Car theft what to do when the vehicle suddenly goes missing

The car. The German dearest child. A real nightmare, should someone steal this very darling. How you keep nevertheless a cool head, we reveal in the following councellor.

Even though with about 28.000 nationwide stolen vehicles a declining trend can be seen in direct comparison to previous years, one would like to appear under no circumstances itself as a part in this indicator. If, however, your car is no longer parked where you last left it, the worrying thought is that you may have been the victim of a crime.

The car is gone. And now?

In case of suspicion, the first number dialed should always be the police number. The local police department can provide information on whether the vehicle was towed away for a crime such as parking in the wrong place. If there is a theft, you should act quickly. Bring the crime to the attention of the police as soon as possible. Immediately in writing to the police to report. With the exception of Thuringia and Saarland, this can also be done online on the associated police websites in all federal states. If you file the report at a local police station, you will always need a valid identification document and the vehicle registration of the stolen car. For reporting purposes, the circumstances of the theft are recorded and details of the vehicle are collected. If you can name approximately the mileage, this is to be indicated correctly. Do not use rough estimates. Also name possible witnesses.

Report the insurance damage immediately

You should contact your insurer immediately afterwards and within one week at the latest or, in the case of a stolen leased vehicle, the leasing partner and the partner bank. For this, get a written copy of the report from the police department. Your comprehensive insurer will also question you about the theft and collect data. In order not to risk your insurance coverage, only knowingly provide correct information about your vehicle in the survey form. Unclear data should also be declared as such. Can be submitted later together with requested documents. If there were valuables in the car, be sure to report the damage to your homeowner's insurance company.

Register the stolen vehicle promptly with the registration office
Car theft what to do when the vehicle suddenly goes missing


It is strongly recommended to deregister a stolen vehicle with the registration authority. In this way, you will at least avoid further costs such as vehicle tax or insurance premiums for a car that you no longer own.

Even if the chances of a successful search are rather slim, with a clearance rate of less than 30 percent: If your vehicle is recovered within one month, you as the vehicle owner are obliged to take back the car. Depending on the condition of the bodywork and the interior, this can at least leave an unpleasant feeling. Any damage to the vehicle will be settled by the comprehensive insurance as a rule, however, in terms of economy. Due to the aforementioned one-month period, it is therefore recommended that you reconsider the immediate purchase of a replacement vehicle in any event. Unless otherwise stated in the insurance policy, the vehicle becomes the property of the insurance company after one month if the search is unsuccessful. Only then will you, as the policyholder, receive the insurance sum awarded in the amount of the replacement value.

With over 58 million cars currently registered in Germany, the probability that you are or will be among the victims is fortunately extremely low; make it as unattractive as possible for thieves to pick out your car of all cars.

Simple tricks can be used to minimize the risk of theft even further

With a few simple tips, the integrity of your own car can be at least partially guaranteed. Always lock your car. Do not leave an ignition key in the vehicle. – Park your car as well protected as the surroundings allow it. If you park at the side of the road, avoid alleys that are difficult to see. – Before leaving the vehicle, make sure that the steering wheel lock is engaged. – Close the windows if possible. – Do not leave any valuables in the car or, if possible, deposit them in such a way that they are not visible. – Do not leave any cash in the vehicle in plain view. Even small amounts are often reason enough for thieves to break into the car. – If you are using a keyless locking system, protect your keys by storing them in a metal box, for example – we have already shown you how important this is in our article on keyless systems. – You have mechanical security devices at your disposal, such as steering wheel or rim locks, with which you can subsequently secure your car.


Losing your own car is more than just annoying, not to mention a worst-case scenario. However, both the authorities and the insurers are available to the injured party and can cushion a large part of the damage incurred with the right approach.

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