Checklist: This must be considered after a car theft

Those who find the parking space empty, in which their own vehicle was previously standing, are most likely victims of vehicle theft. The following checklist helps car owners to behave properly in an emergency. Because only if police, insurance and Co. are informed in good time, the chances are good to get money back.

First step: Report theft to the police

Just because the car is gone does not mean that the vehicle was stolen as well. The police can already tell on the phone whether the vehicle was accidentally parked in a driveway or towed because of lack of vehicle safety – then car owners are lucky in misfortune, but an ad for theft is superfluous.

If a vehicle theft is actually detected, the police must be notified in writing. For this, vehicle owners need their identity card and vehicle registration. All information given to the police must be truthful. Anyone who is unsure – for example, the mileage – should give this to log. Last but not least, credit cards or mobile phones that may have been in the stolen car should be blocked as soon as possible.

Second step: Notify insurance

The next step is going for car insurance. Holders of a car are protected against the consequences of theft with full or partial comprehensive insurance. Affected parties must immediately report the damage in writing to their insurer. The comprehensive insurance is only for all installed vehicle parts. So for high quality alloy wheels or a complex music system. For other items found in the stolen car, home insurance is sometimes paid. For this reason, the theft should also be reported here.

Third step: Log off the vehicle at the registration office

The second administrative procedure leads drivers after a vehicle theft to the registration office. There, the vehicle must be logged off and thus shut down. There are two reasons for this: firstly, no further motor vehicle taxes have to be paid and secondly motorists can thus save insurance premiums. The cancellation should be made no later than 14 days after the theft and is only possible with the police theft confirmation and the vehicle registration. The vehicle documents are then validated by the Office and handed back. If it is a leased car or if a credit is still paid on the car, the leasing company or the bank must also be informed.

Step Four: The insurer needs these documents

Once these three points have been completed, further tasks for insured drivers will follow. In order to settle claims, the following items should be sent to the insurer:

  • All existing keys of the car
  • Withdrawal certificate from the Admissions Office
  • Tolled vehicle certificate
  • registration document
  • loss advice
  • purchase invoice
  • Invoice of installed auto parts
  • Bills of repairs
  • Recent photos of the car


Often it is difficult to prove how good the condition and thus the value of the car was at the time of the theft. Because not every vehicle owner owns current photos of his car. But instead of photos, a written sales estimate by a repair shop can usually also help if they know the car of repairs or regular reviews. This is recognized by the insurance companies as well.

How much does the insurance pay?

The comprehensive insurance covers both accident-related repair costs, if the car is found again, as well as for the replacement of the car, if it remains missing. As a general rule, the owner must take back the recovered car. If the car is not found within four weeks of the claim, the stolen car will become the property of the insurer. The insurance then pays – depending on the insurance contract – the replacement value for the stolen car even for new cars. The period between theft and the insurance settlement of the insurer can often stretch over several weeks. But the cost of a rental car are usually not borne by the comprehensive insurance. The train ride to the find place, however, many insured can be reimbursed.