notice is not provided within 15 days, a storage facility's lien is limited to the unpaid amount owed for that period.
 
This new law includes a 15-day notification period for storage facilities to inform the owner or lienholder that their vehicle has been towed.  The 15-day requirement only affects vehicles registered in Ontario, owners of vehicles registered outside of Ontario must be notified in 60 days that their vehicle was towed and stored. TRALA and its allies fought hard to make all vehicles towed subject to the 15-day requirement, however, the Ontario government did not include this provision in the final law. 
  
Additional legislative directives under the Repair and Storage Liens Act and the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) will go into effect on January 1, 2017.  In the new law, the Ontario government will require a towing and storage company to gain permission from the consumer or someone acting on their behalf before towing and storing a vehicle.  Additionally, they must notify customers where their vehicle will be towed, allow customers access to their vehicle at no charge, and provide customers with an itemized list of services.
 
Many TRALA members with vehicles registered in Ontario will be able to benefit from this new law. The current average cost for the tow and storage of a rental vehicle in the greater Toronto area is $1,600.00 and so the passage of this law is expected to greatly lessen these costs on TRALA members.
 
You may view the final regulations from the Ontario government by clicking here
 
You may view a fact sheet on the Repair and Storage Lien Act by clicking here
 
You may view a summary on the Repair and Storage Lien Act by clicking here
 
If you have any questions please contact Peter Einisman at PeterEinisman@trala.org.