Before buying a second-hand vehicle you should check with the Personal Property Securities Register to ensure that the vehicle does not have any money owing on it.
If you buy a second-hand vehicle that is under finance and the finance is not paid out, the interest holder may seek to repossess the vehicle from you.
Finding out if a vehicle or boat has a financial interest recorded
Obtain the vehicle identification number (VIN) or chassis number from the vehicle, or the Hull Identification Number (HIN) for a boat search (do not rely on registration papers or other documentation).
Then check the online Personal Property Securities Register or phone 1300 007 777.
For more information see the Personal Property Securities Register website.
Registering financial interests
Security interest holders will register their financial interests over motor vehicles directly with the Personal Property Securities Register.
Motor vehicle dealers or purchasers of second-hand motor vehicles will be able to purchase a certificate of encumbrance status via the Personal Property Securities Register website or contact centre.
Why it's important to check for financial interests
Checking the Personal Property Securities Register may save you from buying a vehicle that could be repossessed.
The Personal Property Securities Register provides a record of financial interests in most types of personal property including motor vehicles, motor cycles, trailers, caravans and boats.
If a person borrows money to buy a vehicle, they can't dispose of the vehicle without the permission of the lender - eg a bank. The lender may register their interest on the vehicle on the Personal Property Securities Register.
If the person disposes of the vehicle without permission and then fails to repay the loan, the financier may repossess the vehicle from the new owner.
Can I find out if a vehicle is recorded as stolen, written-off or defected?
You can find out whether there are any stolen, written-off or defected incidents recorded on the Register of Motor Vehicles by selecting the Check Registration Expiry Date transaction or phone 13 10 84.
To perform an enquiry you will need to identify the vehicle, cycle or trailer.
If the vehicle has any stolen, written off or defected interests recorded on the Register of Motor Vehicles, the Check Registration Expiry Date transaction will return a message indicating that there are incidents.
The Personal Property Securities Register provides an online enquiry facility to check the vehicle’s encumbrance and incident status nationally.
Note. The Vehicles Securities Register ceased operation on 27 January 2012 and was replaced by the Commonwealth Government’s Personal Property Securities Register.
All non-cancelled financial interests that were recorded on the Vehicles Securities Register at close of business on 27 January 2012 were transferred to the Personal Property Securities Register.
On this site
Customer service centres
Other motoring fees