The amount of cloned vehicles on UK roads is increasing. Criminals are using copies of legitimate registration plates, as well as fake identities in order to drive vehicles illegally around the country. Transport for London (TfL) has showed an 857% increase in the number of penalty charge notices (PCNs) being cancelled due to the car being a clone in April of this year, when compared to twelve months ago. Because of this, there has been a 631% increase in PCNs being overturned due to car cloning since October of 2021.
It’s fairly evident that car duplication is fast becoming a prominent issue that UK drivers need to be aware of. If you ever come across a vehicle that you suspect may be a clone while exploring our online car auctions, feel free to give us a call on 01226 770255, and we’ll be sure to investigate right away. Many of the models we stock here at RAW2K include damaged and light damaged cars. The exact nature of the damage in question can vary between technical, electronic or body damage, and can range from light to severe. So, it’s unlikely you’ll find two of the same vehicles listed with the same damage specification.
We make sure to perform a series of checks on each vehicle listed on our site to ensure we don’t sell anything that’s stolen. As part of or commitment to providing you with a quality auction service that you can trust, we also take care to stay on top of the latest trends in vehicle crime. So, here’s what you need to know about the recent trend in cloned cars.
What happens if I receive a PCN due to my car being cloned?
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a PCN that you suspect might be as a result of your car being cloned, as the legitimate registered keeper of the vehicle you’ll be required to provide evidence that satisfies the issuer of the ticket, that your car was not at the time and place where the alleged offence occurred.
You’ll need to write to your local council within 14 days of receiving the penalty notice if you wish to appeal. From there, they’ll inform you as to what evidence you’ll need to supply. Failing an appeal, you could be issued with a PCN charge of £160 (reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days).
What’s being done about car cloning?
Online car dealer Heycar conducted research into the rise of car cloning in the UK, and is urging the DVLA to publish car cloning figures so that UK drivers can see the scale of the problem within the country.
Sarah Tooze, consumer editor at Heycar said: “These car cloning figures are the tip of the iceberg… Many drivers are unable to provide the evidence TfL requires to cancel the PCN due to the vehicle being a clone.”
She continued: “Appealing the PCN process can also be complicated and intimidating, which means many more victims will pay the fine to avoid the stress and end the matter.
“The true number of cloned cars in London and elsewhere in the UK will be much higher but there are no official, national statistics which are publicly available.”
Tooze concluded that “There needs to be greater transparency around this serious crime and tighter regulations to help prevent innocent motorists being stung with fines or, worse still, losing thousands of pounds by unknowingly buying a cloned vehicle”.
Where does car cloning fit in with recent rises in vehicle crime?
Car cloning is very much a symptom of a far more widespread increase in automotive crime across the UK. In England and Wales alone, there has been a 7% rise in vehicle theft in the last year, with one area reporting a 37% spike since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. Car cloning is not a victimless crime, as many UK residents have been stung with hefty PCNs that weren’t of their own doing. For example, one man from London was faced with six different PCNs when he was a victim of car cloning in 2021, leaving him faced with costs of up to £1,070.
As you can see, car cloning is a very prominent issue that’s plaguing our country at the minute, and we can only hope that it won’t become an ongoing problem.
It’s something we’re always on the lookout for here at RAW2K, especially when it comes to our own salvage car auctions which list thousands of used, salvaged and seized vehicles every week. The vast majority of the vehicles you’ll find online on our website are salvage cars, vans and motorcycles. These salvage cars attract thousands of trade and non-trade customers from around the UK, who bid on them in our fast, easy online vehicle auctions. So, whether you’re just a hobbyist, or a full time professional mechanic, why not see what you can find?