car cloning
pp. Copying a car's license plate and vehicle identification number and applying them to a stolen car.
Other Forms
Car cloning is a growing problem but too little is being done to protect the person whose vehicle is cloned.

There was one man in Leeds who was sent a congestion charge bill even though he hadn't been to London.
—Steve Boggan, “My day as a car clone cheat,” The Evening Standard (London), August 19, 2003
Knowing about the number of times a car has changed hands, and whether it has changed colour, makes it much easier to identify potential fraud and so-called car cloning, says Lawson.
—“ AA steps up fight against car crime,” Evening Herald (Plymouth), June 05, 1998
1996 (earliest)
There are two main ways of unloading a stolen car on to the market. Until recently the most common form was known as ringing, whereby a stolen car has the identity of a wreck from the dump grafted on to it. But now the criminal market has invented a new method of "disappearing" a stolen vehicle — cloning. Car cloning involves taking the identity of a legitimate vehicle and putting it on the stolen car.
—Nadia Raafat, “Wheels: Autoparts,” The Guardian, September 26, 1996
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