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CD 1045 - 52pp Text 21/8/08 13:20 Page 13
Van cloning on the rise
HPI is warning couriers to protect themselves but put a stop criminal
themselves from the growing threat of Top 10 Cloned Vehicles activity…
van cloning – the vehicle equivalent of
by Make and Model
One… Always check the provenance of a
identity theft. Latest research from
vehicle provenance expert, HPI,
van and double check both the Vehicle
Identification Number (VIN) and Vehicle
worryingly confirms that the Ford Transit
• Mitsubishi L200 12%
Registration Mark (VRM). Visit
van is number two in the UK’s top ten
• Fort Transit 11% for guaranteed peace
cloned vehicles. As the credit crunch
• Land Rover 7%
of mind.
takes its toll, HPI is urging sole traders
• Volkswagen Golf 6%
Two… Know the van’s market value. If
shopping for a used van to take steps to
• BMW 3 Series 5%
you are paying less than 70% of the
avoid being taken in by what seems a
• Mercedes Sprinter 5%
market price for a vehicle, it is probably a
great deal, but turns out to be a clone.
• Audi TT 4%
clone. There is rarely such a thing as a
Criminals create a ‘clone’ of a van by
• Mercedes C Class 4%
stealing the identity from another similar
• Nissan Navara 4%
Three… Don’t pay with a substantial
vehicle. They replace the number plates
• Peugeot 206 2%
amount of cash, particularly if the van is
and VIN on their van with the stolen
costing you more than £3,000. Some
identity from an almost identical vehicle of
The Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter and
cloners will take a bankers draft as part
the same make, model and colour.
Nissan Navara are all high on the
payment, because the cash part is
“Criminals are opportunists and will sophisticated cloner’s shopping list,
sufficient profit without ever cashing the
exploit any weakness, whether it’s in a accounting for 11%, 5% and 4%
bankers draft. Most crooks selling cloned
vehicle’s security system or its identity,” respectively. Although premium brand
vans would rather walk away from a sale
explains Nick Lindsay, Director of HPI. cars such as the Mercedes C Class, the
than take a payment that could be traced
“In the war against the unscrupulous, the
BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 see
back to them.
motor industry has worked hard to
significant numbers of claims, white van
Simply checking against the VIN isn’t
improve the quality and accuracy of the
drivers are top targets for cloners.
enough and means a buyer could be
data it holds on used vehicles. Inevitably,
However, it is clear to see that claims for
leaving themselves vulnerable to cloners.
this has made selling a stolen vehicle
Mercedes Sprinter, as well as the
In the current economic climate, sole
without changing its identity, all but
Mitsubishi L200, have dropped
traders blinded by a vehicle and who
impossible, hence the rise in cloning.
significantly over the last 4 years.
don’t use due diligence, are putting
This has not been helped by further Says Nick Lindsay: “Our top ten
themselves and their business at
recent news from the Driver and Vehicle suggests that it is not just prestige cars,
considerable risk. If you buy a clone you
Licensing Agency (DVLA) of suspect V5 but vans that are today’s work horses
stand to lose the van and the money you
vehicle registration documents which offer criminals the greatest
paid for it, as the stolen vehicle will be
circulating. However, despite this
returned to its rightful owner. By
rewards. Looking at our analysis we can
conducting an HPI Check and following
increase, many people are still unaware see that criminals seem to target one
our easy steps, you can avoid falling into
of the problem and even the police admit model from a particular manufacturer
the cloning trap.
they don’t know its true scale.” before moving on
The HPI* Check, which confirms a
elsewhere. It is not clear if
vehicle’s history, also provides buyers
this reflects market
with the HPI Guarantee**. This provides
demand or if awareness
up to £30,000 financial reimbursement in
and improvements to
the event of the van not being everything
security measures
it seems – including a Clone. The HPI
influence this change. To
Check is the only history check in the
avoid buying a stolen or
market to provide financial compensation
‘cloned’ used van buyers
in the event of a clone being bought**.
need to check every
Analysis of HPI’s claims data since 2004
aspect of a vehicle’s
has revealed that by educating
identity before parting with
consumers to arm themselves with the
their cash. By following 3
fullest possible level of information, the
simple steps, consumers
HPI Check helps them to spot a fake.
can not only protect
Courier Direct FIRST FOR NEWS & VIEWS 13
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