You Found Out That You Bought A Stolen Car? What Next?

If you find out that the car you just purchased was stolen, the very first step you need to take is to order a history report of the vehicle. Use the VIN number that is located on the driver’s side at the base of the windshield and dashboard.

It is sad to think that even though you bought it in good faith from a private seller. Although you did not realize the car was swiped you may be punished for buying stolen property.

What do you do?

  • When you have received the report from Carfax, make arrangements with a detective from your local police department to look over it and the papers.
  • Copy any titles, sales receipts and your payment methods. If you obtained a loan bring the loan papers to your appointment with the police department.
  • You will need to prove that you did not know that it was stolen. This may be quite difficult, but if you have a paper trail that will definitely help.
  • Do know that it will be given back to the rightful owner. If you want your car or money back you may have to take further steps and take the owner to court.

The severity of your punishment will rely solely on whether or not you knew you were purchasing stolen goods. If you did know the vehicle was stolen you will be punished with and serve jail time. The stolen vehicle will be repossessed.

If you were unaware that your vehicle was stolen you may not be arrested, but you will still have to give up the vehicle. You car will be repossessed and you will lose any money you paid for the car.

Make sure before you purchase a vehicle from a party you research. Take the vin number, search Carfac or your state’s department of motor vehicles to locate its history. Before purchasing a vehicle form a private owner make sure you know exactly where it has been, the maintenance, and who all the previous owners were.

If you find a vehicle that is too good to be true and the price is much too low, you may find that the deal is a hoax and the car you are contemplating purchasing is stolen property. Always ask to see titles and the vehicle history reports before undertaking any transaction.

If these methods prove questionable, you can check police agencies concerning your anticipated purchase. This may seem like an excessive measure, but purchasing a car from a private seller especially below their actual value should not be made in a hurry. The best way to avoid purchasing a stolen vehicle is to buy from a reputable dealer, with local ties, and who has a report ready for you to read.