Illegal document forging, how to spot a fake!

Everyone knows that the best way to improve a car’s value is to customize it beyond measure, adding lots of chrome and carbon fibre. Wrong. The best way to improve a car’s value is, according to a recent study conducted by Auto Express, is to spend a few pounds on some falsified documents over the web. This is the latest trend used by criminals to sell vehicles, claiming lower mileages and so on.

How it works

A full service history and low mileage really increase a car’s value and having paperwork of course should be the proof of such claims. If there isn’t a service history, the risk being taken by the buyer is greater and thus the price goes down.

The fact is however, that you can easily purchase false service history which guarantees nothing. You can buy blank log books and by people who offer to ‘officially’ stamp them for around £20. They look the part and you are left to fill in service intervals, whether genuine parts were used and so on. Such illegal practices can add a lot of value, especially when vouching for lower mileages on premium brands.

What can you do to avoid such a con?

This will no doubt leave many of you with the question; how do I avoid getting conned? Car companies are becoming more aware of such practices and are trying to put some sort of measures in place to stop illegal document forging. They cannot however do much with cars they’ve already sold but are working with Trading Standards to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, you yourself can check a vehicle’s background by conducting simple HPI checks via the internet or phone to verify whether it’s a write off or has outstanding finance and so on. You can also call the garages purportedly listed on the history to verify if they’ve actually got any documentation of having worked on the vehicle in question. Large garages often have comprehensive records. Also, if there aren’t any receipts, ask a few questions as these are normally kept along with service history.

The consequences for perpetrators

If you are engaging in such illicit activities, you can be sure that the law will clamp down hard. Applying a false history to a car will invalidate your motor insurance and is likely to land you up to £5000 in fines in a magistrates court even if you didn’t falsify the documents yourself. Crown court offenses however have unlimited fines or even possibly a prison sentence whether you’re a private or trade seller.

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