Car theft is one of those scenarios that you think will never happen to you. But car theft can happen to anyone. In fact, Australia has one of the highest rates of car theft in the world, with a car stolen every 12 minutes. The good news is that knowing what to do in the event of a theft will increase your chances of getting your vehicle back. Here are the steps you should take if your car gets stolen:
1. Stay Calm
Losing your car is nerve-wracking but panicking won’t do any good either. Instead, focus on staying calm. For example, if you parked somewhere, ask people around if they noticed anything out of the ordinary. There may be a chance that someone saw it leave. Remember to write down what they have seen and get their contact information for reference. You can also check if there are any closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the area, which can help authorities.
2. Call the Police
The sooner you call the police, the better your chance of getting your car back. Notify authorities immediately so they can send word to officers on duty to look out for your vehicle. After calling the police, you’ll file a stolen car report and provide key information about your vehicle such as model, make, and VIN number. You will also need to report personal belongings left inside the car when it was stolen, especially if they include important documents.
3. Contact Your Insurance Provider
After calling the police, you’ll need to contact your insurer. Report details of the theft and confirm your policy number and coverage. If you have a comprehensive car insurance, your provider may cover the costs of car rental, the stolen car, or damage caused by the theft. Check your policy or confirm the details with your car insurer. If your car is under a finance agreement, you should also call the lender. Both your insurer and lender will likely require a copy of the police report so make sure to have it on hand.
4. Inform Other People
If you had ID, credit cards, or other important belongings inside your car, notify your bank and other providers as soon as possible. You should also call a locksmith and have your locks changed if you left your house keys in the car.
5. Check Online
Check online car selling sites to check if any cars match your vehicle’s description. Some online sites will allow you to post your car’s description so other users can keep an eye out for it too.
6. Think About Getting a Replacement
If the police have exhausted all means to find your car and it still hasn’t been returned, it’s best to move on and think about replacement options. A comprehensive car insurance may cover the cost of getting a new vehicle so ask your insurer about it. Hopefully, once you get a new car, you won’t have to go through car theft again.
7. Better Protect Yourself
Car theft can happen to anyone, regardless of what model of car you drive or where you are. There are ways you can better protect your car, through simple steps you can incorporate into daily life. We’ve explored these anti-theft measures here.
A comprehensive car insurance from PD covers your car for loss or damage caused by a theft, including a new vehicle (if yours is less than 12 months old) or agreed value for your car if it’s stolen or a write-off) and a rental car if your car is stolen. Did you know we provide discounted car insurance for people who are the only drivers of their car? Get car insurance online or call us to find out more.
Over to You – What to Do When Your Car is Stolen
We’d love to know if you have any more tips to help others out? Or, feel free to share your experience below.