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My Car Is Stolen & I Pay On Finance – What Should I Do?

If you are still paying on finance for your car and it has been stolen, you should follow these steps to ensure the best outcome for yourself, and to reduce stress.

First Steps After Your Car Is Stolen

The first thing you should do if you believe your car has been stolen is check there hasn’t been a mixup with a family member or one of your friends. If there hasn’t been, and your car is still missing, you should inform the police and your insurance company.

You should call the police on 101, not 999, as it is not a life-threatening incident. You should give them as much detail about the car as possible, including anything that makes your car stand out, and if you have made any modifications to it.

The police will give you a crime reference number, which you will need to note as you will have to pass it to your insurance company and finance company when reporting it to them. You won’t need to inform the DVLA as the police will do this on your behalf. They will also notify them if your car is recovered.

How To Inform Your Insurance Company Your Car Has Been Stolen

You need to notify your insurance company as soon as you can after your car has been stolen and give them the crime reference number that you received from the police. If you don’t, you risk a delay in your claim being resolved and receiving a payout. Getting this done promptly means you can get on sooner with the task of buying a replacement car.

You need to ensure you give accurate information to your insurance company to reduce the risk of a payout being delayed. Once you have passed over all information and the case has been opened, the insurance company has up to 3 months to settle it. If the amount they offer you isn’t to your liking you are able to challenge it and raise a dispute regarding the amount offered if you believe your car is worth more. 


Related Reading: Top Tips On How To Prevent Car Theft


How To Inform The DVLA Your Car Has Been Stolen

The police initially inform the DVLA that your vehicle has been stolen, but you need to let them know when your claim has been settled by filling in the V5C/3 part of your V5C registration document.

You will also need to send a letter stating that your insurance company have paid out, including the name of your insurance provider and how much they paid. The rest of your V5C document will then need to be sent to your insurer.

If you have already sent this form to your insurer before filling out these details, let them know in your letter. Details such as your vehicle’s registration number, make and model, and colour should be included in this letter.

Will I Get A VED Refund?

If within a week, your car has not been found, you can call DVLA and ask for a refund on your vehicle excise duty (VED, also referred to as road tax). This can be done by filling in a V33 form online.

If you pay VED monthly, rather than in a lump sum, you won’t be eligible for a refund. If your vehicle is still missing you should cancel any upcoming payments with the bank and the DVLA.

I Purchased On Finance – What Happens?

If you are paying for your car on finance and your car gets stolen, it is important to let your finance provider know as soon as you can, but after you have informed the police and your insurance provider. You should report it to them, giving them any details the police and insurance provider have given to you, such as the crime reference number. You will need to continue with your repayments whilst your car is missing.

If it isn’t recovered and your insurance company payout, you should use the payout to pay off the remainder of your balance. If there is money still owed you will need to settle the difference. Once this is done you can start a new finance agreement for a new car.  This is one of the times having GAP insurance is beneficial.


Related Reading: 10 Most Stolen Cars In The UK 2023


I Had A Private Registration – What Happens?

If you had a private registration on the car, you can request that it be transferred to another vehicle, but there are some conditions:

  1. 1 year must have passed since the vehicle was stolen.
  2. The theft must have been reported to the police and you must have a crime reference number.
  3. You must have a letter from your insurer that shows they have agreed you can transfer the number plate to a new car.
  4. The stolen car must have been taxed with a current MOT at the time of the theft.

Should I Take Out GAP Insurance?

If there’s a shortfall between the amount you owe on finance, and the settlement figure offered by your insurer, then Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance could cover this.

GAP insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but if you purchase your car on finance, it is worth considering. Some insurance policies have this included, so it is wise to check if you are already covered before taking out additional protection.


Related Reading: Lost Or Stolen Car Keys?


Need Gap Insurance?

There are a few different types of policy you can choose from when taking out your Gap Insurance cover with Click4Gap. These depend largely on how you intend to fund the purchase of your vehicle. So what car Gap Insurance is right for you?

Combined Return to Invoice Gap Insurance

If you paid cash for your vehicle, or paid a sizeable deposit, or if you financed it, Combined RTI Gap cover will pay out the shortfall between the cost of your vehicle and the market value at the point of claim, which is the amount your motor insurer will cover. This is cover that will protect you no matter if you use your vehicle for private use or for business.

Lease/Contract Hire Gap Insurance

If you leased your vehicle or it is under a contract hire agreement, Lease/Contract Hire Gap Insurance will cover you for the shortfall on your lease agreement, after your motor insurer settlement. If, for any reason, you change your vehicle within the first 90 days from the start date, we will also arrange to transfer your cover to your new vehicle without hassle or charge.