There are many wonderful things about living in Australia—the abundant animal life, the postcard-worthy scenery, the low population density, etc. However, there is a downside. Australia has one of the highest rates of vehicle thefts in the world. Statistics from the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council suggest that a car is stolen somewhere in Australia every 10 minutes.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that as long as you know what to do in the event of a theft, you’ll have a better chance of getting your property back (or at least come out of the experience not too badly affected). Here are the five steps you can take when someone takes your car.
1. Make sure
Sometimes it can be difficult to remember exactly where you’ve left your car. Don’t be embarrassed, it happens to everyone. So, when you step outside and notice the spot where you thought you left your car is standing suspiciously vacant, don’t panic. Make sure you actually left the car where you thought you did. Perhaps you parked somewhere unusual last night, and you simply forgot. Once you’ve verified that, yes, your car really isn’t where you left it, you should consider the possibility that it has been towed. Look around for any signs indicating you may have been parked in a tow-away zone.
2. Call the police
The sooner you get law enforcement involved, the more likely it is you’ll be able to get your car back. The police will need your vehicle’s registration number, make, model, and colour, as well as the location and time of the car’s disappearance. If you have any ideas of who might have taken the car, then now is the time to share that information. Do you have a disgruntled former boyfriend/girlfriend who might have had access to a key? Have any suspicious individuals been hanging around where you park? Let the police office know, but be careful not to throw around unfounded accusations.
3. Contact your insurance provider
Once the police are on the case, you’ll need to make a few more phone calls to help get everything sorted out. The most important of these calls should be to your insurance company. Hopefully you’ll be insured against theft, and will qualify to be reimbursed. If not, well, at least you’ll have a chance to remove that particular vehicle from your policy, so you don’t end up paying money to keep it insured.
4. Look for it
If your car is going to be found, then the police are the most likely to find it. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t do your part to help. Check around online to see if any cars matching your vehicle’s description have been put up for sale after the date your car was stolen. There are also various sites online such as carsonline.com.au that will allow you to post your car’s description along with a photo, so other viewers can help you keep an eye out.
5. Move on
Well, you’ve done everything you can. The only thing left is to sit back and hope. But while you’re hoping, you can also try to figure out some of the minor details that go along with having a car stolen, such as how you’ll be able to get around town without a vehicle. Also, take some time to start researching other possible car purchases. Certainly there were some things that you didn’t like about your previous car—now’s your chance to find something better. Perhaps most importantly, don’t let it get you down. Yes, having a car stolen from you can be maddening, but it’s not the end of the world.