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How to prevent your car or van being cloned

Tuesday 8th June 2021

How to prevent your car or van being cloned.

What is car or van cloning? It is when a vehicle is given the identity of another by just putting on copied or stolen number plates. Sadly it’s really easy to steal the identity and the thief gets your vehicles good history, tax, insurance, MOT and they don’t get notified when they are pictured speeding or driving recklessly – you do. This has just happened to a customer of ours and our decals stopped him being prosecuted for refusing to accept the other car's speeding penalty so I thought I will do this blog as a guide to tell you how Hippy Motors decals prevent you becoming a victim of vehicle cloning.

How to protect yourself from becoming a victim of car cloning. First don’t buy a cloned vehicle. To buy a vehicle it needs a V5C logbook with it and you need to go and view it at the address on the logbook, don't view at a laybay or services, view it at the address on the logbook. No logbook, no deal; it’s a simple rule to follow. Organisations like the AA do a car check for a small cost that will check for things like cloning but if the owner of the real vehicle is not aware it’s cloned then it will not tell you it is.

You need to know your vehicle can be cloned without you even knowing it. The first time you find out it has been cloned is when you get a speeding ticket. That happened to our customer Paul.

So how can you prevent your car being cloned?

If you discover both number plates have been taken then the chances are it’s been cloned so it’s really important that you inform the Police and follow their advice. Most cases of vehicle identity theft, however, the numbers are just copied from internet pictures or from any public space your car is parked or travelling on.

Some careful people obscure the number plate in pictures to prevent cloning. That makes total sense but if you want to sell your car or van you need to show the number so potential buyers can check the details via a checking service like the UK Governments here as this is the most sensible way to check a potential purchase. Unfortunately a thief does not even need a picture.

All a thief needs to do is go to a car park or just look on your own drive or even jot down the number as you are travelling in the vehicle. As long as they can get number plates made up then your car is now theirs.

You may now be wanting to know ‘how can I prevent being a victim of car or van cloning?’ This is where Hippy Motors decals can help you.

A silver Ford Fiesta with our decals on is not just a silver Ford Fiesta, it’s easy to tell it apart from another one of the same make, colour and model. So like Paul, if you get a speeding ticket and it was not your car or van you can prove it once you see the picture. In Paul’s case the court scrutinised pictures of his car and those taken by the camera and they could see it was indeed a clone and the case against him was thrown out and he did not need to pay anything and his record was safe.

It makes sense that if a thief had to choose they would pick a vehicle that looked bland not one with our unique decals on. So by having your motor customised with our decals you will be less likely to be cloned. But it still happened to Paul so what can you do if it is still cloned?

We recommend you do what Paul did to prevent being held responsible for a clone car. If you have not done so already photograph your beautiful Hippy Motor and it’ll be date stamped in the image properties automatically. Any images uploaded on social media are easy to prove the date as well if you need to prove when your motor was stickered-up. That will be your protection against being held responsible for someone else's driving.

However, there was a twist in Paul's case and this is one reason it does amaze me what happened to Paul. In his case the thief actually went to the extraordinary trouble of putting on decals in a similar way to his so how did he get around that? Paul stood up in court and said, “Them are not my stickers in that picture, I got my stickers from Hippy Motors and those are not Hippy Motors stickers on that car”, pointing to the police speed camera picture.

The court officials had to then scrutinize the decals on the picture on the speeding ticket and compare them to his own car and they could see they were different designs arranged differently. I have no doubt they were the cheap rubbish stickers sold on Ebay and Amazon and the court could see that the thief had tried to copy Paul. Hippy Motors decals are only sold on Hippy Motors websites and are recognisable as our own designs. You only get Hippy Motors quality and designs from us here. This proves to me that only good people buy Hippy Motors decals.

So if it is cloned by a determined thief, like Paul had, then maybe only the unique range and designs from Hippy Motors will do.

This below is Paul entertaining us at one of our Hippy Motors convoy gatherings. We REALLY hope he was dressed like that when he went to court and said, “Them not Hippy Motors stickers”. Hippy Motors don’t just design and sell decals; we bring good and like-minded people together and we like to think you are safer for it.

Here is how we prevent our Bongo from being stolen or cloned...

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