What to do if your number plate is stolen
Your number plate is an important part of your vehicle. It is a legal responsibility to make sure that you have it affixed in the right places to your vehicle at all times, and if you are found driving without them by the police then you can face a fine, points on your license, and more. Because of all this, and because it would be a hassle if you lost them, you are going to want to avoid having them stolen at any time as best as you can. Of course, you can’t really stop people just stealing your number plate if they are going to, but you can at least get clued up on what you should do if it happens to you. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the steps you should take if your number plate is stolen at any point.
Why Do People Steal Number Plates?
First, though, it might be helpful to understand why this is a crime that happens at all. The truth is that number plates are stolen for many reasons. One of the most common is that the person in question is trying to cover up for another crime they have committed, so they attach your number plate to their vehicle as a means of being able to drive around without getting caught. This can be effective for a long time, unfortunately.
At other times, your number plate might be stolen if it is considered to be valuable, and it can then be sold on to make money for the thief. Or the person might be hoping to drive away from petrol stations without paying for the fuel - leaving you to get the phone call from the police asking why you did it! Whatever the underlying reason for the theft, however, the main thing is that you need to make sure you know what to do about it if it should happen to you.
What To Do If Your Number Plate Is Stolen
If you are the victim of number plate theft, then you need to make sure that you follow some specific steps in order to minimize the disruption and harm that this crime can do to your life.
The first thing you should do if your number plate is stolen is to report it to the authorities. As soon as you are aware that the crime has taken place, you should contact the police and the DVLA. The sooner you do it, the better a chance they will have of finding the perpetrator, and of recovering the lost number plates for you. At the very least, you will help in giving the police a head start. Even if they can’t find the person, it at least means that you have logged it officially, and you won’t be liable for any fines and so on that might become attached to your number plate once the thief starts driving with them.
In the specific case of having a personalised number plate stolen, you can apply to keep the number whether or not you retrieve the physical plate at any point in the future. But you must be able to provide evidence that it was stolen, and logging it with the police will help this, as they will give you paperwork and a crime reference number that you will need to use for this purpose.
Purchase A New Plate
It’s gutting to think so, but the truth is that you have to purchase a new plate while you are waiting for everything else to happen behind the scenes. That’s because you have still got to make sure you are driving legally, and if you drive without your plates then that is not going to be legal. If the police are not able to help you, then you are going to have to buy new number plates so that you can continue to drive. We offer a bargain number plate range where it is very inexpensive to change your registration over. In any case, make sure that you do get new number plates, otherwise you could be in trouble for driving your vehicle - no matter the reason.
Protect Against Number Plate Theft In The Future
Although we all wish there would be more to do if you are stolen from, the harsh reality is that this is pretty much all there is to it. However, if you are a victim of number plate theft, then you will almost certainly be keen to make sure that you do not experience it again in the future, and that might mean that you take further steps to avoid number plate theft happening again. After all if it happened twice then that could really be frustrating, and you’d be likely to feel that you were cursed.
To avoid it happening again, there are several steps you can take. You can park in a garage or other locked and secured space, wherever possible. You could thief-proof your plates with the use of anti-theft number plates screws which can’t be unscrewed, so that nobody can even get them off easily. There are also anti-theft number plates that break into pieces when the thief tries to take them off. You would still have to replace it, but could at least keep your number. And use safe, well-lit car parks when you are parking your car away from home wherever you possibly can. If you do all that, you should avoid number plate theft as well as possible, and you would be incredibly lucky to have it happen to you after all of those precautions.
As you can see, there is a lot you can do to make sure that you avoid number plate theft, and to try and deal with it if it does happen to you. Bear all this in mind and you should find that you can really make a difference.