Cloning of cars is literally the same as identity theft. There are over 15,000 cloned cars on the roads, and many people are still not aware of this issue. One major issue that people do not realise is that if you purchase a cloned car, you will not legally own it – your money will be lost.
Car cloning has two key victims: the owner of the vehicle whose identity has been stolen, and the buyer of the clone vehicle. There is little you can do in order to prevent you vehicle from being cloned, and the first sign of it is when you receive parking fines or even speeding tickets for which you are not responsible for. If this does happen to you, return them to the issuing authority, together with any document evidence that supports your case. Also you should alert DVLA and the police. Potential cars buyers can reduce the risk of purchasing a clone car by taking necessary precautions.
1. Check all the car paperwork: a clone car will usually have no service history, as this is likely to reveal its true identity. On a new car or even a second hand car, this is a very clear indication. You can look for signs of the service book tampering, such as missing pages or details that have been erased.
2. Check the V5 registration document also known as the Logbook. Even though the stolen documents that are in circulation are blank (which allows the cloner to enter any information they want) they all have a serial number. Look out for documents with the numbers that range from BG8229501 to BG9999030 and BI2305501 to BI2800000, and contact the police if any are found.
3. Also take note of the logbooks serial number and call the DVLA vehicle checking service on 0300 790 6104 when you are away from the vehicle seller. This will tell you if the registration document is one that has been stolen.
4. By doing a vehicle provenance check from HPI could prove to be a waste of time, unless you quote the serial number from the logbook, as you might be checking the details of a genuine car and not the one that is in front of you. We still highly recommend that you check the details on the V5 document against the vehicle, including the chassis number or VIN number. Make sure you also check the sellers name and address are correct.
5. Make sure you look closely at the Tax disc as it will be either forged or even altered to match the vehicles number plate.
6. Majority of vehicle clones will be sold privately and the sellers will most likely to hide their identity, so make sure you are wary of those who insist on bringing the car to you or are reluctant to invite you into their home, they are most likely to be using someone elses driveway to make the sale look genuine. Also watch out for car adverts in newspapers, magazines, internet etc who only give mobile phone numbers as contact details.
7. Most of all, remember that if a car deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.