Easy online search helps protect used-car buyers

Inexpensive check offers valuable consumer protection.

A simple online check, costing just $2, can give used-car buyers priceless peace of mind.

Buyers of second-hand vehicles should do a Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) search before handing over their hard-earned cash.

The PPSR is a national online vehicle register run by a Federal Government agency, the Australian Financial Security Authority.

The $2 cost means carrying out the search should be an essential part of the car-buying process and adds another layer of protection for the purchaser.

Private companies also offer to do the search on behalf of buyers but can charge a lot more to simply do a PPSR search on behalf of the individual.

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The search helps protect buyers from purchasing:

  • a stolen car that could be repossessed leaving the buyer with no car and no money; 
  • a car that has a loan on it from the previous owner which could see the car repossessed leaving the buyer with no car and no money; 
  • a car that is a repairable write-off meaning the car is likely to be worth a lot less and could cause complex insurance issues;
  • a car that contains Takata airbags which need to be replaced.

RACQ Manager Road Safety and Technical Joel Tucker said PPSR checks were valuable for all used-car buyers.

 “For how much a PPSR check costs, and how much hassle and heartbreak it could save you, they should be on used-car buyers’ shopping lists,” Mr Tucker said.

To learn more about why it is important to do a PPSR search, check out these three case studies:

Sarah’s unknown loan
Yosef’s repairable write-off
Noah’s stolen vehicle