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Reporting a Stolen Vehicle UK

There are several important things to do without delay if your vehicle gets stolen. After reporting a stolen vehicle to the police and the insurer you may also need to inform the DVLA.

CAR GOT STOLEN? If so, the first step is telling the police and the vehicle insurance company. You must inform both of them straight away.

Phone the Local Police Station

Dial 101 and ask the operator to put you through to the local police. They will want to know:

  • The registration number of the stolen vehicle.
  • The make and model (e.g. Ford Fiesta).
  • A good description of its colour (e.g. pale blue).

All UK police forces issue a crime reference number for stolen vehicles. Have this number handy when you contact the insurance company. The police will also inform the DVLA about the theft and update them if they find it.

Contact the Insurance Company

Having adequate vehicle insurance cover is law in the United Kingdom. Once you inform the company they will explain how to make an insurance claim for a stolen vehicle.

Inform DVLA if the Insurer Pays Out

As a rule, the insurer will pay out on a claim for a stolen vehicle. That means you must inform the DVLA that it ‘got sold’ to the insurance company.

You can tell the DVLA that you no longer own a vehicle either online or using the log book (V5C). Fill in section 9 and send it to the DVLA. Add a letter confirming that you accepted the payment with the details of your insurer.

In most cases, the insurance company will ask for the remaining part of the V5C. If they ask for the complete log book you will need to send a letter to the DVLA giving them:

  • The name and contact details of your insurance company.
  • The date that you made the claim.
  • The registration number, make, model, and colour of your vehicle.

Make sure you sign the letter and send it to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency:

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Note: Some vehicles have a personalised registration number. You must ‘get it back’ if you want to keep it before telling DVLA you no longer own the vehicle.

How to Cancel Road Tax on a Stolen Vehicle

DVLA cancel road tax once someone no longer owns a vehicle. They will also cancel any Direct Debit payments by automatic process.

Thus, you will get a refund cheque for any full months that remain. The DVLA calculate the amount based on the date they receive the information. They will mail the cheque to the registered owner (the name and the address stated on the log book).

But, after reporting a stolen vehicle to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency they will not refund:

  • Any of the credit card fees.
  • The 5% surcharge applied to some vehicle tax Direct Debit payments.
  • The 10% surcharge applied to the single 6 month payment.

Get a Personalised Registration Off a Stolen Car

As a rule, you can retrieve a personalised registration number if someone steals your vehicle. You then have a choice whether to:

  • Take the private registration number off a vehicle to keep it.
  • Put the private registration number on another vehicle.

You can then apply for a vehicle tax refund from the DVLA and inform them that you no longer own the vehicle.

There are several conditions attached to getting a personalised registration number back. It only applies if:

  • You reported the theft of your vehicle to the police.
  • The theft stays on the DVLA records for at least 12 months (not longer than 3 years).
  • The vehicle had a valid MOT certificate and up-to-date road tax when it got stolen.

Note: Once you tell DVLA your vehicle got sold to an insurance company you cannot get a personalised vehicle registration number back.

Informing DVLA You No Longer Own a Vehicle

Tell DVLA you do not own a vehicle once you get the personalised registration number back. You can either inform them online or you can use the log book (V5C). Fill in section 9 and send it to the DVLA address.

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Applying for Vehicle Tax Refund

Road tax refunds are not automatic on stolen vehicles with private registration numbers. Thus, you will have to apply to get the money back. You should contact the DVLA and get form V33. Send it back to the DVLA once you have filled it in.

Refund Section
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Note: Make sure you include the police crime reference number. Check the name and address is correct on your log book and allow 4 to 6 weeks to get the refund.

How to Keep or Transfer a Registration Number

Often, a stolen vehicle gets recovered by the police. In this case, you may then decide to sell it or the insurance company may decide that scrapping the vehicle is best. That means you would need to apply if you want to keep the registration number or transfer it.

Note: Make the application before the vehicle gets sold or completely destroyed. Use form V317 and send it the DVLA address written on the form.

How to Report a Stolen Vehicle in the United Kingdom