Dealers are urged by the Finance & Leasing Association to be vigilant this autumn in the continuing crackdown on motor finance fraud.
Almost 30% of the crimes over the past 12 months were committed using false applications.
FLA members take the loss if the dealer has done due diligence and made agreed checks to verify an applicant’s identity.
FLA head of motor finance Paul Harrison said: “If there are repeated incidences of fraud from the same business, the finance company will look more closely at the relationship with the dealer company/group if the problems are not quickly ironed out.”
A finance company’s policy on combating motor fraud depends on its relationship with a dealer and what has been agreed.
All dealers check that a customer applying for finance is the person on the full driving licence produced.
Some finance firms want dealers to ask for more evidence, such as proof of address or income.
Harrison said: “Dealers quite often pick up incidences of attempted fraud and our partnership with the police is helping motor lenders to minimise the money they lose.
This helps to keep finance costs as low as possible for car buyers in tough economic times.”
For the fifth year running motor finance companies are funding the vehicle fraud unit of ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers).
This will provide two more full-time
police officers to help with nationwide investigations.
Formed in 2007, the unit has recovered cars for FLA members worth £19 million from fraudsters – more than 300 worth a total of £5m since last autumn. They have made 60 arrests.