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Car security: what to do if your car is stolen

What should you do if you discover that your car has been stolen? There are a few simple steps you should take to minimise your losses and get the insurance claim going through as swiftly as possible

Words ByClaire Evans

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If your car is stolen, the first call you need to make is to the police. They’ll ask you to run through all the details and will give you a crime reference number.

It’s important to call them as soon as you can to get the theft on record; you don’t want to find yourself liable for any speeding fines thieves might collect while driving off in your car, or for any unpaid petrol bills if they fill up and drive off without paying.

Your next call should be to your car insurance company. Give them your crime reference number and they’ll start the process of making an insurance claim.

You don’t need to contact the DVLA at this stage because the police will inform them that your car has been reported stolen. You will need to contact the DVLA when your insurance company pays out, however.

If you lease your car or have outstanding finance on it, call the finance company to let them know what has happened; keep them updated on the progress of your insurance claim and tell them if your car is recovered.

Finally, make sure you contact the DVLA to get a refund on the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) paid on your car. Remember to keep your crime reference number handy because you’ll need it for this as well.

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