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25 Feb 2010

It pays to work together, according to a report on beating vehicle cloning from vehicle information source HPI this week.
It has teamed up with the Association of Chief Police Officers on the issue.

A major problem facilitating car cloning is the theft of log books (V5s) which make creating a doppelganger – and so fooling unsuspecting buyers – as easy as buttering toast.

And just like toast is bound to fall on the ground face-first, 11,000 cloned vehicles worth more than £13 million have been taken back from their new owners since 2006.  That’s a lot of happy criminals, and a lot of very unhappy consumers.

However, the HPI has offered some advice on beating the con-artists before it’s too late. Firstly, stolen V5 certificates look mauve on the front and pink on the back, when on legitimate documents they should be mauve on both sides.
Other key tips include viewing a vehicle at the registered seller’s address, as shown on the V5, and using the resource’s HPI Check service to verify VIN numbers and check for stolen logbooks (a service which comes as standard).

Nicola Johnson, Consumer Services Manager at HPI, said: “We can’t stop stolen V5s from circulating but we can stop the criminals from profiteering from them by simply using the tools that are at hand to check, check and double check if documents are legitimate.”

Basically, it all boils down to common sense, following a range of simple measures, and having HPI on speed-dial when buying a used car.


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