Car Theft Is on the Rise. 5 Steps to Take if Your Car Gets Stolen

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  • It's important to act quickly if your car has been stolen.
  • Be sure to keep all relevant paperwork handy so that you can provide the necessary information to the police, insurance company, and lender.
  • You'll also need to contact the DMV.

Taking these steps will increase the chances of getting your car in good shape.

Car theft is a growing problem, with over 930,000 vehicles stolen in the United States last year. If you become one of those victims, it can be a devastating experience. But there are steps you can take to make sure your car gets returned and minimize the damage done to your finances and credit. Here are five steps you should take if your car gets stolen.

1. Notify the police immediately

The first thing you should do if your car is stolen is call the police immediately and file a report. This will help them locate your vehicle faster, as well as provide valuable evidence for any insurance claim or criminal proceedings that may follow. Be sure to provide the police with all relevant information about the vehicle, such as make, model, VIN number, license plate number, and so on.

2. Contact your insurance company

Once you’ve notified the police about the theft of your car, contact your car insurance company as soon as possible to start an insurance claim process. Depending on your policy coverage and type of theft (theft by force or unauthorized use), it may cover some or all of the costs associated with replacing or recovering your car.

3. Contact your lender, lienholder, or lessor

If you are still paying off your car loan or leasing the vehicle, contact your lienholder, lender, or lessor as soon as possible to let them know what has happened. If you are financing your car purchase, ask what steps you will need to take, since any insurance payouts will go to the lender. To expedite the claims process, link your insurance company with the lender.

4. Contact the DMV

Contact and file a report with your state's department of motor vehicles (DMV). This is different from filing a police report. The DMV can update its records accordingly and mark your plates as missing or stolen. It can also cancel your registration so you can avoid charges related to renewals or upcoming required safety checks.

5. Change your lock system

If you are lucky enough to get your car recovered, it’s important to change out any lock systems that were installed prior to its theft. Update your car with keyless entry systems, change the door locks, or add security devices like steering wheel locks. Investing in these extra precautions will help protect against future thefts!

Car theft is a serious problem that affects close to a million people each year. It's important to be prepared before anything happens. Make sure you have good auto insurance coverage and take extra precautions such as installing additional security features on your vehicle. However, if something does happen -- such as having your vehicle stolen -- it’s essential to act quickly by following these five steps. This will increase the chances of recovery while minimizing any negative financial repercussions.

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