Unscrupulous sellers conned used car buyers out of 16.9 million last year, according to official car fraud statistics issued by the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA).
Car Crime Awareness Week
The latest statistics come at the start of Car Crime Awareness Week, which aims to highlight the dangers of vehicle fraud to both consumers and the motor trade.
Visit What Car?s Anti-fraud feature now at www.whatcar.com/fightcarcrime
Outstanding finance fraud
The selling of cars with unpaid finance was the joint most common type of car fraud in 2009, accounting for 29% of all cases.
Selling a car thats still on finance is a prosecutable office, but buyers failing to check a cars history often don't realise until its too late so lose their money and the car when its repossessed.
Paul Harrison, from the FLA, said: 'Buyers should always ensure they carry out a full vehicle history check, which will confirm if there's any outstanding finance, before committing to buy a used car.'
Credit application fraud
Application fraud was the other most common offence in 2009, also accounting for 29% of all incidents.
However, this wasnt all down to career criminals its relatively easy for ordinary car buyers to break the law when making credit applications. In many cases car buyers unwittingly commit offences by omitting vital information when applying for a finance deal at a dealership.
To mark Car Crime Awareness week and, to help consumers stay out of trouble, What Car? has created a guide to safer buying.
Anti-fraud guideVisit What Car?s Anti-fraud feature now at www.whatcar.com/fightcarcrime