RTE News reported the successful capture of 6 stolen cars this evening after Garda operation 'Shannon' began in Balbriggan, Co. Dublin.
Like most professional car thieves the gang responsible worked hard to disguise the true identity of the cars by modifying the VIN numbers as well as changing the number plates to those of similar vehicles registered in Ireland.
Motorcheck.ie was the first car history provider to agree to An Garda Siochana's terms for access to the Garda stolen car register managed by the Pulse computer system. We plan on integrating the data with every car history check free of charge once it becomes available.
However, buyers should be aware that while a registration check is an important part of the buying process, it is not a guarantee that the car being examined hasn't been stolen and 'cloned' with another legitimate vehicle.
If you are buying a car and want to make sure that it hasn't been stolen there are a number of additional checks that you should perform.
How to avoid a stolen car
- Do an online check – has the vehicle had a significant number of enquiries in a short period of time?
- Research the specific model you are going to see. Familiarise yourself with the location of the VIN Number and ensure that they all match the Vehicle License Certificate as well as the Motorcheck Report. If the VIN plate has been removed or replaced be very careful.
- Check that the VLC appears genuine. Are all the watermarks in place?
- Check the engine number. Does it match the VLC and the Motorcheck report? If not, why not? Ask!
- Make sure you can verify the seller’s identification. Beware of any advert that invites you to call between 5 and 6pm. Try calling outside these hours and see if you can still make contact.
- Always ask for a landline. If not the home number, get a work number. Mobile phones can be difficult to trace later if anything goes wrong.
- Always view the vehicle in good daylight and at the sellers home. Never meet in a ‘neutral’ venue like a supermarket car park.
- Ask the seller to take you through the history and mechanics of the car. Does the seller have a good knowledge of the service history? Is there documentary evidence to support it? Is he / she familiar with all the controls of the car?
- Check if the vehicle has a valid tax and insurance disc. If not, why not? Be sure to also check the registration number on the discs with that of the car. Do they match?
- Does the registration plate look like it has been recently printed? Are there more holes in it than necessary? Could it have been changed recently? Why?
- Car dealers love to advertise on vehicle windows. If stickers have been removed from the car ask why? Can you find a dealer in the service history that will support the cars history?