My car is stolen and on cloned plates - what should I do?

I bought a used car two weeks ago. Before I went to see it, I asked for the vehicle registration to perform a HPI check. I also inspected the logbook and VIN numbers. After everything passed, I paid £10,000 for the car. Due to it being on a Sunday, I paid in cash.

It now transpires that the car is stolen and on cloned plates. I can't contact the seller - their phone is permanently off - and original owner has already been refunded by their insurance company. I've contacted the police, but they haven't been much help. I'm now £10,000 out of pocket. What should I do?

Asked on 1 November 2016 by ILFAN I NOVSARKA

Answered by Honest John
The police should actually help you to find this man, but they are under-resourced and that's probably why they can't devote the manpower to it. Still, ask if they can put you in touch with their autocrime unit because this may already have tabs on the crook who sold you the car. You seem to be blameless here because you not only did all the proper checks, you doublechecked. Your huge, colossal, really stupid mistake was to pay cash on a Sunday. The only safe way to pay for a car or accept payment is inside a bank where the money can be taken from one account as 'cash' and transferred to another account as 'cash'. That way the deal cannot be revoked, but you still have tabs on the bank account the cash was paid into.
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