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Used Cars: Dealers urged to step up cloning crackdown

Dealers who fail to protect themselves and their customers from vehicle fraud and car cloning are risking thousands of pounds in lost revenue.

HPI, which checks the identity of vehicles to see if they have been stolen, have outstanding finance or been in an accident, says many dealers are still falling prey to the crooks.

It estimates that there are 10,000 cloned vehicles on UK roads.

However, Detective sergeant Mark Tidy from AVSIS, which deals with vehicle crime, said nobody keeps figures as to how many cloned vehicles there are on the roads.The specialist unit has recovered more than 600 cloned motors in the past 16 months and is tracking down two million stolen V5 documents.

DS Tidy said: “We know of some vehicles that have been cloned three or four times.”

He points out that vehicle provenance companies can only check the details given to them by the customer, which of course is the identical identity of a stolen car. 

“The only way is for an expert to check that the engine and VIN number are correct.”

Warning: Check the serial number in the top right hand corner of the V5 before buying a used vehicle. If the it falls within the following ranges, contact the police.

BG8407501 to BG8431000
BG9282001 to BG9305000
BG9167501 to BG9190500
BG9190501 to BG9214000

  • Read this story in full and see which marques were the most cloned, in the 17 October 2008 issue of AM. To subscribe to AM magazine click here or call 01733 468659.

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