Car cloning information.

Staying safe and taking care of your money.


It works when a thief steals a car and poses it as another car of identical make, model and colour. This is commonly achieved via the VRM (Vehicle Registration Mark).


how to identify a cloned vehicle



Car 1 – Nissan Qashqai 1.5 DCI [VRM WP16HVP] colour silver, is stolen
Car 2 – Nissan Qashqai 1.5 DCI [VRM ZF16NRT] colour silver, has its identity stole (number plates) and they are placed on Car 1

Car 1 is the cloned car

You usually need the V5C logbook to order a new number plate. This explains why number plates are often stolen to assist in car cloning. However, clever thieves can find a way around the DVLA red tape to obtain a new logbook.


CarVeto checks and cloned vehicles

In the example above, we see that Car 1 has a new, false VRM. Should you process a car data check from CarVeto and use the new, false registration number you are running a background check on Car 2.

This is a huge problem for CarVeto and all car checking services. To combat car cloning we provide the various car buying guides that support motorists to identify cloned cars for sale.

If you buy a cloned car you will lose the money you have paid for it and the car itself.

Run a free CarVeto check


How to stay safe when buying a used car


certificate explaining the further steps required when buying a car


These practical steps will help you buy a car that is genuine and a worthwhile investment:

  1. Ensure the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a perfect match on the V5C logbook, the car and your CarVeto check (we present you with the last four digits of the VIN)
    Most modern UK cars have the VIN number under the bonnet on the front panel or on one of the struts to the left or right of the engine bay. You may also find the VIN inside the door pillar on either the drivers or passenger door or on the boot floor panel
  2. Ensure the engine number matches your CarVeto (as above)
  3. Ensure the V5C issue date matches your CarVeto
  4. Look for any evidence that the number plates may have been removed or replaced. Are the number plates fitted correctly? Can you identify if the number plate screws have been removed at any stage?
  5. Look for any false documentation of the car – in particular, the registration mark, VIN and engine numbers?
  6. If buying privately, be sure to view the car at the seller’s address and ensure the address matches the V5C logbook
  7. Check the service records and MOT history. CarVeto provides full MOT history with each check. Learn more about auditing service history
  8. Understand the market value of the car. Any price that is 25% lower than comparative cars is a red flag.


If you are in any doubts do not take risks or buy the car

Read our previous article

The team, CarVeto

Free guides from CarVeto

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