You’re all done shopping or hanging out with a buddy. You’re rooting around in your bag or pockets for your car keys. You find them. You look around for your car, and…
A stolen car: It’s one of those situations where the level of how awful it is only registers when it actually happens to you. At Metuchen Rent-A-Car, we hear “stolen car” cases all the time, since we offer insurance cars. When owners realize their car has been stolen, they tend to panic and go into a mode where they don’t think clearly. Because of this, it’s good to know exactly what to do if your car is ever stolen. Having a checklist in your head can help immensely, should this ever happen to you. (We sincerely hope it doesn’t.)
1. Make sure your car has actually been stolen.
This may seem like a silly beginner, but it’s true. Every driver has, at one point, truly believed their car has been stolen when in fact it has not. It’s simply parked one street over, or one level up. Or, in some crazy cases, someone is playing a prank and the car is safe somewhere. Did you accidentally park under a “No Parking” sign? Another possibility: your car’s been towed. So take a second, think, and check with the police impound before reporting your car stolen.
2. Call the police.
In the case that your car really has been stolen, call the police, and soon. The sooner you call, the more likely your car will be recovered—and most times, the police will add your vehicle information to nation- and state-wide records, making it more difficult for whoever stole your car to sell or re-title it. In the police report, they will need to know everything about your vehicle, including the make, model, registration, license plate number, VIN number, any tracking device information, and where it was parked. You’ll need a copy of this report yourself for your insurance.
3. Call your insurance carrier.
After the police, you’ll need to call your insurance provider. Like the police, they will need to know lots of information. Many insurance policies that cover only the state minimum requirements will not include reimbursement for a stolen car. Check with your auto insurance carrier if you don’t already know, but if you want coverage for your car if your car is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by weather, you’ll need comprehensive auto insurance.
4. Call the DMV.
This is an important, and often forgotten, step to take. The DMV keeps a database of stolen cars, and will work with the police to get a stolen vehicle back to its owner.
Once you’ve taken care of the phone calls, try your best to relax. True, it’s extremely frustrating and violating to have your car stolen. But it does happen. You may need to scream or punch a pillow first, but then try hard to be okay. The best thing to do now is wait for the police to find it, or if you’re the “take matters into your own hands” type, you can attempt to search for your car online (Facebook posts, Craigslist alerts, etc.)
Metuchen Rent-A-Car has you covered when it comes to insurance rentals. We hope you never need one, but if you do, contact us at (732) 548-2800 to make a reservation with one of New Jersey’s most trusted and professional car-rental companies. We’re located in Metuchen, NJ, and proudly serve Edison, Woodbridge, Highland Park, Piscataway, and the surrounding NJ area.