What to Do if Your Car is Stolen

Find out the steps you should take if your vehicle is stolen right here in Savvy’s helpful guide.

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, updated on February 16th, 2024       

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Car Insurance Banner - Young man with hands on his head standing in a carpark after his car is stolen

Discovering your car has been stolen can be a distressing and unnerving experience. No matter where you live, it's essential to know how to respond promptly and effectively if you find yourself in this situation. Savvy’s comprehensive guide walks you through the essential steps to take if your car is stolen, helping you navigate the process smoothly.

What steps should I take if my car is stolen?

Stay calm and verify the theft

The initial shock of discovering your car is missing can be overwhelming, but it's crucial to stay calm. Take a moment to ensure you’re parked in the correct location or check with family members or friends if they have borrowed the vehicle.

Contact police

If you confirm that your car has indeed been stolen, immediately contact police and provide them with detailed information about your vehicle, including its make, model, colour, registration number and any distinctive features, and details surrounding the theft of your vehicle.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that if your car was stolen from your property, you should avoid touching anything which may have also been touched by the thief. This may help police identify if any fingerprints are present at the scene.

Contact your insurance provider

Once you’ve reported the theft to the police, it's time to inform your car insurance provider. Most insurance companies require prompt notification of the incident, so contact them as soon as possible. Provide them with all relevant details, such as the police report number and the time and location of the theft. Your insurer will guide you through the claims process and inform you about the coverage you have for a stolen vehicle.

Keep an ear to the ground

Although the police will be undergoing their processes to hopefully locate your car, you can also contribute to the cause. Checking around on car-selling websites for vehicles matching the description of yours can be a great first step, while you may wish to put the call out on social media to see if anyone you know or who lives in your city might have an idea of where your car is.

Be patient and hopeful

The recovery process may take time, so it's essential to remain patient and hopeful. Continue cooperating with the authorities and your insurance provider as they work towards a resolution.

Remember, the best defence against car theft is prevention. Always lock your vehicle and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight. By staying vigilant and taking immediate action if your car is stolen, you can increase the likelihood of a successful recovery and protect your valuable asset on the roads.

What happens if my stolen car isn’t found?

In the event your car isn’t found, your insurer can provide you with a lump sum payout for the total loss of the vehicle (up to an amount specified in your policy). This will usually come after a certain period has passed, often a few weeks or a month.

However, if your car is found after you receive a payout from your insurer, the police will surrender the vehicle to your insurer, as they’re now essentially the owner of the car. From here, your insurer may be able to return the car to you in return for a reimbursement of your payout or retain the vehicle, such as if it’s in a condition deemed unrepairable.

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