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Buying used? Check the car's V5C

If you're buying a used car check V5C document to ensure it's not one of a large batch of stolen documents, which have been used to register stolen vehicles as clones

Words ByClaire Evans

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Car buyers are being urged to check the V5C registration document carefully before buying a used car.

The DVLA has issued an alert listing serial numbers of vehicle registration documents that have been stolen and may be in use by car criminals.

Car thieves use the documents to help sell on stolen vehicles that have had their identity changed to match that of a legitimate vehicle.

The V5C documents in question bear serial numbers in the ranges:

BG8407501 - BG8431000
BG9282001 - BG9305000

They also 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.

The DVLA is urging car buyers to contact the police if they see cars for sale with these stolen documents.

The DVLA had already revealed that V5C documents with serial numbers in the following ranges had gone missing at the same time.

BG9167501 - BG9190500
BG9190501 - BG9214000

However it had only come to light recently that the latest documents were also missing.

If you want to check the validity of a V5C document, you can call the DVLA on 0870 241 1878.