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CAR CLONING ON THE RISE WARNS HPI
Automated Number Plate Recognition Systems Fuelling a Rise in Vehicle Identity Theft
www.hpicheck.com

Devious motorists who turn to car cloning, in a bid to outwit police automated number plate recognition (ANPR) systems, are increasingly becoming a menace to law abiding used car owners, warns vehicle history check expert, HPI, provider of the HPI Check®. Predominantly, a car is cloned to disguise the identity of a stolen car which is sold on for a quick buck. However, petty criminals are now cloning cars to avoid parking fines and speeding tickets, whilst organised gangs are using them to commit more serious crimes. Increasing numbers of legitimate cars owners are reporting hefty fines they never incurred or have faced unwelcome visits by the police as a result of their vehicle being cloned.

Car cloning is just like personal identity theft but for cars. Criminal gangs mask the true identity of a vehicle by giving it a false Vehicle Registration Number (VRM) often that of a similar make and model car legitimately on the road. Whilst this is causing trouble for the owners of the cars that have been cloned, used car buyers who innocently purchase a stolen vehicle that has been given a false identity, will lose the car and their hard earned money when it’s returned to the legal owner by the police.

Whilst to buy a registration plate in the UK owners must have the vehicle’s log book – otherwise known as a V5 - driver’s licence and proof of address, it is possible to purchase ‘show plates’ on the internet or over the phone with no documentation. Once purchased, there’s nothing to stop show plates being used on the road, albeit fraudulently.

Neil Hodson, Managing Director for HPI comments, “For most victims of car cloning it’s a parking fine from somewhere they have never visited or a speeding ticket issued on a day the car was tucked-up in the garage that raises the alarm. For others, it can be more extreme; it could be the Police turning up at their front door, especially if the car has been used to commit a crime. But for unwitting buyers of a car with an illegitimate identity, the consequences can be financially devastating.”

HPI is urging used car buyers to take some simple but vital steps to avoid being stung by the cloning criminals:

One… Always check the provenance/history of the car you are looking to buy, and make sure you view it at the address shown on the V5/logbook.
Two… Check the vehicle’s V5/logbook. Stolen V5 documents are still being used to accompany cloned vehicles. The HPI Check includes a unique stolen V5 document check as standard.
Three… Ensure all the VIN/chassis numbers on the vehicle match each other and then conduct a vehicle history check such as the HPI Check to ensure they match DVLA records.
Four… Know the car’s market value. If you are paying less than 70% of the market price for a vehicle, then be on your guard. No seller will want to lose money on their sale.
Five… Avoid paying in cash, especially if the car costs over £3,000 – use the banking system. HPI continues to hear of many buyers who pay in cash and then find out that the car is a clone, and that they’ve lost both their money and the vehicle.

Concludes Neil Hodson: “We advise used car buyers to conduct a vehicle history check to confirm whether their potential dream buy has something to hide. It’s better to be safe than sorry and out of pocket. Crucially the HPI Check includes a Guarantee as standard which provides cover against buying a cloned car, offering buyers financial peace of mind in the event of being outwitted by a criminal.”

The HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as standard, now with over 200 million mileage readings. HPI also confirms whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance against it or has been written off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit. In addition, the HPI Check offers a £30,000 Guarantee* in the event of the information it provides being inaccurate or incomplete.
October 2015
END

For further information visit www.hpicheck.com or call 0845 300 8905
Follow us on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/hpicheck

Notes to Editors:

Madeleine Roles, Ally Redding, Charlie Hart or Justine Hoadley
HSL
Email: hpiteam@harrisonsadler.com
Tel: 0208 977 9132

About HPI:

Originally established in 1938, HPI Limited is a primary source of vehicle information for the UK motor industry and motoring consumer which, since December 2008, has been owned by Solera Holdings, Inc. Solera Holdings, Inc. is an integrated group of leading automotive claims solutions companies. Founded in January 2005 by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tony Aquila, Solera has expanded its geographic reach and now serves more than 55,000 business customers in over 50 countries across six continents.

HPI encompasses both the HPI database of all UK road registered vehicle descriptions and histories, and the National Mileage Register (NMR) which holds in excess of 200 million mileage readings.

Together, HPI and NMR represent one of the UK's largest vehicle information sources, combining and interpreting data from government agencies, industry bodies, private organisations, the police and the general public. Registering with HPI helps companies to protect their financial interests in motor vehicles and a wide range of other mobile assets. HPI Checks give purchasers instant confirmation of whether vehicles are correctly described, known to be subject to outstanding finance or serious accident damage, or recorded as stolen or "clocked".

'HPI' and the HPI logo are registered trademarks of HPI Limited.
(1) All prices include VAT and are correct as of 2nd January 2015
(2) Mileage Data is not covered by The HPI Guarantee
(3) *The HPI Guarantee is subject to terms and conditions

Ally Redding
HSL
Telephone: 020 8977 9132
Mobile: 07876597466
Address: Churcham House|1 Bridgeman Road|Teddington|TW11 9AJ
Website: www.harrisonsadler.com
Follow me: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/alisonreeson

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