Having your car stolen is a disaster and it may leave you feeling powerless as to what to do next. Unfortunately, vehicle thefts are on the rise across the UK. This means the chances of having your car stolen are unfortunately higher than ever. If you find yourself the unfortunate victim of theft, staying calm and taking the right steps quickly is crucial.

File a Police Report Immediately 

Time is of the essence. The quicker you report your stolen car, the better the chance the police have of recovering it. Head to your nearest station or call 101 and ask to be put through to your local police. Make sure to have the following information readily available:

  • Vehicle Registration Number 
  • Make, Model and Colour
  • Any Distinctive Features
  • The Last Time and Place You Parked Your Car

The police will provide you with a crime reference number. Hold onto this for your insurance claim.

Contact Your Insurance Company

After reporting the theft to the police, your next step is to contact your insurance provider. They will need your policy details, the crime reference number and any other information about the stolen vehicle.

Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process. The compensation you receive will depend on your coverage and they will advise you on the excess you may need to pay.

Cancel Your Registration 

While the police investigate, it’s important to prevent the thief from using your car legally. Contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to cancel your vehicle registration. This will also prevent the thief from racking up fines or charges in your name. You can do this online through the GOV.UK website or by calling the DVLA. 

Consider Gap Insurance

If you financed or leased your car, there might be an outstanding sum between what your insurance company pays out and the outstanding loan or lease balance. This can leave you financially responsible for the difference. Gap insurance covers this specific situation.

Here’s where it gets a bit more nuanced: Is gap insurance actually worth it?

  • Consider the Value of Your Car: If your car is relatively new and has a high value, the gap between the insurance payout and the outstanding loan could be significant.
  • Down Payment Size: A larger down payment means a smaller loan balance, making this type of insurance less necessary.
  • Loan Terms: Longer loan terms with higher interest rates can lead to a larger potential discrepancy.

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