Home » Guides » Number Plate Guides » What Should You Do If Vehicle Number Plates Have Been Cloned?

What Should You Do If Vehicle Number Plates Have Been Cloned?

If you lately found being the victim of having the cloned number plates, then directly contact the police or authority who issue fine or penalty proving the vehicle is not there during the crime. Cloned number plates turn to put you at high risks when your car has been incorrectly identified. Any of us could be next to land up in such a situation; what should you do if your number plate is cloned.

Here’s the free guide for answering your queries. Let discuss further.

What is Car Cloning?

In simple words, vehicle cloning means putting your car’s registration number on another vehicle. It happens when criminals steal a car, repair a written off or are involved in serious organised crime. The culprits pick the same model of another legally registered car with similar descriptions—making cloned number plates even more genuine by changing the number plates & VIN and offering a fake logbook to appear fully legal. It impacts the legally registered car owner who has to face these issues.

Also Read: Know how to analyse if the vehicle’s logbook is original

Why Do Offenders Use Cloned Number Plates?

There are various reasons to clone a car, and here are some common practices behind cloning.

  • On stolen vehicles to hide their identity
  • Perform a criminal activity like fuel theft
  • Use it as a getaway car
  • To avoid speeding tickets, parking fines, toll, and congestion charges

A cloned car, especially with the same make and model as the genuine vehicle, is hard to be recognised by the police. Why? Because the Automated Number Plate (ANPR) cameras just inspect the registration number of a vehicle. The purpose of ANPR cameras is to observe traffic crimes like speeding, tax, MOT, insurance, etc. The cameras cannot carry out stolen number plates check.

How Is It Possible For Criminals To Copy My Number Plate?

According to the DVLA, you can order a number plate from any authentic supplier. And this is where the problem starts.

Criminals order cloned number plates from dishonest suppliers. Anyone who needs to order a number plate has to show their ID and proof to use the registration number. However, some car number plates’ suppliers do not take care of these checks, specifically those who offer online services. It means there will be two cars with the same registration numbers; one with legally registered and the other is not.

There is another easy way to duplicate your number; simply steal it from the car. The lawbreakers these days use social media for this purpose. They surf the social sites for different car pictures people post on their pages. These pictures tell them the number plate, colour, make, and model of the vehicle. The criminals use this information for car cloning. It is wise not to post your vehicle pictures online.

Recommend reading: Benefits of car registration check


cloned number plates


What Should I Do If My Car Has Been Cloned?

The first step is to report the cloned number plate by filling the complaint. Further, UK police investigate and provide you with a crime number. It will be helpful to prove that you are not responsible for any fines or penalties.

The second step is to order a personalised number plate for your vehicle from a reputable provider. It helps you provide documented evidence for future fines and criminal activities registered on your cloned number plate.

You need to contact the DVLA informing someone has duplicated your number plate. You can get help from the DVLA leaflet in f104.

Keep in mind; it is unsure of revealing the cloned number plate for free. Although DVLA sourced a full check report provides the essential details to spot the clone. From Car Analytics reports, spot the cloned vehicles easily through the VIN match and previous plate change history.

How to know if the vehicle is cloned?

There is no way to tell you to end up with the duplicate number plate unless you get the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) or a fine that you don’t know anything about. It could be a speeding/parking ticket or other illegal activity like driving in a bus lane.

You need to act fast once if you receive fines in a post where you are not responsible. Firstly, you have to change your number plate. Suppose you are in the market to buy a used car and want to avoid cloned number plates. Here are a few things to avoid purchasing such cloned cars.

  • Carry out our full car check or alternative hpi check to know vehicle details, which is the cheapest in England (just £8.95). Unfortunately, our free vehicle check UK does not include stolen number plates check.
  • Ensure vehicle VIN matches with the number plate, and also it has to match with the registration document and the online car check.
  • Don’t buy a used car by paying cash, as it is tough to prove that you own the vehicle. Buying a cloned car puts you in trouble if you don’t have evidence of purchase.
  • It is a red sign when you find a cheaper used car than the actual market value. It is common indicators to look at when you are buying a used car.