Cloned Car Registrations Are More Common Than You Think

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Whilst you may be under the impression that cloned number plates are a rarity, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, 1 in 12 cars in the UK has cloned car registrations. Learn more about this illegal practice:

Who is Using Falsified Car Registrations?

According to research there are 37 million vehicles on roads in the UK, and 1 in 12 of these has cloned registration plates. Well-organised vehicle crime gangs are using false number plates to avoid detection by the police.

Director of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, Dr Ken German, has recently said that the police pick up on thousands of cloned plates every day with their automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and CCTV cameras.

Read More: Number Plate Reader: Everything You Need to Know


The police believe that criminals are using cloned number plates to avoid being caught out when stealing petrol or to dodge speeding fines and parking tickets, as well as more serious offences such as burglary.

As a result, the legitimate owners of these number plates are receiving fines they’ve never incurred or find the police on their doorstep for serious criminal activity they haven’t actually committed.

How Are These Criminals Getting Away With it?

Whilst it is essential to have the vehicle’s log book (V5), as well as a valid driving licence and proof of address when purchasing a registration plate, some show plates can be bought on the internet or over the phone without these documents. 

This makes it extremely easy for criminals to generate clone plates therefore it comes as no real surprise that approximately 1.75 million of the 37 million vehicles of all types in the UK (about 32 million of these are cars) are estimated to be donning cloned registration plates.

How Can You Avoid Buying a Vehicle with a Cloned Number Plate?

According to Dr German, you should do plenty of research before buying a vehicle, particularly if the seller is private. Carry out identity checks with firms such as HPI to discover if the vehicle is stolen, has been written off or been clocked.

Read More: The HPI Check: What is it?

Clocking Miles

Dr German advises those in the process of making a purchase to thoroughly study number plates. He says that if there is no writing on the bottom of the number plate, such as the dealer or manufacturer’s name, the plate is likely to have come from a suspicious source.

Buy Legitimate Car Registrations at Primo

If you’re looking to purchase a private plate for your car, look no further than Primo Registrations. We have a range of car registrations available so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Just remember, you need to supply your vehicle documents when buying with us.