What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

Posted on March 5, 2013 ยท Posted in Insurance Guides

It is essential to follow the correct processes if your vehicle has been stolen. Although it can be a stressful time, remembering the right steps to take could increase the chance of having your vehicle recovered and make sure insurance claims proceed swiftly. Follow the steps outlined below if you suspect your car has been stolen.

Report it to the police
The first step to take is to contact your local police station in order to report the theft. Ensure you have the following details to hand when you make the call: your car’s registration number, its colour, model and make. Your local authority will get in touch with the DVLA to inform them about the details of the theft and the information pertaining to your car. You will then be given a crime reference number, which you can use if you want to make an insurance claim.

Speak to your insurance provider
Talking to your insurance company is the next essential step. You will require the crime reference number provided by the police when you make the call. If your vehicle is not found, you may want to make an insurance claim on your stolen car. This means that if your claim is successful you will receive a pay-out from your insurance provider. Depending on the type of policy you hold, you may be entitled to the use of a courtesy car while you look for a new vehicle.

Inform the DVLA
In the event that your car is not recovered, and you decide to make a claim from your insurance provider, you will need to complete a notification of sale or transfer on the V5c/3 part of your registration certificate. You should then send this in a letter to the DVLA, in which you should give information about your insurance provider, the claim date and your vehicle details (colour, model, make and registration). You should also end the letter with your signature.

Make an application for a vehicle tax refund
You can use the crime reference number given to you by the police if you decide apply for a tax disc refund. The police usually tell drivers to wait for seven days in case their car is found during this time. You should fill in form V33, including the crime reference number, and post it to the DVLA Refund Section.

Personalised number plates
If you have a personalised number plate and your car is stolen, you can apply to the DVLA to get your right to use the plate back. The car must have had an up-to-date tax disc and valid MOT when it was taken in order to be eligible. After speaking to the police and your insurance provider, write to the DVLA with a letter from your insurance company and your crime reference number, to alert them about your number plates. They will hold the information about the personalised plates and the stolen vehicle on their database for a year. After a year, you will be able to apply to get your personalised registration back. If your car is recovered, you must make an application to keep the registration plates (known as retention) or transfer them to a new vehicle.

If you have problems with car crime in your area, it may be worth investing in extra security features for your vehicle, such as a tracking device. Be careful where you leave your keys too, as according to the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre 70% of stolen cars in the UK are taken using the key.

Written by James Sheehan, a blogger with past legal experience.