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Car and number plate cloning is on the up
Make no mistake, this is no minor problem. And what's worse is that any of us could fall victim to this crime, without even knowing it.
The Telegraph claims up to 8% of cars have cloned number plates. I'd say that was a bit of an exaggeration to grab the reader's attention. Especially if you look at their definition of cloning, which I would argue is not actually correct. Nevertheless, it's still a very real problem, that can (at the very least) cause the rest of us a bit of a headache. At worst, we could end up considerably out of pocket or even with the police knocking at our door.
So what exactly is car cloning?
The phrase "car cloning" basically means passing off a car with the identity of another (using the car registration number). Usually, this is done using the same make / model / colour of the original vehicle. It's done by either having number plates made up or by stealing number plates from someone else's car.
Think it's a minor crime? Think again.
Who clones cars and number plates?
Cars are cloned by criminals to commit a variety of offences.
Crimes can include selling stolen cars by making them look like legitimate cars. If you're buying a vehicle privately, make sure you do some checking before parting with cash.
Fraudster James Fyfe jailed for selling number plates he did not own
James Fyfe led a lifestyle of luxury based on lies and false claims.
He duped unsuspecting buyers into parting with £1000's for prestige personalised number plates and supercars that he did not own. And he used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, renting supercars and wearing designer clothes.
He presented himself as a car salesman, and advertised Porsches and Ferraris under company name Prestige Lifestyle Supercars. How? Using social media channels and other websites. In reality, he didn't own these. But conned buyers into transferring deposits direct to his bank accounts. In total, he was found guilty for frauds adding up to £231,000.
It's taken a while... but worth the wait, we hope!
The Plate Market launched a sparkling new private number plates website today.
Finding your private number plate was never easier
The site is still packed with great value number plates that start from under £95. With over 45 million to choose from, you'll be spoilt for choice.
To make it easier, we've added some helpful filters. Now you can limit your results based on price, to see what's available within
How much is my number plate worth? A very common question. There is a general expectation that all personal number plates, once bought, will increase in value. Not true. And it applies especially to the new style registration numbers (sometimes referred to as current style). Why? It's simple - supply and demand. Most people, when they think of buying a personal number plate, will opt for either a 3-letter version of their name (like Sue or Gav). Or their initials. If the rest of the numbers / letters on the registration number have no general significance, there's nothing to increase its 'desirability'.
Selling number plates is unlike selling anything else. Each registration number is unique, and means something different to each individual. As a first option, most will choose a number plate with their name (if budget allows) or, alternatively, their initials. Others will opt for a number plate that reflects a hobby (like horses or a music number plate), or their job (such as doctor or pub). The most common (and affordable) are initials. Some initials are more common than others. For the more common initials, there will perhaps only be a few good number plates on the market at any time.
Today it was announced that on-the-spot fines for illegal number plates are to double from £30 to £60.
The DVLA are very specific as to how a legal number plate should be displayed - including font, letter size, and spacing.
This includes failure to conform with rules on font, size and colour of number plates. The use of illegal number plates can have a significant impact on criminal investigations and crime detection.