Having your car stolen can be a traumatic and distressing experience, but it is important to try and remain calm and make sure you have the relevant information to hand when you contact the police and your insurer.
What do I do now?
If your car has been stolen you should take the following steps as quickly as possible:-
You will need to have the following details about your vehicle to hand - your registration number, colour, make, model and your insurance policy details
Make a list of any items of value that were in your vehicle at the time
Now get in touch with the police. They will ask you for your vehicle details along with information about the circumstances of the offence. They will also give you a crime reference number
Contact your insurer or claims advisor. They will take all your details including the crime reference number and let you know your position with regards to a possible claim.
What happens if my stolen car is recovered?
If your car is recovered and it is damaged, you may be able to claim for the damage to be repaired on your insurance policy.
This would involve an inspection of the damage by an automotive engineer, with the repairs being carried out by an approved repair centre or garage.
The claims process can sometimes be lengthy, so you should keep in regular contact with your policy provider to ensure that everything is progressed promptly.
What happens if my stolen car is not recovered?
If your car is not recovered you may be able to claim on your insurance policy. If your insurer decides to pay out for your claim you will have to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) of the date your settlement payment was accepted and your insurers details.
You will also need to fill out the 'notification of sale or transfer' section of your vehicle registration (or vehicle owners) document and return it to the DVLA.
To obtain a refund of your car tax you will need a special form called a V33 which will have to be obtained by contacting the DVLA through their customer enquiries phone line.
You should wait at least seven days before applying for a refund in case your vehicle is recovered by the police and you will need the crime reference number provided by the police when you reported the theft.
If you still require a refund even though your car has been recovered, you can still do so but you will have to let the DVLA know what has happened to your car since it was recovered.
How can I prevent my car from being stolen?
This is a big topic, but there are a few basic steps you can take that could help you minimise the risk of your car being stolen.
Try to keep your car parked near your home and off the road if possible
If you are away from home and have to park your car overnight somewhere, try to park in a well lit area
Buy a basic steering or handbrake lock for your car. These provide a highly visible deterrent and are relatively inexpensive
A car alarm of any type is helpful and if you have one fitted that has been approved by your insurer, it may reduce your annual insurance costs
If you have had a car accident and would like some free help and advice please call us on 02392 484 244 and one of our UK based advisors will be happy to help.