File picture: Alon Skuy

Durban - The United Towing Association of SA (Utasa) has warned that a spike in the petrol price could lead to many in the industry having to increase their prices.

Utasa national chairperson, Ettienne Pel, said with the petrol price climbing to over R17 per litre, operators could not operate at the rates currently offered.

“As an industry, we are left with no choice but to increase our rates drastically. Running costs average at R12 per kilometre as per manufacturers’ reports. We are informing operators that we are not price fixing but opening the platform to discuss and negotiate, given the current rates per kilometre,” he said.

Pel said at the moment, they cannot operate their vehicles at R6 per km or at the average rate of R600 per 20km radius.

“Suggested rates, as per manufacturers’ guidelines and sustainability of business, are in the vicinity of R12 per km for vehicles up to four-ton carrying capacity after 20km radius, with R950 for mechanical tows within 20km radius and R3950 within 20km. These are all minus vat,” Pel said.

He said the suggestion does not mean better rates cannot be negotiated with operators who are in a better position to offer lesser rates.

“Where towers have current agreements in place with insurers and call centres, they are compelled to adhere to their SLA's, but we urge all insurers and call centres to review these rates urgently, as it may impact negatively on your clients assistance, which we pride ourselves in as priority, when providing assistance,” Pel said.

Daily News