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If you are buying a car from a private seller, you should really check to see that the previous owner doesn’t still have finance owing on the vehicle or that it is not on a recall list, deeming it unsafe for purpose. With a simple PPSR check, you can have peace of mind that what you are buying is free of any other claims of ownership and has never been written off.

Man does PPSR check on used car

What is a PPSR car history check?

A Personal Properties Security Register (PPSR) check history check uses the Australian Government’s Personal Property Securities Register, a national online register of registered security interests against personal property, such as motor vehicles, boats, art, inventory and most assets excluding real estate.

A security interest means your car (or any items in question) has a recognised legal interest tied to the vehicle and could challenge your right to own the car outright at any time in an attempt to recoup outstanding money still owing on the loan. A PPSR check is very important if you are purchasing a used car from a private seller.

How to do a PPSR car history check

Visit the PPSR online services for an online self-service fee of $2 (or via phone for $7), and use the Car Check service by entering the state the car is in and the car’s registration number. You’ll then receive details on any securities related to the asset.

If the car has any money still owing on it, this report will indicate how much is owing and who the finance company is. Make sure this outstanding amount has been settled and the interest has been removed from the register before you purchase the car.

A comprehensive report is also available at a higher fee, but a regular PPSR report should provide most of the information you need to ensure your purchase is free from such constraints.

What the PPSR check will show

A PPSR search will provide you with relevant information on the vehicle’s history that can help you avoid purchasing a vehicle with finance attached to it, or that’s been flagged as stolen by the owner.

This can be especially helpful, considering a car with security interest recorded against it could be repossessed and towed away from you at any point.

A PPSR search will usually include information recorded against the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), such as:

  • The vehicle’s written-off or stolen vehicle status
  • The vehicle’s details (make, model and original colour).

You’ll receive a search certificate on your vehicle check as your record of results.

What it won’t show

A PPSR search will not provide all the information you may be seeking about a vehicle and its history. Information that’s not available in a PPSR search includes:

  • The car’s history of ownership
  • The outstanding dollar amount on the vehicle
  • The odometer reading
  • Any fines still outstanding

Why is a PPSR check important?

A PPSR search will show if a used vehicle for sale has any encumbrance, finance remaining or any other secured parties still involved, either in name, business or finance. It will also alert you if the vehicle is stolen – in which case, the police may take possession of it.

Before you purchase a car from someone, you should do a PPSR search to ensure the vehicle is not still tied up in finance. It’s your responsibility to make sure that you’re purchasing something free from any claims from other entities.

Lady does PPSR check on car purchase

Frequently asked questions

How often should I do a car history check?

It’s a good idea to do a PPSR car history check every time you plan to purchase a car, especially a second-hand vehicle, whether from a car yard or through a private seller. Generally, a new car would not need this check if you’ve purchased from a dealership.

How long does a PPSR check take?

A PPSR car check can be done instantly. As soon as you enter the rego number of the vehicle into the PPSR Car Check tool, you’ll receive a report of results to give you peace of mind that the car is free from interests and ready to buy.

Ready to purchase your next car and protect it with the right insurance?

Now that you’ve completed your PPSR check and are ready to purchase, you can use our easy car insurance comparison service to help you find an insurance policy to protect your car.

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