Over the past years, the rate of stolen cars has declined, thanks to technological advances. However, the same technology has made it easy for thieves. Unlike the past where you only needed to hit-wire and steal the car, today you can use smart keys or switch identification numbers. So, do you know the steps to take if your car was stolen? Many people take the wrong steps and the more they take to report the theft, the harder it becomes to get their car back. If your car is stolen, here are important things you should do first.
Confirm the Car is Really Stolen
Before you report to the police or conclude your car has been stolen, confirm with the parking authority whether the car was towed away. You might have unknowingly parked it at the wrong place. So, check with the towing company nearby, the police station, or the parking authorities. Confirm where you parked your car. You may also ask the people around for any information.
Track the Car with a Tracking Device
Most cars have a tracking system. If yours does, track it to check its location. If your vehicle does not have the system, you may need to get an investigator to track it for you. Insignis Investigations is one of the best-known companies that provide various services including GPS tracking. Such companies will assist find the car. You will need to give them your VIN and the last place you saw the car.
Report to the Police
Once you have confirmed the above and you are sure the car is actually stolen, report it to the police. You can either call them or visit the nearest police station. When reporting, you will need to give the following details.
- The model, color, and make of the car
- License plate number
- The VIN
- The last place you saw the car
Make sure you report immediately you confirm it. You will require the police report when filing your insurance claim.
Call your Insurer
Immediately you call the police, this is the next important thing you should do. In case you take long, you may look questionable. This will ensure you get compensated in case the car is not returned. You will also protect yourself from liability should the vehicle get damaged. When you contact your insurer, make sure you give them these details;
- Location of your vehicle
- Time and date of theft
- Description of the vehicle and the condition during the theft
- Police number
- Contact details of the company financing your car if it was on loan
Prepare for the Possibility that Your Car May not Return
According to statistics, only half of the stolen cars are returned. Most thieves steal the car parts and if you happen to find yours, it may be a few pieces or it may disappear completely. So, prepare for this possibility.
After such an incident, it is crucial to think of how you will prevent it in the future. You need to take measures like installing anti-theft devices. Before you do that, follow the above steps in the event your car is stolen.