Fraudulent car finance applications up to the end of September were 30.4% higher year-on-year and cost £39.3 million, according to Experian.
The rise since 2004 has been more than 4.5 times, representing a total value of more than £147 million.
Kirk Fletcher, Experian automotive division managing director, said business should use detection and prevention technologies to reduce the risk.
The high value of vehicles made the industry a prime target for fraud. For 18 months, providers of mortgages and had been tightening lending criteria.
“As a result, fraudsters have been turning their attentions to the automotive market,” said Fletcher. “This is reflected by the huge increase in fraudulent car loan applications.
August and September saw a drop in activity, but fraudulent applications continued to rise.”