Beware the Cloned Car
by Jonathan Clensy |
posted 26 August 2017
In this modern age, there is a scam that all car buyers need to be aware of – that is cloned cars.
This scam is where a car that is put up for sale has its details altered to look exactly the same as another car of the same model and make. It can be used to hide the real history of the vehicle, for example that it’s stolen. It will land an unsuspecting buyer with big problems, because if you buy a cloned vehicle then you will lose both the car and any money you paid for it.
It is usually part of a scam perpetrated by organised criminal gangs. The VIN or vehicle identification number and often even the V5C ownership document is forged. Although the car looks genuine, it isn’t. The AA have some good advice to help you buy with peace of mind:
Check through all documents to make sure they tell a consistent story
Always view and buy from the registered keeper's address as shown on the V5C/logbook
Confirm who they are with proof of identity.
Think about getting the car professionally inspected or get a car data check
Use a traceable payment method and don’t pay cash.
Don't pay less than 70% of the market value of the vehicle. If it’s too good to be true, it may well be.
Make sure you get a proper receipt for the purchase, detailing the vehicle, price, and the seller’s details.
With a little thought before you part with your hard-earned funds, you should avoid making a costly mistake. If things seem just too good to be true or the seller is too pushy or you feel uncomfortable, just walk away. In the current car buying market there are plenty more fish in the sea.