Motoring Discussion > BMW Mystery Numberplate Legal Questions
Thread Author: zippy Replies: 26

 BMW Mystery Numberplate - zippy
Bloke at work has a BMW 3 series MSport.

He was stopped on the way in last week by the boys in blue.

Apparently they in a lay by with an ANPR camera and his car came up with not having a valid registration number and was pulled over further up the road.

His registration is for example AB16DEF - and the plate on the back is correct.

The one on the front is now AB16DFE. Police were not happy.

He has no idea when it was changed and has photos of the car with the correct plate on it. There is no plate postcode.

The VIN number is correct.

We had a bit of conjecture as to what could have happened and reckoned it's been crashed and repaired with a new plate made up wrongly.

He took it to a BMW dealer near the office and they confirmed the worst. Some front damage, poorly repaired and not even painted internally.

The police seem satisfied that he didn't change the plate and are taking no further action save to insist on the plate being corrected / roadworthy check.

So he's been trying to find the culprit:

Last years airport drop of company who had the car for 2 weeks and 3 weeks (different companies).

His nearest BMW dealer who had the car over a long weekend for a service and recall work (he dropped it off on a Thursday and they returned it the following Wednesday as they had to wait for a part. (They were supposed to drop it off on the Monday which my colleague was happy with as he was away in Prague for the weekend). The last service was before the first holiday.

Police say its a civil matter so are not interested.

I reckon its one of the drop off companies, but how to prove it!?
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - PeterS
I picked up a new car in 2003, a Renault Megane, which had the wrong number plate on the back, but the right one on the front. WV53FPD was the correct number, but WV53FDP had been made for the back. I noticed it, but only because I approached the car from the back first and having only just sorted the insurance the number was fresh in my mind. I had approached from the front, it might have stayed like that for years. Well, not years as it was written off after 11 months when a Volvo driver used it rather then his brakes to slow down... though, when I looked a few years ago it did make it back on the road...

Not sure how you can prove it so long after the event, annoying though it Is...
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Zero
While its not common, its not unknown for new cars to be fitted with the wrong plates. I know of one case where three identical cars were registered on one day, with consecutive reg numbers, and the three cars were sent out with a mix of 6 plates.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Dave_
A friend had similar in the 1990s. AVS996X on the back, AVS966X on the front. He spotted it fairly quickly. Long before the days of ANPR of course.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Manatee
I wouldn't leave a decent car with any of the meet and greet shower, they are notorious for parking them on muddy fields and industrial estates.

Pretty sure the dealer would have owned up rather than bodge it. Bad luck, I can't see him getting anywhere with that.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Zero
The tales of woe from the Heathrow and Gatwick meet and greet firm are enough to give you grey hairs. The council estate streets and trading estates of Crawley are littered with "securely parked" cars.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - PeterS
I’ve used the official LHR and LGW meet and greet/valet parking services probably over 100 times over the last 5 years and never had a problem. Most of the cars I’ve used it with have allowed me to locate the car on the connected or equivalent app...I gave up looking ages ago; the car never leaves the airport. And, it’s almost always cheaper than short term parking :)

I’d never use the non-official or off airport ones...there’s not enough saving to be made to even consider it. 3 weeks valet parking at T3 varies between £146 and £171 in my experience. From drop off to the lounge is 20 minutes on a normal day, with 10 of that being security. The return is quicker...gate to car is always under 15 minutes. Currently the MINI is at valet parking at T3, and it’ll be ready tomorrow at 6:30. I’ve just looked...it’s already in the collection area :) But I’ve left the Merc there a few times too. I wouldn’t think twice about it.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - CGNorwich
Strange how people will go on an expensive holiday and leave their expesnsive motor in the hands of some fly by night operators for the sake of saving a few quid on the parking.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Bromptonaut
>> Strange how people will go on an expensive holiday and leave their expesnsive motor in
>> the hands of some fly by night operators for the sake of saving a few
>> quid on the parking.

Same as they can afford tickets for four to watch Premiership Rugby in Northampton at £40-£50 a head but then leave their cars on streets, verges and Halfords car park rather then the designated match day parking which costs a few quid.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Kevin
>I’d never use the non-official or off airport ones...

I always use a company called Maple Manor when we fly from Gatwick. They are off airport but will collect the car from the Sofitel and deliver it back to the Sofitel when you get back. Never had a problem with them and we've been using them for years.
Just checked their website and they were awarded 2019's Best Meet & Greet.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Bill Payer
>> His nearest BMW dealer who had the car over a long weekend for a service
>> and recall work (he dropped it off on a Thursday and they returned it the
>> following Wednesday as they had to wait for a part.

