None of us think our car will be the one to get stolen, but sadly, it happens an awful lot and could well happen to you at any time. If you do find yourself in this horrible position, here is a list of things to do so you can keep your wits about you.
- Check and check again
You’d be surprised at how many people think their car has been stolen when it hasn’t. You might think you would never make this mistake, but we all make mistakes so could it be possible that you’ve simply misplaced it? Have you parked somewhere you shouldn’t have and had it towed away? Did you even travel in your car that day? Be absolutely sure before you take the next steps.
- Towed or stolen?
If you realise it’s been towed, to find out where it has been taken you can call 101 or visit your local police station. You will most likely need to pay a release fee at the compound and possibly an additional charge if you were parked illegally.
If you know it’s been stolen, ring the police straight away. They will need to know the vehicle registration, model, make and colour. You’ll be provided with a crime reference number which you’ll need to give to your insurers.
A GPS tracking device can help in this situation, helping to pin-point your vehicle’s location. Tell the police if you have one of these devices fitted but don’t go looking for the vehicle yourself. For more information on Vehicle Tracking, visit https://www.vehicle-accessories.net/vehicle-tracking/
- Contact your insurance provider
Once you’ve informed the police, it’s time to contact your insurer to start making a claim. It’s important to try to remember every possession that was inside your vehicle when it was stolen. When your insurer pays out for your claim, you must inform the DVSA that it has been sold to your insurance company.
- Personalised number plates
If you had a personalised number plate on your stolen vehicle, you must wait a year before you can apply to have it transferred to your current vehicle. If you have made a claim with your insurer and informed the DVSA you have sold your car to the insurance company, you cannot claim your personalised plate back.
Ideally, your car will never be stolen and there are preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk.
Ensure it is locked whenever you leave it, even if it’s only for a minute. Make sure all windows are fully closed too. Check that you’ve locked it before you walk away, whether you’re outside your property, at work or in a car park.
Be mindful of where you’re parking. Try to choose places that are well lit and near security cameras. If parking at a shop, try to choose a space close to the entrance and/or other cars.
Don’t display your personal belongings inside your vehicle. Get into the habit of taking all of your belongings with you as leaving things lying in full view is too tempting to a thief.