Frequently Asked Questions

If my car has been towed, how can I find it?
To locate your towed vehicle, you can contact the Police Department’s non-emergency number. The Police Department will tell you if your car has been reported as towed by a private towing company.

How does a driver know that towing is enforced on a property?
Signs not less than 12×18 inches must be posted at all entrances to the premises alerting drivers that trespassing vehicles will be towed at the expense of the vehicle owner or custodian. The warning statement “towing at owner’s expense” must be written in letters not less than three inches in height. Other lettering on the sign may be smaller. Other information which the sign must contain includes the hours of the day and days of the week during which towing is in effect.

Why has European Type Approval for tow bars been introduced?

Directive 94/20/EC was introduced as part of EWVTA to provide a common standard throughout the European Community, thus creating an open market. Irrespective of where a tow bar has been Type Approved, a customer will know that it has been manufactured to a known technical and quality standard.

What happens if I don’t fit a Type Approved tow bar?

If your car is first registered on or after the 1st August 1998, you could be prosecuted for an infringement of Construction and Use Regulations or your Insurers may decline to pay out in the event of an accident claim.

I only tow a small trailer on rare occasions, surely I don’t need a type approved tow bar?

The towbar must be certified even if not used for towing! Otherwise it does not comply with the Road Traffic Act.

I am changing my car, can I fit the tow bar from my old car onto my new car?

Not unless you are purchasing the same make and model of car and your tow bar is type approved.

Is the towing capacity relevant to my car or tow bar?

The towing capacity is relevant to your vehicle and all vehicles have varying towing capacities.

Can I transfer my non approved tow bar from my 1996 Vauxhall Vectra to the new Vectra I am getting after August 1998 if I fit it myself?

No. Only Type Approved Tow bars can be fitted to vehicles that are registered on or after the 1st August 1998.

Does 94/20/EC mean that I can only have a swan neck tow bar fitted as supplied by the vehicle manufacturer?

No. A tow bar with the popular two hole faceplate and tow ball made by an independent tow bar manufacturer can be EC Type Approved.

How long does it take to have a tow bar fitted?

It can take anything from 30 minutes to 4 hours to fit a tow bar as fitting times vary with each bar.