HALFORDS HELPS CRACK DOWN ON NUMBER PLATE FRAUD

Halfords has started selling number plates online for the first time and stepped up its in-store capacity to produce the vital vehicle identifiers in a matter of minutes.

Whilst the move will no doubt be welcomed by motorists - over 400,000 of whom replace tired, cracked or stolen number plates at Halfords each year - it is unlikely to please fraudsters and less reputable number plate producers.

Around 10,000 cars are currently on UK roads with ‘cloned’ number plates - where criminals have fitted a car with a duplicate set of number plates that belong to the innocent owner of another vehicle - in order to commit crime or avoid prosecution.

Unlike some online retailers, Halfords requires customers purchasing online or in-store to provide proof of both their identity and vehicle ownership – protecting other road users by helping to curb these fraudulent practises.

Product manager David Hammond said: “Cloning a number plate is like stealing your car’s identity and means innocent owners may mistakenly be blamed for any illegal activity that the ‘cloned’ car is involved in.

“Offences such as driving away from fuel stations without paying, speeding, or avoiding blame if the cloned car is involved in a collision could lead to genuine owners incurring financial penalties or even criminal charges – at the very least there is the inconvenience of having to prove their innocence to the authorities.”

All Halfords number plates are also fully compliant with the relevant UK legal standard (BSAU145d) - whilst customers purchasing online elsewhere may be risking a fine of up to £1,000 and MOT failure by unwittingly choosing a typeface, spacing or design element that doesn’t meet the British Standard.

Such designs are described by online sellers as ‘show plates’ but because they never meet the customer there is no opportunity to advise the customer of their unsuitability for road use and the system is open to abuse.

David Hammond added: “Halfords customers can personalise the look of their number plates by choosing from a number of road-legal upgrades - including borders, national flags and special two-tone digits.

“And because we use a special long lasting ink and protective laminate, Halfords number plates are really durable and will remain legible for many years - avoiding the need for customers to replace them as frequently.”

For road-legal number plates starting from £15.99 visit visit www.halfords.com to order online and collect from one of over 460 stores. Halfords carries a range of fittings for number plates and offers a fitting service to ensure they are securely affixed to the car.

ENDS


Media contacts:

Stuart Humphreys, Automotive PR Manager, T: 01527 513410, E: stuart.humphreys@halfords.co.uk

Chloe Stewart, PR Coordinator, T: 01527 513315, E: chloe.stewart@halfords.co.uk

Editor’s Notes:

About Halfords plc

Halfords is the UK's leading retailer of automotive products and aims to enhance customers’ use of their car by ‘Supporting the Drivers Of Every Car’ and ‘Equipping Families For Their Leisure Time’.

Through around 300 Halfords Autocentres we are also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operators - delivering dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing to motorists at affordable prices.

Halfords store sell over 10,000 product lines in stores, increasing to around 30,000 lines online - encompassing significant ranges in car parts, in-car technology, child seats and roof boxes.

Customers are able to shop at over 460 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland or order online and choose to either collect from their most convenient store or a home delivery.

Halfords employs approximately 12,000 colleagues who are trained to offer expert advice and 8,000 of which help to deliver a while you wait fitting service for consumables including bulbs, blades and batteries as well as child seats and in-car entertainment systems.

For more information visit www.halfords.com or www.halfordscompany.com

About Us

Halfords is the UK's leading retailer of automotive, cycling and leisure products and, through Halfords Autocentres, also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operators. Halfords customers shop at 465 stores in the UK and ROI and at halfords.com for pick-up at their local store or direct home delivery. Halfords Autocentres operates from around 300 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at affordable prices. The Halfords group strategy is based on three pillars: · Supporting Drivers Of Every Car · Inspiring Cyclists Of Every Age · Equipping Families For Their Leisure Time The Getting Into Gear strategy for the Retail business is based on executing in five key areas in order to deliver a significantly-enhanced customer experience: · Service Revolution · The H Factor · Stores Fit to Shop · 21st Century Infrastructure · Click with the Digital Future Halfords employs approximately 12,000 colleagues and sells around 9,000 product lines in store, increasing to around 160,000 Retail products online. The Retail offering encompasses significant ranges in car parts, cycling products, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes and camping equipment. Halfords’ own cycling brands include Apollo, Carrera and Boardman cycles, augmented by a range of other brands of cycles and accessories, including Kona, Mongoose, Raleigh and Pinarello. In Auto, the Halfords Essentials and Halfords Enhanced ranges are sold alongside brands such as Generic Electric, Bosch, Garmin and TomTom. The Retail Auto offering was recently augmented by the introduction of Car Parts Direct, a service delivering rapid customer access to around 130,000 car parts. In Travel Solutions, Halfords sells a premium range of camping equipment including brands such as Vango and Outwell. Halfords offers customers expert advice and a fitting service for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a service for cycles.

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Quick facts

Around 10,000 cars are currently on UK roads with ‘cloned’ number plates.
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Quotes

Cloning a number plate is like stealing your car’s identity.
David Hammond
Offences such as driving away from fuel stations without paying, speeding, or avoiding blame if the cloned car is involved in a collision could lead to genuine owners incurring financial penalties or even criminal charges.
David Hammond