These are the biggest scams drivers need to avoid – it could save you £1,000s

THOUSANDS of Brits fall prey to dodgy car scams every year that can be easily avoided.

In 2021 alone, Money.co.uk estimates £2.4bn was stolen from Brits via fraud, which nearly tripled since 2020.

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Drivers need to be alert to scams that could end up costing them thousandsCredit: Getty

Here we take a look at some of the biggest scams drivers need to be aware of…

COPYCAT WEBSITES

Drivers have been warned to avoid websites charging up to £80 for licencing services that can be accessed for free.

The DVLA is urging motorists to be aware that many third-party firms charge a premium for services that are cheaper – or even free – on the government’s official website.

Figures published today showed that since January the DVLA has been contacted more than 1,200 times about these type of websites.

Motorists should deal directly with the government’s website to avoid being hit with unnecessary costs.

The Sun found that Vehicle Online Services – a third-party website not affiliated with the government – is billing drivers up to £80 to change the address on their drivers’ licence.

However, this service is completely free through the DVLA.

It’s also free for drivers over the age of 70 to renew their licence – but Vehicle Services Online is charging £80 for this service.

FAKE INSURANCE

A warning has been issued for drivers over fake insurance ads that could leave you without cover.

The phenomenon, known as ‘ghost broking’, sees scammers trick unsuspecting drivers into falsely believing they and their cars are insured.

The con been labelled a “nasty kind of fraud”, offering car insurance that either doesn’t exist or isn’t accurately processed.

Fake brokers forge paperwork at a reduced price for motorists who think they are getting a good deal.

Victims lost £1,950 on average last year with insurers collectively reported more than 21,000 policies that could be connected to the scam.

Some 517 cases of ghost broking – with losses totalling £1 million – were reported to Action Fraud in 2021.

Social media sites are overwhelmed with the bogus companies – and often their eye-catching ads are designed so well, people don’t know they’ve been fooled until it’s too late.

In the worst cases, people affected could be at risk for driving uninsured or liable for fraud themselves.

Often young drivers, who have the highest premium costs, and people who don’t speak English are the most targeted.

SECOND HAND SCAM

Scammers are conning drivers into buying second-hand cars that have already been written off.

Motorists have been warned of several simple techniques used to fool buyers into walking away with the keys to vehicles unsafe for the roads.

These Category C, or “Cat C”, cars are written off by insurance companies following an accident, flood or fire damage as the cost of repair outweighs the value.

In most cases, they end up being sold at auction to traders and garages who can complete the work at trade prices.

There is usually no issue if the repairs are carried out to a high standard, but some buyers are falling victim to unscrupulous sellers who have completed sub-par fixes.

While motor traders and dealerships must disclose whether a vehicle has been written off, private sellers are not obligated to do so.

This means some buyers are unknowingly buying a written off vehicle that is potentially dangerous for the road, making their insurance invalid.

FAKE BILLS

Drivers have been warned by the Driver and Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA) of a scam appearing to be from the government agency.

Motorists are being told that their cars are no longer taxed and that they need to pay up immediately.

The DVLA took to Twitter telling people to “watch out for ‘phishing’ text or email messages” motorists have been receiving.

In the picture they enclosed, it shows various screenshots of messages saying “Your vehicle is no longer taxed”.

The messages are full of grammatical errors, signalling they are not legitimate.

They can also include a dodgy link in them, asking drivers to click on it to make their payment.

When clicking on the website, it may look legitimate but once personal details are entered, criminals can then use those details to potentially scam you out of large sums of money.

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