1,300 Car Cloning Cases Are ‘Tip Of The Iceberg’
17 May 10

As Car Crime Awareness Week (17-23 May) gets underway, police car crime experts are warning that many thousands of ‘cloned’ cars are still being sold illegally in the UK, to genuine buyers, who then stand to lose both their new car and the money they paid for it.

According to ACPO figures*, 1,300 cloned vehicles, worth more than £13million, have been recovered since 2006. Yet, this is likely to be just a tiny proportion of the problem, with over 100,000 stolen blank V5C Registration documents still in circulation, being used to clone stolen vehicles.

Cloning is where criminals use stolen vehicle documents to change the identity of a stolen vehicle to match that of a legitimate vehicle. Such vehicles are then often sold on illegally, to unwitting buyers.

Paul Boddington, founder of CarEnquiry.co.uk, said: “Buyers are at greater risk from cloned cars than ever before and it’s clear those cars recovered are just the tip of the iceberg -- today, it really is buyer beware, with established dealers the best way to stay safe.”

CarEnquiry.co.uk has pledged to only allow accredited dealers that meet its strict conditions to sell through its online car finding service and will insist all used cars offered carry a certified history check.

Its efforts have the support of Edmund King, AA president, who said: “Car buying is fraught with pitfalls, from rogue traders to car cloning and forged documents. It always pays to shop with your head, not your heart and deal only with those who can deliver you genuine cars, from accredited dealers.”

Car Enquiry.co.uk and the ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service have also issued the following four key steps for Car Crime Awareness Week, to avoid cloned cars:

1 - Do not pay in cash - cloners want to be able to disappear quickly with the money and remain anonymous. Instead, use a traceable payment method, such as a credit card or bank draft

2 - Check key vehicle details before you buy – cloners don’t want buyers to look at the details and spot anomalies in the paperwork or on the vehicle. Check registration number (VRM), chassis number (VIN), along with the V5C serial number and issue date to check if it has been altered in anyway, or it’s one of the ones recorded as stolen. Serial numbers for the stolen V5Cs are: BG 8229501-BG 9999030 and BI 2305501-BI 2800000.

3 - Do not pay less than 70% of the vehicle’s market value – cloners want to shift the car quickly, so will price it as a bargain (half price or even less). Know the market value for the car you’re buying and don’t be blinded by the ‘bargain’

4 - View and buy from only an authorised retailer with premises, or purchase from the registered keeper’s address – cloners want to remain untraceable and anonymous, to ensure a clean getaway, meeting the buyer in a lay-by, motorway service station or car park. Don’t be tempted by any such offer and check the address you visit matches details on the V5C

ENDS

About CarEnquiry.co.uk
CarEnquiry.co.uk was established in 2009, by Paul Boddington, who has 18 years’ experience in the motor trade. It finds both new and used cars, but only works with accredited dealers, to ensure all cars and any history they carry, are genuine. Once you’ve chosen your car, CarEnquiry.co.uk puts you in direct contact with the dealer, for you to arrange your inspection, test drive and purchase, including any part exchange.

About Car Crime Awareness Week (17-23 May 2010)
Car Crime Awareness Week has been established by the ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS) as an annual reminder for motorists to be vigilant in order to prevent becoming a victim of crime. This week aims to provide an occasion for all those involved within the sector to offer advice and help motorists reduce theft opportunities in order to drive down crime rates. www.AVCIS.org
* = figures from ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, May 2010

For further information, please contact:
Phil Hale, Torque PR: Tel: +44 (0) 1306 871201, Mob: +44 (0) 7738 709485, Email: phil@torquepr.co.uk