What are the benefits of using the PPSR when buying a car?

Buying a used car is an expensive venture. And to protect your investment, you will need certain information. And that is one of the main benefits of using the PPSR when buying a car. It gives you relevant details, so you can make the right decision on the financial aspects of buying that particular car.

What does PPSR stand for?

PPSR means the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR). It came about because of the Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) 2009. The PPSR is a national online register of items that persons indicate they have a security interest in. It protects consumers who intend to buy personal property such as cars, artwork, etc. For example, if you take out a hire purchase agreement, the seller will list the item in the database so that parties will know that they own the item until you have completed paying for it.

In terms of a car or other type of vehicle, the PPSR search allows persons to know if there are any monies owed against the car by the seller. This prevents you buying a car and having it repossessed because the previous user did not complete paying for it.

For more information on what is the PPSR and how it works, take a read here.

How to use the PPSR Search When Buying a Car

PPSR check helps you to find out if anyone is claiming a financial interest in the vehicle you want to buy. Using the PPSR register when buying a car is pretty simple when you are using the right site to conduct your search. For an individual, doing a PPSR search when purchasing a car to check if any money is owing on the car will save you a lot of money. 

So, do a search of the PPSR to ensure that there are no outstanding monies owed against the car by the seller. You can do a PPSR search by the car registration number (the plate number) or by using the VIN number in what some call VIN Number Check.

PPSR Protection – How a PPSR Search Protects You

If after you conduct a PPSR search it shows that there are no debts registered for the car you intend to buy, then it means that at the point of the report, the car was free from encumbrances. The official PPSR site indicates that if you buy the car the day of the search of the next day, you will usually get the vehicle free of debt.

So, if you have already done your other checks (such as having your mechanic review the state of the car), and this was the last piece of the puzzle in leasing or buying your used car, then you will have enough information to make your final decision.

When should you conduct a PPSR search?

The best time to conduct your PPSR search is a day before or the day you plan to purchase the car to get updated information and the protection that PPSR will provide you on the car.

Even if you have been given a PPSR certificate, the results on that specific report are at the date that it was generated, and anything could have happened since then. You could technically run a “free PPSR check” by using the same search number on the results certificate to get the original results.

This allows you to verify that the results of the certificate given to you are as they are on the government database.

Validating a search online is free, and it will provide the same result as per the initial search.  But again, this is the original results and will not show you anything subsequent. If you, however, need an updated version of the search results, you will have to conduct new research. You will need to do your own paid PPSR search to get the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.

The Additional Information You May Find in a PPSR Search Certificate

The PPSR report may include information from the National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS). In addition to the financial information on obligations/debt, it can include:

  • A description of the car
  • The plate (registration) number
  • Stolen status information
  • Write-off details

The registration information provided is based on the serial number. The report will not tell you whether the vehicle is registered for road use.  For this information, you will have to ask the seller for their current registration papers. You can then compare the details of your PPSR search certificate with the one on the seller’s registration certificate. A few of the details to examine include vehicle identification number (VIN), plate registration number, or chassis or engine number, to ensure that they match. 

Looking at PPSR Fees

PPSR fees for searching the registry can be pretty varied. It’s all about the company that you choose to run your searches through. At Quick Revs, for example, you can get one of the lowest PPSR search rate on the market. At only $5.99, you can conduct a quick PPSR check and get a comprehensive PPSR report.

It will not be possible to check if a car has financing owing for free. The Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) charges a fee to allow persons to check its register. So, at no point are you able to get the information for free. And any free PPSR check information you get may not be accurate or detailed enough for you to trust the information.

All important things come at a cost. And a free vehicle finance check carries more risks than they are worth. The money you can save by doing a simple check for less than $6 shows that the benefits far outweigh any possible drawbacks of spending that small PPSR search fee.