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How to spot a cloned vehicle

If you’re buying a car and need help picking the bargains from the bangers, make sure you start with a full provenance check to rule out a hidden past which could otherwise set you back thousands of pounds.

Top tips

  • Always check the provenance/history of the car, and make sure you view it at the address shown on the V5/logbook. Ensure all the VIN/chassis numbers on the vehicle match each other and then use the provenance check to ensure they match DVLA records.
  • Know the car’s market value. If you are paying less than 70% of the market price for a vehicle, then be on your guard. No seller will want to lose money on their sale.
  • Don’t pay with large amounts of cash, especially if the car costs over £3,000 – use the banking system. HPI still hears of many buyers who pay in cash and then find out that the car is a clone, and that they’ve lost both their money and the vehicle.
  • Check the vehicle’s V5/logbook. Stolen V5 documents are still being used to accompany cloned vehicles. The HPI check includes a unique stolen V5 document check as standard.

Many thanks to HPI for sharing these top tips.

A provenance check is the only way to ensure that the vehicle you’re proposing to buy doesn’t have identity issues and is exactly as it should be. To make sure you’re protected, pay a visit to your Safe and Sound dealer who will carry out a complete provenance check as part of your free motoring package before you buy the car. Click here to find your nearest.

Registered office: The WMS Group Ltd,
Oxford House, Oxford Road, Thame, Oxon OX9 2AH
01844 293 810