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Car and number plate cloning is on the up
Make no mistake, this is no minor problem. And what's worse is that any of us could fall victim to this crime, without even knowing it.
The Telegraph claims up to 8% of cars have cloned number plates. I'd say that was a bit of an exaggeration to grab the reader's attention. Especially if you look at their definition of cloning, which I would argue is not actually correct. Nevertheless, it's still a very real problem, that can (at the very least) cause the rest of us a bit of a headache. At worst, we could end up considerably out of pocket or even with the police knocking at our door.
So what exactly is car cloning?
The phrase "car cloning" basically means passing off a car with the identity of another (using the car registration number). Usually, this is done using the same make / model / colour of the original vehicle. It's done by either having number plates made up or by stealing number plates from someone else's car.
Think it's a minor crime? Think again.
Who clones cars and number plates?
Cars are cloned by criminals to commit a variety of offences.
Crimes can include selling stolen cars by making them look like legitimate cars. If you're buying a vehicle privately, make sure you do some checking before parting with cash.
Fraudster James Fyfe jailed for selling number plates he did not own
James Fyfe led a lifestyle of luxury based on lies and false claims.
He duped unsuspecting buyers into parting with £1000's for prestige personalised number plates and supercars that he did not own. And he used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, renting supercars and wearing designer clothes.
He presented himself as a car salesman, and advertised Porsches and Ferraris under company name Prestige Lifestyle Supercars. How? Using social media channels and other websites. In reality, he didn't own these. But conned buyers into transferring deposits direct to his bank accounts. In total, he was found guilty for frauds adding up to £231,000.
It's taken a while... but worth the wait, we hope!
The Plate Market launched a sparkling new private number plates website today.
Finding your private number plate was never easier
The site is still packed with great value number plates that start from under £95. With over 45 million to choose from, you'll be spoilt for choice.
To make it easier, we've added some helpful filters. Now you can limit your results based on price, to see what's available within
What is the right spacing for a personalised number plate?
We are regularly asked about number plate spacing. It's assumed that this doesn't matter on a personalised registration number. Not true.
Whether you have personalised number plates or a standard ones, the same rules apply for the size of the letters and the spaces between them. Even the fonts for registration numbers are tightly controlled. And the official font for UK number plates is called Charles Wright.
What are the official DVLA rules on spacing?
How can I get a name like Briony (or Bryony) on a private number plate?
Well, actually it's not as difficult as you might think!
Many names lend themselves really well to private number plates in the UK. Naturally, 3-letter shortened names are easy... there are loads of these and we see them everywhere. But a name like Briony may not be so easy to get on a number plate... or so you might think.
This week sees another DVLA Auction of personalised number plates. The DVLA auction again offers a number of highly sought after personalised number plates for sale directly to the public.
Amongst the prestigious registration numbers offered this month are 1 D, with a reserve of £20,000. Though it's likely to sell for much more than the reserve, considering registration number 1 O sold at the last auction for an eye-popping £210,000. Keeping it company in the DVLA auction catalogue is registration number 2 O (with a reserve of £8,000).