Peace of mind when buying a used car is a top priority for most buyers. But what people don’t know is that there are a wealth of tools at their disposal to help them ensure that the used vehicles they purchase won’t give them grief in the near future. One of those tools is a registration check, or “rego” check.
What is a Rego Check?
Want to know whether the car you are looking to buy is stolen or written off? Unsure about the financial risk that comes with buying it? Then you may have a use for a rego check.
A rego check is a report that allows you to confirm certain details about a car’s registration history, and current registration status. Typically, each state within Australia has a separate rego check for its residents. For instance, residents of the Victorian State conduct VIC registration checks whereas those in the Australian Capital Territory can look up registrations over the ACT rego check platform.
Each state’s Public Transport Authority oversees its registrations. Consequently, you can conduct a rego check for free.
Why is having a Rego Check Important?
It’s illegal to drive an unregistered vehicle in Australia. Driving an unlicensed vehicle can carry large fines and serious license penalties. It also usually means that the vehicle isn’t covered by any sort of insurance, so you’re in even more trouble should you get into an accident.
Even when driving someone else’s vehicle, it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s a legal, registered vehicle.
By running an online rego check, you’ll get to see if the car you’re considering purchasing is currently registered, and when the registration expires. It will also tell you if the make and model of the car matches the registration details. For an extra fee, a rego check could also let you know whether or not the vehicle you are about to own is stolen or has a stolen engine or plates.
Conclusively, a rego check protects you from the legal and financial repercussions of driving an unregistered, used vehicle on Australian roads. Identifying a problem with a vehicle’s registration or insurance prior to purchase will save you the buying cost, while sparing you the fines and unwanted attention that comes with driving an unregistered vehicle.
How Do You Run a Rego Check?
Registration checks are performed using either the vehicle’s registration number, or the vehicle’s VIN. Some states will also allow you to look up the car using its chassis number. You can run the rego check online by following the steps below:
- Log onto your state’s Transport Department website
- Select the Check Online option if there is one. If not, proceed directly to enter the vehicle’s registration number in the designated space. Leave out any special characters. Note that you can also input either the vehicle’s VIN or chassis number at this stage
- Read the terms and conditions of using the service
- Agree to the stipulated terms
- View the rego check report online
- Print the report for future reference.
What’s the Difference between a Rego Check and a Car History Report?
Rego checks are much more limited in their scope than a car history report/REVS check. A rego check will only tell you:
- The third party insurance covering the vehicle and date of expiry for the policy
- The registration status (whether active, suspended or cancelled)
- The expiry date of the registration
- The make, model and body shape of the car the registration is for.
A Car History Check/REVS Check/PPSR report will tell you all of this, and
- Check the stolen status (whether it was previously or is currently stolen)
- Check the write-off status (if it has ever been written off, why if so, and whether it was repairable or not)
- Check for financial encumbrance (if you will take on a debt by purchasing the car, whether it has previously been used as collateral and if so, whether the debt is paid in full)
- Odometer details
- Price/odometer comparison
- Vehicle valuation details
- VIN check (if the VIN and engine belong to the car) and more
So if I Get a Car History Report, I Don’t Need a Rego Check?
That’s right. All of the details included in a rego check are covered in a car history check — and much, much more. For peace of mind, nothing will give you as much assurance or information as a complete car history check.
How Do I Get a Car History Check?
Enter the VIN of the vehicle you’re interested in up the top of this page, pay $5.99, and you’ll get a complete car history report in moments. It’s a rego check, encumbrance check, stolen check, write-off check and more, all in one.
Why Can’t I See Search Results on My Rego Check?
Time and again your rego check may yield show no results for the car you are looking for. If this happens, it might be because of one of three reasons:
- The car you are looking to buy is unregistered, and would, therefore, be illegal to drive
- The owner of the car was operating under an Unregistered Vehicle Permit. Driving such a car would not be illegal. However, buying such a vehicle would require that you consult your state’s Transport Department on how to renew the permit
- The rego check you conducted does not cover the state to which the vehicle is registered. For instance, a VIC rego check would yield no results for a car registered in New South Wales.
Driving responsibly is only second to driving a safe, legal, registered vehicle in saving lives on the road. Therefore, ensure that you give any future used-car purchases a rego check to play your part in keeping our roads safe.