The number of fraudulent applications for motor finance in Q1 dropped by 3% against the same period in 2009.
Figures published today by the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) show nearly 2,500 unlawful finance applications in the first three months of 2010.
In the 12 months to March, there were almost 10,000 attempted fraudulent applications with a total value of £126.8m.
However, rigorous checks by finance houses kept the number of actual cases down to 960, worth £15.8m.
The FLA is concerned that by providing false information in a finance application or selling a car which has outstanding finance, customers may not realise they are committing a serious crime.
Most fraud occurs where a customer gives incomplete or inaccurate information to a lender, or sells a car with outstanding finance, or uses a false credit card to make their loan repayments.
Paul Harrison, head of motor finance at the FLA, said: “Finance companies continue to work closely with police to combat finance crime, but it is vital that consumers are made aware of how fraud could affect them."