Check If the Car Has Been Stolen Before Purchasing
Although car security technology has been improving over the years, there are still significant amounts of car thefts, especially when it comes to older cars, motorcycles and heavy vehicles. So before buying a used vehicle, it is always safer to check if it has previously been stolen.
With the improvements in technology, you would have thought that the rate of car thefts would decrease over the years. However, believe it or not, statistics from National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council have shown that the number of stolen vehicles has increased in Australia by 5% in the financial year of 2018/19 comparing to 2017/18. So having an immobiliser does not mean that your car is safe.
Why do I need to know if the car is stolen?
Here are a few reasons for you to have a stolen vehicle check to make sure your desired car is not a stolen one:
- Safety: When purchasing a used vehicle, you would want to know where it came from. If a car is stolen, it is hard to know what happened to it in between now and prior being stolen. For example, the odometer may be changed during that time. You may then end up buying a car that is a lot older or more used than you thought, which may be more susceptible to potential accidents.
- Financial encumbrance: The car may have debts attached to it but stolen. In this case, the seller may not even know about it. If overlooked, the car can be repossessed by the previous owner and take the car from you despite the money you have paid. The financer can also repossess the vehicle on you which then turns you into the one in debts. No one wants to pay off someone else’s debt.
- Help stop the crime: Everyone is paying their hard-earned money to afford and maintain a car. There are taxes, insurance, gas, maintenance and so on to pay for. You wouldn’t want your car to be stolen for the car thieves to make a profit for something they took for free. So check if the vehicle is stolen, and if it is, contact the police.
How do I check if the vehicle is stolen?
Doing a REVs check and PPSR check will get you well informed about the car’s history. Getting a PPSR certificate of the car from the Australian Financial Security Authority means that you will learn about the ownership of the vehicle. You may use CARIFY’s quick REVs check service to get both car history report and PPSR certificate. There are also other online services that provide car history reports, but not all of them provide PPSR cert as well. So be aware when purchasing reports.
To conduct a stolen vehicle check with CARIFY, you will need:
- VIN or REGO number
- Credit or debit card
- Email address
How do I prevent my car from being stolen?
Although there is no way to prevent car thefts 100%, there are precautions you can take to reduce the chance of your car being stolen. Here are some recommendations you can consider:
- Where to put your car keys: Always have your keys with you. If you have to leave them home, make sure you don’t put them in an obvious spot. There are thieves who would break into houses for car keys. Also, do not use a magnetic key holder for your spare key. Car thieves are smart enough to know these quirks.
- Where and how to park your car: It is better to park in a well-seen area where people would notice if someone tries to approach the car. Another strategy is to turn the wheels horizontally so that it is harder to get towed. Also, do not leave any valuables in the car since it attracts thieves.
- Close and lock everything: When you leave your car, make sure all windows and doors are locked. Use anti-theft devices if possible, such as steering wheel lock, gear shift locks and tracking devices.
What should I do if I find a stolen car?
If you found out that the car was stolen, please contact the police. The seller of the car could be a car thief or innocent. It is better for the police to find out.
What should I do if my car is stolen?
The only thing to do is to contact the police for assistance. Car history check or PPSR certificate cannot help you find the car.
The most commonly stolen car
From statistics, the following shows the top 9 most stolen cars:
- Holden Commodore (VE)
- Nissan Pulsar (N15)
- Toyota Hilux (MY05)
- Holden Commodore (VY)
- Ford Falcon (BA)
- Nissan Navara (D40)
- Holden Commodore (VZ)
- Toyota Hilux (MY12)
- Holden Commodore (VT)
So if you own a Holden Commodore, you should be extra aware of keeping your car safe from car thefts.