Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Public services all in one place

Main menu

What to do if your vehicle is stolen

If your vehicle is stolen you should report it immediately to the police. The police will notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) of the details of the theft and any recovery of the vehicle on your behalf.

Call your local police station

Before calling the police to report the theft of your vehicle, make sure you have all the vehicle details to hand ie registration number, make, model and colour of the vehicle. The police will give you a crime reference number which you will need in the event of an insurance claim and claim for a refund of vehicle tax on your tax disc.

Call your insurance company

You will need to contact your insurance company immediately for advice. If your vehicle is not recovered and your insurance company pay out a claim, then you should tell the DVLA the date the payment was accepted and the name and address of the insurance company.

You should complete the 'notification of sale or transfer' V5C/3 section of your V5C registration certificate. If your insurance company request the whole of the registration document or certificate you should tell the DVLA in a letter giving the details of the insurance company and the date of the claim.

Refund of vehicle tax

You can apply for a refund on your vehicle tax if your vehicle has been stolen and not recovered. Many vehicles are recovered within a few days of theft, so it is advisable not to make the application until about seven days after the theft. A special application form V33 is available for this purpose. You will need the crime reference number given by the police. Further information on applying for a refund can be found on the link below.

What you should do if you have a personalised registration number

If your stolen vehicle had a personalised registration number, you can normally reclaim it if the vehicle has still not been found after 12 months, provided certain requirements can be met.

  • the theft must have been notified to the police and recorded on DVLA records as stolen for not less than 12 months
  • at the time of the theft, the vehicle must have had a current MOT test certificate
  • at the time of theft, the vehicle must have had a current vehicle tax disc
  • the DVLA will require a letter from your insurers confirming they have no objection to the number being re-issued

If the vehicle is recovered at any time, please make an application to keep your registration number straight away. To find out how to transfer or retain a registration number, follow the links below.

To apply or for further information, you will need to write quoting your vehicle registration number to the Cherished Transfer Section, DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BW.

Was this information useful?

How useful did you find this information?

500 character limit
Your Privacy Opens new window

Why are we asking for this information?

  • we want to hear what you think about the quality and usefulness of our pages
  • your comments will help us improve our pages
  • your comments will also help with the future development of Directgov
  • telling us what you think will help make sure we give you the very best service

Additional links

Save time. Do it online!

Find out what motoring sevices are available online

Access keys