How To Spot a Cloned Car
If you’re a car owner, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of cloned cars. A cloned car has been illegally copied from another vehicle, often for insurance fraud or theft. In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips on how to spot a cloned car and protect yourself from becoming a victim.
What is Cloned Car?
Cloning a car is the process of copying all or part of one vehicle onto another, it is similar to identity theft, but it affects cars rather than people.
Criminals steal a car or repair one that has been written off, then give it the same identification as a legally registered car that matches the same description. This is accomplished by reregistering the number plates on the stolen car to those of the original, changing the VIN number on the illegal car and then issuing a phoney logbook to make it look like the car has always been this way. This leads to two identical cars (clones) driving around at the same time.
The purpose of cloning a car can be anything from insurance fraud to theft, but most commonly it’s used to create a fake copy of a high-value car that can then be sold for profit. Cloned cars are often passed off as the real thing, so it’s important to be able to spot the signs of a cloned car if you want to avoid being scammed.
What are the dangers of cloning?
The dangers of cloning cars are many and varied but can be summed up in three words: insurance fraud, theft and danger to the public. Cloned cars present a massive risk to insurers as they can lead to huge payouts when genuine accidents occur. The number of cloned cars on the road is also increasing, so there’s a greater chance that you could be in an accident with one.
In addition to the dangers to insurers, cloning poses a serious threat to car owners and the general public. Cloned cars are often used in a crime, for example as getaway vehicles or in robberies. They can also be sold on to unsuspecting members of the public who end up with a car that’s not only worth a lot less than they paid for it, but is also illegal.
So, how can you spot a cloned car?
There are several things you can look out for that may indicate a car has been cloned:
-The car’s VIN number may have been tampered with
-The car may have different registration plates to those that are listed on the logbook
-The car may be a different colour or model from the one that is listed on the logbook
-There may be discrepancies between the mileage on the odometer and the logbook
These are some of the things to look out for, but it’s important to remember that cloning a car is an illegal act, so if you suspect that a car may have been cloned, you should contact the police.
How can you protect yourself from cloning?
The best way to protect yourself from cloning is to be aware of the signs and take precautions when buying or selling a car. Here are some of the things you can do:
-Only buy a car from a reputable dealer: This may seem like an obvious one, but most of the time, it is a lot safer to buy a car from a dealer than it is to buy one privately. Find a dealer you trust and make sure you see the car’s logbook and VIN number before you hand over any money.
-Check the car’s history: If you’re buying a used car, it’s important to check its history. A car history report will tell you if the car has been cloned, written off or stolen. Make sure you get a full history report from a reputable source so you can be sure the car is what it says it is.
-Run a vehicle check: A vehicle check will tell you if the car has been cloned, written off or stolen. It’s a good idea to run a check before you buy a used car, even if you’re buying from a dealer. You can do Online Car Check that will give you instant access to a full vehicle history so you can make an informed decision on any car in the UK.
-Be suspicious of cars that are too good to be true: If someone is offering to sell you a car for much less than it’s worth, it’s worth being suspicious. It may be a sign that the car has been cloned. It’s worth investigating further. There may be a good reason for this (e.g. the car needs repairs), but it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
-Consider an insurance policy that covers cloning: Some insurers offer policies that cover you in the event of your car being cloned. This may not be available from all insurers, so it’s worth shopping around to find the best policy for you.
-Never pay cash for a car: If you’re buying a car from a private seller, never pay cash. This will make it more difficult for the seller to disappear with your money. Paying by bank transfer is much safer. Avoid paying part cash, especially if the proportion of cash is high.
-Check for missing documents: If you’re buying a used car, make sure you get all the relevant documentation from the seller. This should include the logbook (V55/V56), MOT certificate and service history. If any of these are missing, it could be a sign that the car has been cloned.
-Get an independent inspection: If you’re really concerned about the car you’re buying, get an independent inspector to take a look at it. They will be able to tell you if the car has been cloned and may be able to spot other problems with the vehicle.
These are just some of the things you can do to protect yourself from cloning. If you’re ever in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and contact the police. Hope this article was of some help.