I Lost My Car – What Should I Do Now?

Last Updated on January 19, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

If you lost your car then there are a few things you should do immediately like informing the police, contacting the insurance company, notifying the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), etc. You should also check the local tow yards and check if your car is towed or not.

Key Takeaways

  • If you lost your car then you should immediately file a report with your local police department
  • If your car is stolen then you should inform the DMV so that you won’t be held responsible for any traffic violations after the vehicle was stolen
  • If you lost a rental car then you should immediately inform the company about the incident
  • You should immediately replace your registration and insurance documents

Loss Of A Car – Main Tips

Check The Entire Area
In large parking lots, the whole area should be checked, as sometimes the owner is looking in the wrong place.
Find Stolen Car ApplicationThis application is useful to be able to remember the last location where the vehicle was parked.
Towing Companies
Consulting the towing company can avoid filing a theft report on the car
Car History Reports
With the VIN it is possible to obtain a car history report for more information about the true location of the vehicle.
Report Theft To The PoliceWhen a vehicle has been stolen, you should report it to the police as quickly as possible and have as much information as possible. 

What Should I Do If I Lost My Car?

On a great number of occasions, a car is not only lost due to the driver’s inattention. So too, many people have their car stolen when they least expect it. In these cases, panic and anxiety can allow a person to succumb and become paralyzed. However, there are some efficient ways a person can take if they lose their car.

Initial Check

As we have mentioned, before panicking it is necessary to follow some key steps to verify if a car has been specifically stolen. If your car was in a parking lot, you should check the parking lot with a good level of detail. Of course, a public parking lot is an excellent place to commit vehicle theft.

However, on many occasions, a driver may visit a new parking lot that they have never been to before. So, this greatly facilitates the driver’s lack of orientation. Therefore, before panicking and thinking that your car has been stolen it is necessary to check the entire area. In the best scenario, the car is simply in a different location than the one you are looking for.

Some apps can be very useful on this kind of occasion. These apps are available for many Android or iPhone smartphones. So, these apps are designed to be able to remember the specific location where a vehicle is parked. 

Before reporting your car stolen, you should check with some towing companies. In many cases, your car may have been towed for different reasons. To access all of your vehicle’s history reports, you can track them through the VIN. So, the most important facts such as service records or accidents are usually included here.

In this sense, you can also find out if a car has been stolen with the VIN or with the license plate. Once you have checked that your vehicle was indeed stolen, then you should move on to the next stage.

The Best Methods To Find A Vehicle That Has Been Stolen

All of the above steps can be very helpful in finding your lost car. Beyond that, when a car is stolen, it is a very different situation. At the same time, in some parts of the United States, the numbers of car thefts are alarmingly high. So, the following methods will come in handy when you least expect them.

1. Reporting The Facts To The Police

Of course, the first thing you should do when you discover that your vehicle has been stolen is to call the police. This is especially important if your dog, your baby, or a child has been left inside the vehicle. The police will then ask you for some important information to file a stolen car report:

1. VIN

2. Identification of the person

3. Vehicle registration number

4. Vehicle make, model, and color

5. Tracking devices such as OnStar or LoJack

6. Last location where the vehicle was seen

To file an insurance claim, you must have a copy of the stolen car report. As long as the police have as much data as possible, it will be much easier to find and recover the lost vehicle. It could also happen that the car recovered by the police is itself impounded for traffic violations. With the requirements, the vehicle can be recovered immediately.

2. Insurance Company

After a person has called the police and obtained the stolen car report, he/she should contact the insurance company. Most insurance coverages include vehicle theft. Of course, this unfortunate event must be included at the time of taking out the insurance coverage.

In this way, the insurance company will pay for the theft of the automobile. If a person receives payment from the insurance company and later recovers the vehicle, he/she must also inform the insurance company.

In these cases, the vehicle already belongs to the insurance company. In any case, the person can buy back the vehicle from the company.

3. Necessary Steps With A Rented Car

When the vehicle that has been stolen is rented, then the leasing company must be informed. In this case, the person who has rented the vehicle must inform that the vehicle was stolen and that the report has already been made to the police. In turn, it is necessary to inquire about the terms of the contract at the time the vehicle was rented.

Each of these vehicles has certain insurance coverage. You should also request an incident form to register the theft of the car with the rental company.

If all the guidelines of the contract are complied with, then the coverage will avoid generating expenses for the people who rented the vehicle. That is why it is always advisable to choose comprehensive liability insurance. 

4. Having A GPS Device

For several reasons, it is always advisable to include the installation of a GPS tracking system in some parts of the vehicle. Some of the most common devices used today are LoJack and OnStar, although there are also many others. Here, the tracker company can help in the search for the stolen car.

Using the GPS tracking device a vehicle can be located without too much effort. Here, it does not matter in which place the car has been stolen. Either way, the vehicle can be found further in the final place where it is located.

5. Security Cameras

If you have incorporated a security camera system, you can use the recordings and images to obtain more information. This would require security cameras to be installed in the most appropriate places in your home and garage. These images can provide information about the escape route and characteristics of the car thief.

Of course, this is of great help in finding the perpetrators as well as the missing vehicle. Sometimes, some security camera systems of a community can be included. With proper authorization, these images can be consulted for complete information. 

6. Cab Companies

Some cab companies have drivers who can assist in the search for a stolen vehicle. In this case, it is possible to call all cab companies in the same area to get more complete information.

There are usually far more cab drivers than police officers in many cities. Along with a sufficient reward, many cab drivers will be willing to help the victim. In many instances, a cab driver can provide essential information in finding a vehicle.

7. A City’s Transportation Website

Today, there are several websites where you can check on parking or traffic violations for a vehicle. Generally, stolen cars are badly parked when they are abandoned somewhere. So, this information can be of great importance to find the final location of the stolen vehicle.

8. Selling Stolen Car Parts

You can check online when some stolen car parts are sold. So, some parts have certain characteristics or codes that make them unique. To trace stolen car parts, an automated verification system can be used.

In turn, it is necessary to contact the police to report the identification of these stolen vehicle parts. Of course, the company of the police is necessary when confronting car thieves. In the best-case scenario, your car can be recovered and it will also prevent other people from falling victim to the same thing. 

9. Finding A Stolen Vehicle With The VIN

In this case, it is a unique code that all vehicles have after they are manufactured. In turn, with this code, it is possible to obtain a vehicle history report for further information.

Important events with a date after the day of the theft can help determine the final location of the vehicle. Here again, the presence of the police may be necessary at the time the stolen vehicle is found. 

10. Record Of Belongings Inside The Vehicle

Some insurance coverages may also include coverage for certain personal items found inside the vehicle at the time of the theft. Therefore, it is necessary to have a certain record to prove what these lost items are.

The purchase receipt for each of these items should also be included. In the best-case scenario, money can be obtained for a new vehicle and these new items.