This was yet another experience in my student life while in Australia and am sure it could be useful to another person in the same seat! Earlier I wrote about how to buy a cheap car in Australia and the advantages especially when you are looking for a car to support your work. Unfortunately, the experience continued and here I am writing on how to act when your car gets stolen. As discussed in the earlier post, below are some ways you can failsafe your this situation and what to do next!
Fail safe’ing your new or pre-owned car purchase
While purchasing a cheap used car, you should ensure that it has 3 vital aspects covered – 1. Valid registration, 2. A Road Worthy Certificate (RWC) and 3. An insurance that covers theft and fire. Fortunately, I had all the three which solved much of the hazel and made the experience less bitter.
Important “Call to Action” steps on loosing the car
The first step you have to take as soon as you are confident that your car is stolen is to report it to the Police department. Through the episode, I came to know that the getting cars stolen were quite common if – 1. your car did not have any security system setup, 2. If it’s a car older than year – 2000 model or 3. its parked in railway stations or common parking in some specific suburbs. If you and your car fall into any of these categories, have at least fake security system lights installed, have a steering manual lock instated, do not leave any valuables in the car and obviously, also have theft insurance.
So returning back to our call to action, Firstly, ensure you report it to Police ASAP and take an Incident number. The police will inform Road authorities and mark your car “stolen” and hotlist. Secondly, inform the insurance company and initiate a claim request.
What’s the process lifecycle ahead?
You have got everything covered by reporting it to the Police and Insurance. Next is a wait to know from the Police. In my case, I got a call from Victoria Police in 2 days time stating they identified my car and it was found abandoned on the road side in a damaged condition. The police team was very helpful in handling the situation. Even the Insurance company was really helpful! They provided me with a free hire car to use throughout the process and towed the car from the spot to their inspection center.
How does it all end? What’s in it for you?
I really have no clue why thieves steal the car, damage the car and then abandon it. Is it some sort of phycological entertainment or just to steal the petty things inside the car. However, in my case, the car was damaged beyond repair and the repairing cost was more than the insured amount (which is the case for most second-hand cars). Insurance companies just love to write off your car and NOT to repair it for you.
I was insured with AIMI Insurance and must admit, their process was easy. I had purchased the car for 2000 AUD, the insurance company made the below deductions before settlement.
1. 650 AUD for excess fees and charges, 2. 350 AUD for the remaining yearly insurance amount and approximately 900 dollars is what I got back.
How can I stay prepared?
Make sure with a 3rd party insurance, you pay extra and have theft and fire added or have a comprehensive insurance if that is affordable to you .Finally, do not have anything valuable in your car and have a steering lock installed if an old car.