Car thieves are continuing to give stolen cars false European identities, six months after Insurance Times first pointed out the problem to the DVLA.

Thieves steal luxury cars in England, then fraudulently obtain the vehicle identification number (VIN) of almost identical cars in Europe.

They use the VIN to obtain a legitimate certificate of conformity from the car manufacturers and use it to register the car with the DVLA's Vehicle Registration Office (VRO).

The car is then sold to unsuspecting buyers in England, who believe it is an imported vehicle.

In May, police said under-resourced VRO staff usually failed to pick up anomalies between the certificate of conformity and the car itself.

The DVLA promised it would investigate the problem.

However, vehicle fraud expert Philip Swift of CMA Loss Adjusters said the problem had not been alleviated in the past six months.

Swift said he handled a case last month involving a £20,000 Mercedes that had been given a false European identity by the Manchester VRO.

He said his police contacts told him thieves were producing the paperwork they submitted to the DVLA on home computers.

"In one case, German documentation was presented to the DVLA to substantiate the importation, but the correspondence was written in Dutch," Swift said.

"A bill of sale was presented to the DVLA indicating that DM92,000 (£28,970) had been paid for the vehicle, but it was on a hand-written receipt."

A DVLA spokesman said the problem had been discussed with police and the motor industry. "A number of actions have been agreed, which should tackle this problem and are currently being considered in more detail," he said.