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New checking service aims to combat equipment theft

Automotive-style ownership history checks are now available for construction equipment through a new on-line service launched last month by Datatag in conjunction with vehicle checking specialist HPI.

The Cesar-branded check has been developed in response to requests from the insurance and asset finance industries. The checks have been available for cars and vans for many years, but not for construction equipment.
The new service provides an instant on-screen report about a machine’s history.It uses databases from HPI, Cesar, the DVLA and the police to look for information on the machine, based on its VIN number, registration plate or Cesar mark.

Stolen machines often have their registration plates and VIN numbers removed, modified or replaced by thieves, and there is a growing trend of thieves cloning stolen machines using fake VIN plates to try to give them a new “legitimate” identity.

By using several databases, the Datatag provenance check can identify and highlight any inconsistencies in a machine’s history that throw doubt on its legitimacy.

Many firms involved in the manufacture, supply, financing and operation of construction equipment have suffered financial loss by buying or selling machines with a “chequered history”, including stolen or cloned machines, machines that are bought or sold when they are subject to finance agreements or insurance claims, and “grey import” machines that do not meet EU approval.

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