What to do if your bike is stolen

By: Steve MotorCycle Direct Posted: October 17th, 2018

This week's blog gives you a simple checklist to follow if you wake up one morning to find your motorbike has been taken.

We tell you what to do and in what order – so if your motorbike has been nicked, read on...or click here to jump straight to the checklist.

As a security conscious biker, you'll have already read our recent security blogs, so you know how to protect your bike both at home and when you're out and about. But let's be honest, with battery powered angle-grinders and organised gangs, if someone REALLY wants to steal your bike they will probably be able to...

So, if your bike is stolen it's important you know what actions to take in the correct order, to make the process as smooth and stress free as possible.

Report it to the police

Call 101 and ask to speak to a local police officer. They will ask you for details of where the incident happened and for any useful information they could use. Be sure to have details of the registration, make & model, colour and any possible identifying marks, for example dents, scratches and unique paintwork. It might be useful to have your V5 registration document to hand, so you can give other details such as the chassis and engine numbers if required.

Once reported you will be given a Crime Number or Incident Report Number. You'll need this, so keep it safe. This reference can also be used to claim back vehicle tax where necessary. You may be asked to take all relevant documents to your local police station to complete the police report, or an officer may visit you at home or at the scene of the theft.

Inform your Insurance Company

Once you have your crime reference number, call your insurance company's claims telephone number as soon as possible to report the theft. MotorCycle Direct's claims number is available here and will also be on your insurance documentation. Check your documentation for relevant cover – for example, you may be covered for the costs of hiring a bike if you took out the Bike Hire optional extra cover.

The claims team will ask for full details of the incident and for your Crime Number to set up a claim (provided that your policy covers theft). Once the claims team has investigated, you will receive a claims decision. If you do end up getting a pay-out for your stolen vehicle you will need to inform the DVLA and get a tax refund. Details can be found on the gov.uk website here.

Search the surrounding area

Once you have reported your bike stolen, you might feel like the situation is out of your hands. However, there are some things you can do, such as considering searching your local area. Many thieves encounter problems especially with motorbikes, and often leave them abandoned. Or it could be the case that the thief has tucked the bike away somewhere, for example, parked down an alleyway to pick up later, once they are satisfied that there isn't an active tracker on the bike. It might also be worth checking with local businesses in case they picked anything up on CCTV.

That walk of hope to see if your bike has been abandoned or hidden nearby can be a difficult thing to do. The adrenaline is probably still coursing through you, but a walk around the local area could also help reduce the stress and anger you'll probably be feeling.

Monitor online websites to track your bike down

If there a local Bike Theft Awareness group, it would be worth contacting them and posting details of your bike on there – they will often have a Facebook group – local bikers will then be looking out for your bike, and more eyes looking increase the chances of locating it quickly. You could also monitor websites such as Gumtree, Ebay and Facebook – set up alerts for your make and model so that if someone tries to sell one, you can check if it's yours.

Your stolen bike checklist

So, remember if you do find yourself in the situation of your bike being stolen:

  • 1. report it to the police;
  • 2. report it to your insurer;
  • 3. search your neighbourhood; and
  • 4. monitor online sites

Just remember – don't panic – it's not the end of the world, and with quality insurance cover from MotorCycle Direct you'll be back riding in no time...