How to spot a car that’s been cloned
If you’re buying a used car, here’s what to look for:
Is the car suspiciously cheap? If you come across a car that’s way below the market price, it should ring alarm bells. And don’t pay in cash. If you do, there’s no real proof that you paid for the car.
Before you go to see a car, ask the seller for the registration number, make and model, and MOT test number. You can then check online to see if the details you’ve been given match DVLA information.
When you go to see the vehicle, a couple of simple checks will also help you avoid a cloned car:
- Check the logbook – the V5C vehicle registration certificate. Make sure the number plates in the document and on the car match. Check that it has the right 'DVL' watermark. Look at the serial number. The DVLA advises that you should check that the number: "is not between BG8229501 to BG9999030, or BI2305501 to BI2800000. If it is, the V5C might be stolen - call the police as soon as it’s safe to."
- Check the vehicle identification number (VIN) and engine number and make sure these match the logbook. The VIN is usually stamped into the chassis of the vehicle.