Whether you’re towing a caravan around Australia or hauling a trailer full of tools to a job site, the vehicle you choose to pull the load is crucial.
However, if you’re involved in an accident and the vehicle is damaged, your ability to work or enjoy your holiday can be severely impacted while you wait for repairs.
But if the accident wasn’t your fault, there is a silver lining to the dark cloud of a not your fault accident – you are entitled to an accident replacement vehicle so that you can get back on the road while your car is fixed.
The insurance company of the person whose fault the accident was is liable for the cost – and you are entitled to a like-for-like replacement.
But there are three vital abilities the replacement towing vehicle needs before you accept it.
1. The same or greater towing capacity
The gold standard for towing capacity – the weight the vehicle is rated to safely pull – is 3.5 tonnes.
Most four wheel drives and utes have this capacity, but there are some modern models that only come up to a 2.5-tonne capacity, while many older models don’t come close.
If the vehicle you used for towing had a 3.5-tonne capacity, the replacement must match it, otherwise it may not be fit for your needs.
2. Traction control
Traction control is a modern safety feature on vehicles that allows the car’s transmission to get the surest grip with the road.
It will automatically redirect power from the engine to a wheel that’s lost grip or even ease off another, all to make the ride as smooth and safe as possible.
Traction control is a great feature to have when towing a large load, and if your car has this feature then it’s vital an accident replacement vehicle supplied to you also includes it.
3. Trailer controls
Most caravans and work trailers will have a set of electric brakes activated by a plug that runs from the car to the hitch.
This connection allows the trailer to assist with braking, placing far less stress on the tow vehicle and increasing safety.
It’s vital that if your car is damaged in an accident any replacement vehicle has this connection, otherwise you may not be able to safely control the load you want to pull.
An accident replacement vehicle is your right if the accident wasn’t your fault. But unless it can do the job you want it to, then it’s also your right to insist on features you need, such as good towing capacity, traction control and electric brakes.