Advocating Car Crime Awareness Week, the UK’s Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) has revealed the latest figures on ‘conversion fraud’, a type of crime that accounted for almost a half of all motoring finance frauds at the end of last year.
‘Conversion fraud’ happens when motorists sell cars that are legally not their own. This type of crime increased by 10% in the last three months of 2011 and accounted for the 40% of the total car finance fraud.
Many drivers commit this crime without even realising it. The FLA reminded UK motorists that when they buy a car on finance, they are not the legal owners of the vehicle until they have paid the full amount.
This is why many sellers are accused of committing car fraud –as they are only registered as ‘keepers’, not owners, and therefore they are not legally allowed to sell the vehicle.
“While it may be tempting to sell your car if you are in financial difficulties, if you do so without speaking to your finance company first then you may be classified as a fraudster. It’s important that the owner of the car – the finance company – knows who is driving that car at all times, as required under the terms and conditions of a credit agreement,” said Paul Harrison, the FLA’s head of motor finance.
Car purchases are put on hold
Recent figures from a new study titled ‘Life in limbo’ released by MoneySupermarket revealed that up to 65% Brits are putting certain life decisions on hold as a consequence of the current financial crisis.
Interestingly, buying a new car is a priority that up to 19% of British consumers are delaying as a knock on effect of the UK’s ailing economy.