Buying a used car is as simple as it sounds. Find your perfect vehicle and offer to buy it. Yet sometimes the car you buy might have some hidden history to it.
Sometimes that past includes the vehicle being stolen. Sometimes you buy a vehicle and bypass important steps such as running the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Running the VIN can reveal the history of the vehicle. Unfortunately, it’s possible to run the VIN and receive a clean bill of health on the car and still have bought a stolen vehicle.
Below we’re going to look at what you can do to make it right and get the vehicle back from theft or an insurance company.
Check the Vehicle Identification Number
If a law enforcement officer pulls you over and tells you that you’re driving a stolen car, do not panic. There are a few things you can do to check if the vehicle is, in fact, stolen.
You should first check the vehicle identification number (VIN) against the title or registration. If the VIN does not match, then the vehicle is most likely stolen. You should also check to see if the VIN has been tampered with. If the VIN has been altered, this is another indicator that the vehicle is stolen.
If you want to learn more about VINs, click here. If you have any reason to believe that the vehicle is stolen, you should contact the police immediately.
Get a Police Report
If you believe you have purchased a stolen car, you should file a police report right away. Be sure to include as much detailed information about the car and the circumstances around the purchase as possible.
Once the police have been notified, they will investigate and, if necessary, recover the vehicle. If the vehicle is indeed stolen, you will likely get your money back and may even be compensated for damages.
File an Insurance Claim
Once the police have determined that the vehicle is stolen, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. Your insurance company will likely require a police report as well as other documentation to process your claim. If your claim is successful, you will receive reimbursement for the value of the vehicle.
Hire an Attorney
If you have purchased a stolen vehicle, your first step should be to contact an experienced attorney. Your attorney can help you determine what, if any, legal options are available to you. Whatever course of action you decide to take, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Take Action Against the Seller
If you are the victim of a stolen vehicle purchase, you should take action against the seller. You can contact the police and file a report, file a civil lawsuit, or contact the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The NICB is a national organization that investigates insurance fraud and crimes. You should also contact your local department of motor vehicles and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Beware of Buying a Stolen Vehicle!
If you buy a stolen vehicle, you should report it to the police immediately. Do not try to sell the vehicle or profit from it in any way. You could be charged with a crime if you are caught. Be a good citizen and do the right thing!
For more on this topic, feel free to visit the rest of our blog!