One out of twelve of the 37 million vehicles on UK roads could have cloned number plates, according to new studies.
This big number of duplicate plates, where a car’s true identity is camouflaged by the incorrect use of a lawful registration, are often related with other serious illegal goings-on as well.
Collated statistics from numerous legitimate sources, has evidenced that according to the police, there are thousands of duplicate number plates identified every day by their automatic number plate recognition and CCTV cameras used obviously in an attempt to evade discovery when stealing petrol, parking unlawfully, breaking the speed limits, or committing more grave crimes such as break-ins or theft.
Roughly 1.75 million of the 37 million vehicles of all kinds in the UK are actually estimated to be sporting duplicated number plates.
This number includes 250,000 vehicles of all kinds, including cars, motorbikes, HGVs, lorries, caravans, motor homes, and plant and farming equipment which were registered as stolen last year, plus the other half a million cars which were write-offs by insurers.
There are also roughly a million vehicles still unrecovered from the last decade as well.
The rest of the one in 12, which is around 1.25 million vehicles, is made up of genuine number plates that have been modified so that they read differently.
Over 100,000 sets of number plates are pinched every year but more than this have been changed with either paint, a felt tip pen or black tape to deceive number plate cameras or witnesses to lawbreaking involving the car. It seems criminals are taking a leaf out of James Bond’s book with as cheaper version of his interchangeable number plates.
Here’s a quick run through on how to stay vigilant and prevent yourself from buying a second hand car with duplicate number plates.
The police will seize any vehicle which has a duplicate plate, and the poor guiltless customer won’t get any compensation either in the worst cases, so tread carefully.
Buyers ought to thoroughly look into a possible purchase, counting an ID check with financing companies to also find out whether it has any finance still owing on it, is a stolen vehicle, or has ever been written off or modified illegally to get it back onto the road.
Also ensure that the private seller you’re buying from actually lives where they say they live, and don’t buy the car with cash either. Many of these fraudsters are becoming very smart of any traps. They habitually target cash buyers and will use manner of reasons as excuses such as needing to get rid of it quickly or that they are leaving the country. So if it looks too good to be true, it probably is when it comes to a car.
Vehicle purchasers can effortlessly check how legit the car’s registration is by looking closely at the number plates. The inscription on the bottom of the number plate under the main characters should display a dealer or plate producer’s name, including our own if you’ve bought one from us. If the plate is completely bare apart from the obvious, then it’s likely to have come from an unregistered source.