Ah, the old "we're waiting for a part" ruse. :)
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - tyrednemotional
>>
>> Ah, the old "we're waiting for a part" ruse. :)
>>

Cynic!, I'm sure they were waiting for a new front number plate..... ;-)


(A Fiat Punto bought new* for SWMBO had a different plate on the front to the back, noticed by us on collection. *It was actually bought pre-reg at a significant discount but was, as I suspected and elicited actually registered by the main dealer on the morning we picked up in the afternoon, and then ownership immediately transferred).
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - zippy
>> (A Fiat Punto bought new* for SWMBO had a different plate on the front to
>> the back, noticed by us on collection. *It was actually bought pre-reg at a significant
>> discount but was, as I suspected and elicited actually registered by the main dealer on
>> the morning we picked up in the afternoon, and then ownership immediately transferred).
>>

Mrs Z Note was the same. Registered, sold and change of owner on the same day.
Last edited by: zippy on Fri 31 Jan 20 at 16:49
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Robin O'Reliant
Back in the day Mrs O'Reliant and I bought a couple of Pug 205s for driving tuition. The cars had consecutive number plates ending 25 and 26. Off we trundled and worked away in them for a couple of weeks till I took a lady for her test at Barking only to have the examiner come back and say she couldn't conduct the test because the registration on the tax disc did not match the number plate. The dealer had mixed up the discs and we both had each others. To be fair it was a genuine mistake and the dealer not only covered the cost of a retest but chucked in extra for a couple of lessons too.

The other examiners at Barking later told me they were disgusted that mine had been so fussy as they knew us well and it was obvious what had happened.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Bill Payer
Various tales of new cars being supplied with 'typo'd' or mixed up plates aren't what's happened to the OPs colleague - his car had the right plates but has been crashed and a typo'd plate put on after repair.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - No FM2R
I would write to each one stating that it happened in their care and asking how they will recompense you, how they will deal with the matter internally and how they will ensure that it never happens again.

If one of them blinks first then all well and good. If not, then he'll just have to let the matter drop I think.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Fullchat
Decent 'Meet and Greets' do a 360 scan of the car when you drive in. I'm not sure if they scan on the way out. Some have exit ANPR to open the gate. So if the number plate was wrong it would not open.
Depending on when the cars were parked they may still have the images. If say the second visit showed two different number pates then that would indicate the incident occurred on the first visit. If not that would eliminate one of the suspects.
Other than that I think its going to be almost impossible, A lot of shoulder shrugging and perhaps images no longer available.
Last edited by: Fullchat on Sat 1 Feb 20 at 11:01
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Shiny
Halfords once made a plate up incorrectly for me.
I had to fill in a form (I accidently transposed two letters as it was a new-to-me car).
I also did provide the V10 as mandated but the lad obviously didn't spot the difference.
It was the servicing dealer who pointed it out each time I went.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - zippy
Insurance company sent an engineer around to look at the car. He spent two hours looking over the car.

They are going to pay out to have it repaired but it looks like it may even be written off as the full extent of the accident isn't known.

Engineer found that there were no airbags fitted and a device to fool the ECU that they are fitted was found. That would have been serious if another accident occurred.

The insurance company is going to involve the police though their fraud dept.

The engineer didn't know if this particular car records the date of airbag deployment as well as the the act of airbag deployment. If it does then that will pin the date of the accident down and the culprit.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Bobby
Wow that’s interesting. Keep us updated.
If whoever has done this has the knowledge then maybe they will have wiped the info from ECU.
I am now thinking this car has not been in an accident. Instead it has had its parts swapped out to another car that has?
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - No FM2R
>>Wow that's interesting. Keep us updated.

Yes, fascinating. Please do.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - smokie
Has he had it from new?
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - zippy
>> Has he had it from new?
>>

Yes.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - legacylad
Very interesting

Several years ago myself and gf would leave her company Passat with a Meet & Greet company at MAN when we went away for a few weeks holiday. Smartly dressed chap collected it, walked around with a clip board looking for damage etc. We were always asked if we knew the mileage. I took photos of the dash on my phone, so told him we did ! Whilst on holiday she had a phone call from the police. Confirmed her details ....transpires that other cars being left with this specific company were being used as taxis whilst their owners were on holiday. All seemed very legit to me, and only because we knew the mileage was the car not used short term as a taxi.

The police gave us a list of legit Meet & Greet companies for future use. We had absolutely no idea the firm we used were dodgy as we’d used them on several occasions.

 BMW Mystery Numberplate - No FM2R
I used to use one at Heathrow that would email me pictures of the car and the dash shortly after they took it from me.

It never occurred to me to worry about where it was actually parked, just so I got it back in the right condition, which I always did.

Surely these days one could actually check where a high-tech car was parked?

I certainly never worried about the level of misdeed that appears to have occurred here. Mind-boggling.

I do hope the car is prepared to reveal when it's airbags were deployed.
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - R.P.
Surely these days one could actually check where a high-tech car was parked?



See "Land Rover grasses its user up" thread !
 BMW Mystery Numberplate - Boxsterboy
At least the BMW in the OP had a front number plate.

When we picked up Mrs B's BMW from the franchised dealer, having concluded the paperwork, and were all ready to drive away, I had to point out that I didn't think the front number plate was legal. It said 'BMW Approved Used'. Luckily the workshop was open and they printed a new one.
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