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Car Cloning Is A Crime

Car Cloning Is A Crime

Rather like Dolly the cyber-sheep, some things are not always as they appear. The advances in car security have meant that the criminal fraternity have become even more devious when it comes to ripping off motorists and one of their favourite tricks is the cloned car.

This is where the details of one perfectly legitimate car are used to mask the true identity of a similar stolen vehicle. Crooks like to lull potential buyers into a false sense of security with a nice clean vehicle at a bargain price, but, as we always say, if it looks to good to be true etc, etc.

It’s a case of buyer beware. If a car that you buy proves to be stolen then it will be returned to its rightful owner and the duped buyer will be out of pocket to the tune of a lot. The trouble is, a professionally cloned car can be hard to spot. Often, the only clue is some minor discrepancy on the paperwork.

The solution is to be thorough. The assorted paperwork offers a history of a car. Try to check that all the VIN and chassis numbers match up. It’s always a good idea to take someone with you as a dispassionate pair of eyes may well spot something dodgy. When you buy a vehicle always check to see that you are viewing it at the address shown on the documents. This will probably not be the car park of a dubious looking pub.

Check pricing. If the offer price is around seventy percent of the trade / private sale price then walk away. There are plenty of magazines that show this sort of information. Try not to pay with cash – a seller who will accept payment through the banks is more likely to be honest; although this may not necessarily be so. Of course it is always possible that the documents you see may also be stolen and doctored.

For true peace of mind it is a good idea to have an official vehicle check. There are plenty of companies that offer this service, gleaning their information from official sources. Remember though, you get what you pay for. The cheap deals certainly give you an honest report as to whether or not the car is stolen or has been in an accident but do they check for outstanding finance, for example?

The more expensive companies ensure that all the facts are verified. Some even offer a guarantee in the form of financial recompense should their info be wrong. Certainly it is more costly, especially if you are viewing more than one car but at least it helps to ensure that your efforts not to be duped are backed up with additional security. If you are not sure of the deal – don’t do it.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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