What should you do if someone steals your car overseas?
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Losing your car while overseas is a distressing thing, but it is important to know what to do next instead of panicking.

Category: Miscellaneous Advice

With the borders open once again, everyone is driving in to Malaysia, be it for supper or a weekend getaway. And when you drive your car overseas there is always a certain amount of risks involved, something like the recent case where a Honda Civic Type R was stolen in Malaysia at Genting's SkyAvenue carpark might just happen.

While there are some precautions that we can take, such as parking in well-lit, prominent parking spaces or opting for valet parking at the hotel lobbies, things can still go wrong. So, it is important to know what to do when you find out that someone stole your car. Here's what you should do.
Don't panic - ascertain that your car has really been stolen

The mall carparks in Malaysia are often massive - it's easy to forget where you parked at
You head to where your car was parked, but it isn't there. Don't panic, it won't do any good. The first thing you should do is to confirm the fact that someone has indeed stolen your car.

With the massive carparks in most shopping malls in Malaysia, it is easy to get confused. You might have simply gone to the wrong level, or even an entirely wrong section of the carpark. If are facing difficulty locating your parked car, you should approach the building management and security office to seek help.

If the building management is able to ascertain that your car has been stolen or driven off by someone else, you should try to obtain a written report of the loss of your car from the building premises, this would come in handy when you are making your insurance claim and police report.

In the unfortunate situation that your car was indeed stolen, the first thing you should do is to prevent any further losses, which brings us to the next step.
Cancel your credit and debit cards that were left in the car

Did you leave all your bank cards in the car? Be sure to cancel them as soon as possible!
Now that you are certain your car has been stolen, you should check what you have with you, and try to remember if you have left any important items such as your credit cards, debit cards and passport in your car.

If your credit and/or debit cards are stolen together with the car, you should contact your bank to have the cards cancelled immediately. This will prevent the thieves from using your card, racking up fraudulent transactions which will be an additional hassle to reverse.

The next important piece of document would be the passport, which you will need in order to return to Singapore - you will have to get a replacement, but more about that later. The next pressing matter would be to make a police report.
Make a police report

You'll have to make your way to the nearest local police station to file a police report
You might be wondering why making a police report isn't the first thing you do when you find your car missing. Well, filing a report will take some time, and you will also have to make your way to the nearest police station, which will take time as well.

Hence, you can make use of the travelling time to cancel your cards on the phone with your bank, to prevent them from being misused.

Of course, you will wish to retrieve your stolen car, and the only hope you have is to go to the police, and provide as much information as possible and be sure to include all details that you can recall.

However, trying to get your car back isn't the sole reason for making a police report. As long as your car insurance covers the theft of your vehicle in Malaysia, you will want to make a claim to recoup the losses incurred, and in order to process the claim, you will likely need to submit a written police report.
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Contact your car insurance provider to assist with claims

Your insurer will likely require you to proceed to their reporting centre to lodge an incident report once you are back in Singapore
While most of the claim process will be completed when you are back in Singapore, you will have to inform your insurer of the incident. With the police report made, you should contact your insurer for assistance on making a claim for the theft of your car.

You will likely be required to go to your insurer's accident reporting centre to lodge an incident report when you are back in Singapore to claim your insurance for the car theft. To ensure that it all proceeds smoothly, you have to prepare all the required documents such as the written police report, report from the building management regarding the theft of your car from its premises, your car's details from One Motoring, purchase receipt and insurance policy.

One thing to note is that if you were to proceed with the claim, you will typically be compensated with the market value or the insured sum, whichever is lower. And in the event that the car is eventually recovered, it would be the property of the insurance company.
Get your passport replaced if it was stolen along with the car

If you've left your passport along with the other barangs in the car, you'll be in for a fair bit of hassle...
With everything related to the car sorted, you can now focus on finding a way back to Singapore. If your passport was stolen together with the car, you will have to get some temporary travel documents to get back to Singapore.

To do so, you would have to go on ICA's website to report the loss of your passport while overseas, and then, you have to go to High Commission of Singapore's website to book a lost passport appointment. As the High Commission of Singapore is located at Kuala Lumpur, you will have to make your way there to collect your temporary travel documents.

After getting your temporary travel documents, you still have to make a stop at the Malaysian Immigration in KL to inform them of your temporary travel document before you can travel back to Singapore.
As you can see, this is all quite a hassle, hence you might want to adopt the practice of having your passport on you, to avoid losing it together with you parked car when it gets stolen.
Here are some related articles that might interest you
All you need to know about NCD for car insurance
Ultimate Guide to Car Insurance in Singapore (2022)
Buying car insurance and used car warranty in Singapore
A guide to One Motoring services for Singaporean drivers
Why car cameras are essential for any car in Singapore
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