RAC Cars News


Car Cloning Scams And How To Avoid Them

By raccars Published

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Car cloning has nothing to do with Dolly the Sheep, but applies to copied number plates that are then used on a different, unrelated vehicle, usually of the same make and model. The practice means that fines and other transgressions committed with the cloned car are transferred to the unwitting owner of the original, completely different car.

The scam is a favourite of organised gangs who pick on any vehicle of the appropriate make and model spotted in the street and the owners will have no idea they have been a victim of the practice, until they receive speeding tickets or notices of other offences not committed by them. These could include parking fines for locations the owner never visited. Sometimes the cloned car is used to perform more serious criminal activity, such as armed robbery.

It is also easy to unknowingly buy a cloned car, as V5 document forgeries are easy to accomplish. An HPI check performed upon any potential used car purchase can identify stolen vehicles, those with outstanding finance against them or those recorded as written off. A check with the National Mileage Register can reveal discrepancies to the displayed mileage.

If you find yourself charged with motoring offences you know you are not responsible for, the first thing to do is to contact the agencies issuing the notices, to inform them of your suspicions. You must also notify the police that you believe you may have been a victim of cloning. Try and find some supporting evidence to back up your claim, such as proof that you were not in the relevant location at the stated time. You should also notify the DVLA of your claim, so that it can be recorded for further investigation.

If your car does indeed appear to have been cloned, the DVLA may issue you with new registration documents and plates for your car. This means any future offences committed by the cloned vehicle will not be laid at your door. Make sure you continue to communicate with the agencies pursuing you for the offences you did not commit as, unless they confirm that they accept your explanation, they may continue to prosecute you. The DVLA and the police should be able to support you in this, so that you do not end up having to pay for any penalties issued unfairly.

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