There has been a rise in the number of stolen vehicle registration in form of number plates and car registration documents in the UK. Reports estimate that over 70 car number plates are stolen every day.
But what can thieves do with just the number plates or car registration documents? A lot. Read on to learn more on what can a thief do with your vehicle registration.
Your vehicle registration documents contain your personal information that the thief can use to steal your identity.
The thief could simply steal your car, and with the possession of the car’s registration, they can sell the car to an unknowing customer.
They can take ‘fast loans’ using your car registration documentation as loan security. Leaving you with frustrations of paying a loan you did not take.
There are reports of thieves with stolen car registration documents walking into car dealerships for a test drive of new car models only to drive away with the car. This is especially easy for the thief if they’ve also taken your license.
The dealership can only track the true owner of the identifications left behind.
Cloned cars are those that have false registration, mostly from duplicates of stolen vehicle registration that match their colour and model. Estimates of numbers of cloned vehicles on British roads are as high as 20,000.
These organised thieves steal the number plates or car registration documents and duplicate them. They can then carry out illegal activities such as:
- Importing stolen cars of the same model that fits the stolen registration information.
- Using cloned cars to accomplish serious crimes like robbing a bank, kidnapping and murder. This covers their trail as the license plate traces back to the original owner and not the thieves.
- Register stolen vehicles then use that information to make insurance claims when the vehicles are totalled.
- Avoid parking charges as the billing records go to the original owner.
- Fool forecourt security cameras when they refuel and drive without paying.
What makes this worse is just how easy it is for criminals to clone a car. They don’t even need to steal your number plates. As long as they have your car’s registration information, they can get a new number plate in no time.
As this report by The Sun reveals, some plate suppliers give out number plates without even demanding to see registration documents. It’s even easier for a thief to get a cloned number plate online.
Risk of Burglary
Your vehicle registration certificate contains important information like your home address.
Judging from your car make and model, the thief can gauge your income level. They may scope your residence to steal your car or other valuables.
How to Prevent Theft of Your Vehicle Registration
- Always leave your car and glove box locked
- Do not leave your car registration documents where anyone can see or take them.
- Always carry a copy of your registration documents and not the original. This deters criminals since companies like banks and number plate providers require original documentation.
- Install anti-theft bolts for your number plates. They go for at least £6 and come with a unique key.
- Immediately report to the police when you start receiving tickets for offences you clearly know you didn’t commit or are from a location you were not in.
- Always park your vehicle safely in your garage or at a well-lit place close to your residence.