Thread revival I know.. but it's a sticky... so what the hell..
So.. someone could realistically lie right?
Tricky. Proving "reasonable cause" is actually quite difficult, because the DVLA is quite suspicious of anything to do with revealing personal data. You'd probably need to provide proof of identity of some kind. That won't put everybody off, but it will raise the barrier as in order to have any kind of reasonable shot at getting away with it you'd need to be committing identity theft and adding additional fraud offences to your rap sheet if you get caught.
So if they masqueraded as say, a parking enforcement operation, they could reasonably get a hold of this?
They'd need to either be employed by a legit parking enforcement operation or have successfully stolen the identity of someone who is in order to pull that off. All parking enforcement companies (incluuding private enforcement) have to be registered with the Government and adhere to a bunch of regulations these days.
Ok this might discourage them.. Thieves arent smart enough [generally] to calculate the potential for the ROI [return on investement] of £2.50 for the 1000's they'd make in stolen parts. + I dont think the DVLA accepts a GIRO as a form of payment..
Snarky comments aside, thieves are smart enough to make risk/reward calculations on most of the things they do. Anything in their way that increases either their risk of getting caught or the penalty if they do get caught is likely to deter a potential car thief, if only a little.
remember, someone who's looking at thieving a Civic isn't going to be a high-risk type, if they were that type they'd be after something fancier. This is most likely just someone who fancies himself as a breaker but doesn't have the startup cash.
They are about to steal your car.. I'm not sure this additional crime is going to concern them too much.. Like shooting someone is an offence, but maybe I wont murder someone because unlawful possession of a firearm might get me in trouble?
You'd be surprised how risk-averse a lot of low-level criminals are. You do get high-risk thrill-seekers who go after big scores and damn the torpedoes, but I would put it to you that such a gentleman is unlikely to be stting his sights so low as a Civic. Not to be rude about Civics, I love mine as much as the next guy, but they aren't exactly million-dollar cars now are they? The main attraction in nicking a Civic is that it's probably about three or four grand in bits (more in some cases, I know) and the car's old enough that its built-in security isn't all that hard to bypass. It's the low risk rather than the high reward that attracts thieves, if you see what I mean.
I would suggest that your Civic is more at risk from someone who already knows where it is because they've seen it in person than it is from anyone online. Especially if you make sure to put good security features on it and make sure you let people know about them when you post it online.
Does the DVLA representative launch an investigation into the requestor? to verify them? probably not.. so the criminal could lie.. imagine that
They'll check the request comes from a real person, if they claim to be a company they'll check that's real and that the person you claim to be actually works for that company, they'll try to verify the requestor's ID as far as is practical and if your car gets nicked they'll hand all of that info over to the Police. It's not a very high barrier, I'll grant you, but it adds more to the risk side of the equation that the potential thief has to go through before nicking your stuff.
On the contrary, thieves are every bit as intelligent as everybody else. They're scum, don't get me wrong, but being a festering boil on the backside of humanity doesn't necessarily make you any stupider.
I think basically, it can..
You're correct in that it can be done, but the risk inherent in doing so is more than most criminals will be willing to chance for the potential reward of an old Civic.
What is in fact a more serious risk is that someone will clone your numberplate onto another car like a Cat D write off or a cut 'n' shut in order to try to sell it on for much more than it is actually worth, or to hide their own lack of insurance or avoid speeding fines.
That is a valid reason to hide your reg plate online. Worrying about theft, you're setting the bar too high in my opinion.