June 16, 2024

Picture this – you’ve spent weeks searching for your dream car, and you’ve finally found it. The dealer is offering you an attractive financing deal that seems almost too good to pass up. But is it legitimate or just a fraud?

Unfortunately, many people get so caught up in the thrill of buying a new car that they may unknowingly fall victim to car loan scams. Let’s understand how to identify these scams and keep your hard-earned money safe.

4 Common Car Loan Scams

1. Loan Insurance Scam
Dealers might insist on purchasing unnecessary loan insurance plans. They claim these policies are obligatory, thereby inflating your overall loan cost.

2. Hidden Charges Scam
Some dealers might not inform you about all the charges upfront. Charges like processing fees, penalties for late payments, or pre-payment might be revealed only later.

3. The Low EMI Trick
Dealers might advertise a low Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) without mentioning that the low EMI is only applicable for an initial period, after which it will substantially increase.

4. The Spot Delivery Scam
This scam allows you to take home the car before finalizing the financing. However, later, they might alter the terms of the agreement to less favorable ones.

Recognizing a Car Loan Scam

  • Above Market Interest Rates or Fees: If a car loan’s interest rate or fees seem unusually high compared to usual market rates, it might be fraudulent.
  • Rushed Signatures: Scammers often apply pressure to sign paperwork quickly, not giving you sufficient time to understand all the terms and conditions.
  • Inconsistent Terms: If the terms of the loan keep changing or seem inconsistent with the original deal, tread carefully.
  • Too Good To Be True: Be aware of deals guaranteeing approval regardless of your credit score or offers which seem excessively generous.

Avoiding Car Loan Scams

1. Do your Homework: Check online reviews and ratings for negative feedback related to car dealer financing scams. Verify the legitimacy of the lender.

2. Understand the Deal: Review your loan agreement carefully. Make sure all oral promises are documented. Look out for the interest rate, fees, and the total loan amount.

3. Get Pre-Approved: Secure pre-approval from a trustworthy bank or credit union before car shopping. This can help you compare different dealer offers.

4. Consult an Expert: If you’re unsure about the loan terms, seek advice from a financial advisor.

Also read: [Top 10 financial advice on buying a car]

In Conclusion

By staying alert, you can steer clear of car loan scams and secure a fair financing deal. Always do your research, scrutinize documents, and get advice when needed.

With Axis Bank, you can apply for a new Car Loan starting from ₹1 lakh, up to 100% on-road funding, with a tenure of up to 7 years. For Used Car Loans, it starts from ₹1 lakh, with up to 95% of the valuation amount for sale-purchase and up to 85% for refinance loans, with a tenure of up to 5 years. Drive home your dream car today!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. The personal views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Axis Bank Ltd. and its employees. Axis Bank Ltd. or the author will not be held responsible for any direct or indirect loss incurred by the reader due to any financial decisions made based on this information. Always consult a financial advisor before making any financial decisions.


Q1: What are the most common car loan scams?

The most common scams involve selling unnecessary loan insurance, hiding extra charges, falsely advertising low EMIs, and changing the terms of the agreement after the car has been spot delivered.

Q2: How can I identify a car loan scam?

You can identify scams by looking out for unusually high-interest rates or fees, pressure to sign the paperwork quickly, inconsistent information, and offers too generous or promising to be true.

Q3: How can I protect myself from car loan scams?

Protecting yourself involves conducting rigorous research on the dealer and lender, reviewing all the terms and conditions, getting pre-approved from a reputable bank, and seeking advice from a financial advisor when in doubt.