Number Plate Cloning – Everything YOU Need To Know!
You’ll agree with us that number plate cloning is something every car owner should be worried about because it can happen to anyone and get you into some serious trouble.
Over the years, there has been a massive increase in vehicle-related crimes, and the most common one involves number plate cloning or vehicle cloning.
To further bolster our point, in April 2019, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) reported 656 vehicles wrongly associated with criminal offences.
Furthermore, in March 2020, a whopping 1,105 vehicle owners contacted the DVLA to lay complaints that their cars were wrongly linked to various crimes.
Even the Telegraph did an exclusive story on why number plate cloning has a hand in the wrong accusation of motorists in various crimes.
So what is number plate cloning?
Number plate theft and cloning happen when a criminal steals your plate number from your car and installs it on their vehicle, making it look like it’s your car. They’re basically stealing your car’s identity so they can transfer it to their car.
How do criminals clone cars?
A criminal mastermind can easily clone your car by swapping plates or just stealing your number plate or even having a replica made up by number plate sellers on selling websites such as eBay.
These criminal elements can go to the extent of installing the stolen plate number on another car that matches your car’s brand, model, and colour, so they pose as if they’re driving your vehicle.
The bottom line is that they’ve gone to a lot of trouble to clone your car and probably carry out a robbery or go about their illegal activities, and if they get caught and ditch the car, it will never be traced back to them but you.
There’s more to this vehicle cloning menace.
Once your car gets cloned, what it means is that there are now two cars of the same registration number, brand and colour on the road, with one legally registered and the other an illegal clone of the original.
Online number plate registration
Usually, if you purchase a new number and want to register it, you need to prove that you’re the car owner. You can easily do this by providing a V5C registration certificate or another document like your insurance policy.
However, to avoid this security measure, these criminals will buy fake plates online with your registered number on them via online number plates dealers who don’t ask to see some proof of car ownership.
In some cases, these criminals will alter the 17-digit vehicle identification number on the cloned car by leveraging parts from other vehicles to make it look as though the cloned vehicle is the genuine vehicle!
Once your car is cloned, relevant vehicle documents like the V5C logbook can also be falsified.
This is why we, JDM Plates, strive so hard to protect our customers with our highly secured number plate sale and registration process to prevent number plate cloning from occurring.
JDM Plates is registered with DVLA and is based in England, which means that all our products comply with The Road Vehicles (display or registration marks) Regulations 2001 and other amendments.
Furthermore, all our products are of BSI standards, and we only source materials from BNMA registered dealers to ensure that we only offer the best to our customers.
To protect you from number plate cloning, we need to see documentation before manufacturing any legal number plates.
Aside from this, you’ll also get a declaration of legality document that shows that our plate number is road legal and that we, as a company, comply with UK laws as the number one plate supplier in the United Kingdom.
How does number plate theft put me in danger?
The same reason why criminals clone cars is the same reason they put on masks. They don’t want anyone to know their identity or trace whatever evidence back to them.
The cloned number plate gives them adequate cover to carry out their illegal activities.
With that being said, the innocent driver whose car was cloned could now be wanted by the Police because a vehicle matching the physical description of their registered vehicle was found at a crime scene.
Don’t forget that when the Police contact the DVLA and give them the car’s number plate on their crime scene, your data will be revealed, with the possibilities of you being interrogated by the Law!
What do I do if my number plate is cloned?
Unfortunately, you can never know when you have gone through a process of number number plate cloning
However, one of the ways you can find out if your car has been cloned is when you get a penalty notification related to a parking fine or a speeding ticket that you never committed.
In more severe driving-related offences, the Police might get in touch with you for more information.
Therefore, if you received a fine or penalty charge notification on a traffic offence that you didn’t commit, you need to contact the appropriate authorities issuing the fine to tell your side of the story.
It doesn’t end there
If this ever happens to you, immediately contact the Police and DVLA, and make them aware that your car has potentially been cloned and express why you think so!
Furthermore, you can contact your insurance company for help since most insurers have helplines to give you legal advice if you are in a scenario of number plate cloning.
This feature can be beneficial if you get charged to court for a serious traffic offence that you did not commit.
How do you check if a car has been cloned?
Unfortunately, as previously stated, you won’t be able to tell if a car has been through a number plate cloning. However, there are several steps you can leverage to avoid buying a vehicle with cloned plate numbers.
You need to thoroughly examine the car you want to buy before you make payment to the seller. Also, it would help if you asked the seller to provide details like the car’s model, make, registration number and previous MOT’s and possibly even insurance documents; the more information you have the better!
Once you’ve received the details, you can now verify the details against the DVLA online vehicle database to help yourself make an informed decision.
Furthermore, when you finally have the opportunity to inspect the car physically, take your time to confirm that the car matches what you were expecting.
Confirm that the vehicle identification number (VIN) in the car you want to buy is the same as what you saw in the V5C logbook. You can find the VIN under the bonnet, on the drivers’ door or the dashboard. This greatly reduces the likelihood of you falling victim to number plate cloning.
Another suitable method of preventing yourself from buying cloned cars is to ask the seller if you can examine the vehicle at the address listed on the V5C logbook.
You must confirm all the car’s details before transferring money to the seller whenever you want to buy a car or motorcycle.
As always, trust your gut instincts. If the deal seems too good to be true, whereby the price is considerably lower than other cars of the same value, something suspicious could be happening.
Further Number Plate Cloning Research
- An 857% increase in the number of penalty charge notices (PCNs) being cancelled due to the car being a clone in April, compared to a year ago
- An 631% increase in PCNs being overturned due to cloning since the ULEZ was expanded in October 2021
The Bottom Line on Number Plate Cloning…
Number plate cloning is something no motorist wants to be involved in. Therefore, ensure you get your plates from a reputable and verifiable source so you can adequately protect yourself.
If you have more questions about number plate cloning, get in touch with us on 01493 230023 or via the contact forms around the website!