THOUSANDS of drivers are buying James Bond-style number plates from eBay in a bid to illegally evade speed cameras.
The £70 gadgets, which mimic Bond’s iconic rotating number plate, are widely available with estimates of hundreds sold in the last few months.
Adverts for the "stealth number plates" claim they can hide your number plate within two seconds.
My advice to motorists is not to buy them under any circumstances.
Videos show how they are fitted to the front and back of the car and wired up to a sensor next to the steering wheel.
Pushing a key fob causes a black cover to descent over the plates - hiding them from cameras and wardens.
Motoring lawyer Nick Freeman said he is involved in two prosecutions against drivers suspected of using the devices and estimated "a few thousand" were on the roads.
He said: "My advice to motorists is not to buy them under any circumstances.
"Just using them is tantamount to perverting the course of justice.
'"Drivers have a legal duty to display their number plates at all times. Anyone who does not do that is committing an offence.
'"The spirit behind these is to avoid prosecution. Even possession of them is incredibly risky.
'"Punishment would be immediate custody with sentences ranging from a minimum of three or four months up to two years.
'"I would estimate that there could be a few thousand in use on Britain's roads.''
A Lithuanian eBay seller said that 80 per cent of his customers are from the UK.
He said: ''I send goods every week to your country. Eighty per cent of my buyers are from the UK.
''I know some of the customers use these frames to prevent getting speeding tickets and for parking.
They are popular. I've sold hundreds of them
"You know, a knife can cut bread or cut fingers, it depends on how you use it.''
A dealer selling the devices from his alloy wheel shop in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, bragged he had sold ''hundreds''.
He said: ''It's not illegal to have on your car but it all depends on how you use it. We sell a lot to drivers in Britain. I can't advise you how to use the device.
''They are popular. I've sold hundreds of them.''Sales records on eBay reveal how 50 "stealth number plates" were sold to UK drivers in July and August.
The devices are also available on Amazon and dozens more online retailers.
The National Council for Police Chiefs said that there could be ''movement on legislation in the near future''.
Currently it is legal to sell the devices - but drivers can be punished if they are used to obscure a number plate.
A Home Office spokesman said: ''It is an offence to fail to display or obscure a number plate under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994.''