Driver's Guide

What to Do After Recovering Stolen Vehicle

Howdy, Driver? After the police recover your stolen car, you do not just hop in and zoom off. Let me drill you on what to do after recovering stolen vehicle.

It is exciting when the police call or inform you through the mail that your car has been recovered. It could also be that either you or a friend spotted the stolen car and informed the police to do their job.

Regardless of whatever, your car has been recovered and you should set it up for use on the road.

Let’s briefly discover the things you should do after recovering a stolen vehicle.

What to Do After Recovering Stolen Vehicle

In this section, I will highlight the steps you should take after your stolen car is recovered.

Below is what to do after recovering stolen vehicle:

what to do after recovering stolen vehicle

Contact the National Authorities

One of the things crooks do with stolen cars is to legalize and sell the stolen car. It could be that the stolen vehicle was sold to a different country.

Can I reject my stolen recovered car

In this regard, you should contact both the national authorities and the local police regarding the stolen car. I would not advise you to try recovering the vehicle alone because it may implicate you.

First, report to the local police and you may be assigned an officer to visit the border with you. The border officials will process your request, and if the VIN labels the car as stolen, the recovery process begins.

Of course, you have to prove ownership of the vehicle by issuing copies of the registration papers, title, insurance, and VIN.

Go to the Police Impound Lot

If the local police recover the stolen car, the officer assigned to your case will inform you to contact the impound lot.

what to do after recovering stolen vehicle

You will need proof of registrations to recover the car from the impound. You may also try to recover the car without registration, but it almost never works.

The impound lot will also request your proof of insurance to recover the car from impound. And you will pay a fee in the region of $100 and above to recover the car. If you have no money, you can retrieve the car for free.

Inquire from the impound lot whether the car needs repairs. If it does, hire a tow vehicle to pick up the car.

Inform the Insurance Company

When the car is recovered, you have to inform the insurance company. The company will now cover the cost of damages if stated in the insurance policy.

How long does it take to recover a stolen vehicle

If there are no damages, the insurance company will not pay. So, you have to inspect the car thoroughly and wit the mechanic to be sure there are no damages that may cost you later.

Notify the Finance Company

If the car is financed, then the finance company would have been informed earlier about the car being stolen.

Report stolen vehicle to finance

The insurance company may inform the finance company that the car has been recovered. But should not depend on the insurance company to inform the finance company.

Inspect the Vehicle

At the impound lot, search the car thoroughly, especially for your valuable items. If you do not find your valuable items in the recovered car, the insurance company may have to cover the cost of replacement.

How long does it take to recover a stolen vehicle

Beginning from the interiors of the vehicle, search for any unusual modifications. If the VIN of the vehicle is inscribed in the interiors, search for VIN and confirm they have not been erased.

Open your glove box and control panel for inspection and do not forget to check under the seats. Lift the carpets and check in-between the doors for any unusual development.

Now, open the hood and the truck of the recovered car and inspect it thoroughly. Check the undercarriage and be sure none of the components are faulty.

Finally, inspect the windshield and side mirrors for damages and check for alterations on the VIN.

Take the Car to the Mechanic

If you insured the car, the insurance company will request an inspection by your mechanic or their adjuster. During the inspection, the mechanic will record every minor and major damage to the recovered vehicle.

If the car is totaled, you may get a new car for the totaled car.

Inspect the stolen car before driving

And if you are sure of some damages that were already present, do well to exclude them from the estimate. It is considered insurance fraud if you lie about your claims for the insurance to cover the cost.

However, if you would be responsible for the cost of repairs, you may cut the cost of repairs by leaving out the repairs of minor damages. You can always make the repairs later.

Final thought

After the retrieval of a stolen vehicle by the police, the stolen vehicle will be reported as recovered and it will reflect in the VIN information.

After the repairs, get the car back on the road, and be more vigilant than ever. Do not park where there are only a few passersby and leave no valuable item that could attract a thief to your car.

Above are what to do after recovering stolen vehicle and I guarantee that they are the safest measures to take before putting the vehicle back on the road.

Latest posts by Bernard Juchli (see all)

Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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