Platehunter, a seller of DVLA private number plates, has released data surrounding the growing issue of vehicle cloning in the UK. Their data adds further light to the recent findings by the DVLA that show that 12,300 UK citizens received either fines, penalties or letters for misdemeanours involving other vehicles displaying their registration between January 2021 and September 2022.   

Additional research found that vehicle cloning has been on the rise for much longer. Their data indicates that 4,021 complaints of vehicle cloning were made in 2018 and 9,384 in 2019. They also found that a staggering 7,400 complaints were reported in 2020 when the Covid pandemic was at its apex. 

Vehicle cloning occurs when someone steals or duplicates the private number plates of a vehicle that doesn’t belong to them. Criminals engage in vehicle cloning in order to commit other crimes using the car or to get out of traffic or parking fines. Crimes committed with stolen number plates may lead police to the legal owner of the car. Some criminals will also use vehicle cloning to sell a stolen car to an unsuspecting buyer. 

Platehunter sales director Jon Kirkbright said, [some people] had the police on their doorstep asking why they made off from a garage without paying. Others have had speeding fines in London when they’ve never been there – all because someone has cloned their plate and used it to commit crimes.”

An uptick in Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology may be propelling the growth of cloned vehicles. Criminals will now target a car of the same make and model and clone the private number plate, making it more difficult for police to catch them. They can also target a vehicle with a clean record and clone the registration. 

Police have advised the public to inform the DVLA immediately if they suspect their private number plates have been cloned. Platehunter is making it easy for victims of cloned vehicles to get new private number plates so they can return to the road with peace of mind.  

Kirkbright said, We’ve seen a 300% increase in the purchase of replacement car registration plates in the last 12 months.”

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