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Car cloning could be on rise again, warns APU

The firm cited a recent case where the driver of a cloned car escaped a speeding fine and points on his licence after data from his onboard telematics device proved his innocence.

The driver, from Wembley, London was accused of speeding in Lincoln in November last year even though the vehicle thought to be involved, a BMW 2 Series, was actually still in Wembley.  

However, the hire car was equipped with a telematics device which proved the vehicle was in fact located at the other end of the country at the time of the alleged offence, meaning the vehicle had been cloned.  

Data generated by the In-Car Cleverness telematics device was interrogated by experts at APU, who wrote to the police to provide evidence in support of the driver’s denial he was at the wheel. The police later dropped the case.

Neil Thomas, director of investigative services at APU, said: “We’ve seen a number of similar cases surface recently and the worry is that cloning could be back on the rise again.  

“It’s usually linked to large-scale organised crime, and it’s hard to stamp out because the clone is registered to the innocent owner’s address so you have to catch the crooks out on the road. 

“However, we believe criminals are increasingly using cloned cars so that innocent drivers shoulder the blame for their inexcusable driving.”  

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.