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Used Car Buyers Still At Risk From Log Book ScamBack

logbookWe’re pleased to announce our new, free safe car buying video guide launched today to help motorists avoid scams relating to thousands of stolen DVLA log books, after new research has found many feel they could easily be fooled into buying a stolen car, and few know how to confirm the true identity of a vehicle before handing over their money. You can watch the video here:

Several thousand V5C registration certificates or ‘log books’ stolen from the DVLA are continuing to help car cloners create false identities for illegal vehicles and will do so until the end of the year. Yet a survey of 1,290 buyers on our website – which champions the safest way for motorists to buy a used car – has revealed the vast majority (81 per cent) are clueless how to spot a fake registration document, with more than half (57 per cent) unaware there are rogue documents in circulation.

Of the car buyers surveyed, nine out of ten (93 per cent) said more needs to be done to raise awareness of the issue and only one in five (21 per cent) said they had received communication from the DVLA on the reason for the V5C reissue. Over two thirds of drivers (67 per cent) said they were unaware of the difference between the old and new certificates.

A log book is a compulsory document for every vehicle and is the DVLA’s official record of a vehicle’s ownership. The authority is currently replacing over 34 million vehicle log books after thousands of blank ‘registered keeper’ forms were stolen in 2006. The documents were due to be shredded following a printing error.

The Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) vehicle crime intelligence service says it has recovered more than £13 million pounds worth of illegal vehicles since the theft of the documents. Buyers will continue to be vulnerable to the scam until the end of 2012 when the DVLA anticipates all original, blue log books will have been replaced by the new red versions.

As a result of the findings, we’ve launched has launched a free video guide to help people avoid falling victim to scams involving the stolen books. The site, which is backed by 35 leading UK dealer groups, is the only used car website to offer a ten point safe buying pledge, promoting the safest standards in car buying amongst any UK classified car site.

Neil Addley (our Managing Director) said of the findings:

“For a number of years thieves have been using forged registration certificates to legitimise stolen vehicles as many car buyers who are presented with a convincing log book take it as proof of ownership. What continues to be worrying about this case is that despite many of the stolen books still being in circulation, little is being done by the authorities to highlight the risks to buyers.

“When the log books were originally stolen the DVLA launched a hotline, however this is no longer active and with minimal information available on the Government website we felt it important to help buyers by offering some authoritative advice. Trusted Dealers prides itself on being the safest way to buy a used car and all our members have already been through the processes required to guarantee a used car isn’t cloned, illegal or unsafe.”

Car cloning is when thieves copy the number plate and other identifying details of a legitimate car onto the same make, model and colour stolen car. Hundreds of innocent buyers have fallen victim to cloning in the UK and have faced having their cars reclaimed by the police, losing the money they paid for them.

The free, Trusted Dealers safe buying guide is available to watch above, or on our YouTube channel. It also offers this advice to anyone considering buying a used car privately:

  1. Check the V5C document serial number – if it falls within the following ranges contact the police and do not purchase the vehicle – BG8229501 to BG9999030 and BI2305501 to BI2800000.
  2. The stolen blue certificates have a different background colour on the Notification of Permanent Export (V5C/4) tear off slip on the second page, which looks mauve on the front and pink on the reverse. On legitimate documents they should be mauve on both sides.
  3. Check the provenance of any car before you buy it – find all the VIN/chassis numbers on the vehicle to make sure they match with documentation, and then use the HPI Check to ensure they tally with the registration number of the vehicle.

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 04/08/2015