A police chiefs' group and a car-buying assistance organisation have joined forces to warn motorists about the dangers of "cloned" vehicles, as part of car crime awareness week.
Vehicle documents are stolen by criminal gangs to help transform a stolen car into a legitimate one, with about 1,300 "cloned" vehicles - worth a total of £13 million - recovered from genuine buyers in the last four years.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) warned that the "cloned" vehicle market could be bigger than initially feared as upwards of 100,000 stolen registration documents are still in circulation in the UK.
Paul Boddington, founder of CarEnquiry.co.uk, said: "Buyers are at greater risk from cloned cars than ever before and it's clear those cars recovered are just the tip of the iceberg.
"Today, it really is 'buyer beware', with established dealers the best way to stay safe."
Copyright © Press Association 2010