Thousands of drivers in England face £180 fine for breaking rule 'without knowing'

Number plate scams are worryingly on the rise as thousands of drivers risk unfair Ulez fines without knowing. Drivers have been warned of the rise in fraudulent vehicle number plate cloning - with motorists in the capital city London warned.

According to a Freedom of Information request to Transport for London, there were more than 16,000 penalties issued to vehicles due to the cloning mishap. The FOI detailed how the number of cloned cars has nearly doubled since 2021.

Between January and December last year, 16,264 PCNs were issued to cars with cloned number plates in London alone. A swathe of the fixed penalty notices issued were for breaching Ultra Low Emission Zone rules which could see drivers pay £180.

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Alice Hempstead, insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Vehicle security has become one of the greatest concerns for vehicle owners and insurers. With increases in thefts, cloning, and part-stealing across the UK, most drivers have seen their insurance premiums increase dramatically in recent years, and it’s more important than ever for drivers to take the security of their vehicles seriously."

Sshe said there are steps drivers can take to prevent their number plate from being cloned, such as keeping their car locked away or hidden. "Even doing something as minimal as using a car cover can deter thieves and number-plate cloners, but parking your car in a garage and fitting insurer-approved security devices can protect your vehicle and lower your insurance premiums as well," she said.

If you receive a parking or speeding fine you don't recognise, you may have been a victim of licence plate cloning, experts have warned motorists. If that applies to you, then you are being warned the first thing you need to do is contact the police to get a crime reference number.

Then you can report it to the DLVA.