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How To Do Vehicle Finance Check

Vehicle Finance Check Includes Official Vehicle History Report Australia Wide showing security interest, written off or stolen status. A must have report before buying a used car.

You might have heard about the new Personal Property Security Register (PPSR). If not then you definitely need to keep reading to understand, bring yourself up to date with the changes. Also discover the cheapest way to do Vehicle Finance Check to see if there’s an encumbrance on it and Guide to Buying a Car With Finance Owing in 3 Simple Steps.

What Does Encumbrance Mean?

Firstly encumbrance means the vehicle has a financial security interest on it. Meaning, If you are buying a private car and the seller has an outstanding car loan attached to the vehicle this is called an encumbrance.

Secondly register of Encumbered Vehicles (REVS, Revs Check Qld, Vin Check NSW) better known as the “Free Revs Check” was decommissioned in Jan 2012.

Finally a national register where details of financial security interests in personal property including vehicles can be registered and searched. Now called The Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR).

So What Is The PPSR?

PPSR is a national register replacing various state registers.

  • Register of Encumbered Vehicles (Revs Check QLD), (REVS QLD)
  • NSW registers (REVS NSW)
  • South Australian registers
  • Tasmanian registers
  • Victorian registers (VSR)
  • (REVS WA) Register of Encumbered Vehicles
  • (REVS ACT – from REVS NSW) Register of Encumbered Vehicles
  • (REVS NT – from REVS NSW) Register of Interests in Motor Vehicles and Other Goods


Is Using The VIN The Best Way To Do Vehicle Finance Check?

Yes. The Vehicle Identification number is the equivalent of a human’s DNA. So it is the best way to get the vehicle history telling you if the vehicle is: Under Finance, Stolen or Written-Off.

Video Showing What is the VIN?

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique 17 character number allocated to every vehicle sold in Australia since 1989. Pre 1989 vehicles don’t have VIN. Use Chassis Number instead to search. The VIN is usually stamped into the vehicle structure. VIN is,
Exactly 17 Characters
Never contains letters ‘I’, ‘O’, ‘Q’

VIN can be found,

  • Rego Labels
  • Build plaque in Engine bay
  • Passenger side windshield
  • Door jamb or Boot

Video Showing Why You Need to do Vehicle Finance Check?

Watch this video from Australian Financial Security Authority. Showing What happens if you buy a vehicle without clear title.

So Do Licensed Car Dealers Need to Supply PPSR Report?

Yes, licensed car dealers must guarantee that there are no financial encumbrances attached to the vehicle.
Vehicle Finance Check Using PPSR
As you can see from the first image above, the PPSR Report using the Vin search not only checks if there is money owing on it. It also checks if it has been in a serious accident or the vehicle is stolen. You can also check, original make, model, year, and colour of the car, and a lot more.

If the vehicle does happen to be stolen after being sold the purchase price must be refunded by the dealer. If the dealer happens not to be trading any longer the purchase price can be refunded from the Motor Dealer Compensation Fund.

Official PPSR Report (PPSR) Gives You More Than REVS Check Free Version:

  • Financial Encumbrances
  • (Money owing on the vehicle)
  • Stolen Vehicle Status
  • Written Off Status:
  • Storm, Flood, Collision, Repairable Write-Off
  • Vehicle Details:
  • Make, Model, Year, Colour, Body Type,
  • Vehicle Type, Engine Number, VIN
  • Rego Number, Rego Expiry, State

Is the VIN Check Reliable?

Yes. The Vin Lookup data comes from PPSR register as well as National Vehicle Database known as NEVDIS, both are Australian Government entities, so rest assured you can be sure the results will be accurate. The only information that you need will be the Vin Number of the car and a credit card.

REVS Check Using Mobile Phone

If you’re using a mobile device the easiest and fastest way to get the official PPSR Report for a vehicle Australia wide is from companies like, Car History Check, Vin Check, iRego etc.

For under ten dollars you get an instant report which includes all vehicle history records, Australian PPSR and NEVDIS databases have. Costs a little more but less navigation is required than the Personal Property Securities Register website and the report is much more easy to read because of plain text data.

Remember buying a private car is different than buying from a licensed car dealer. So it is your responsibility to check if there’s any money owing on the vehicle (car loan) and if there is follow these 6 action steps below.

Guide To Buying A Car With Finance Owing In 3 Simple Steps

Firstly Do a Vehicle Finance Check Using PPSR. To make sure the vehicle you intend to buy is not being used as security for a loan.

Secondly Get Payout Figure Amount. By asking the owner to provide you with the payout figure from the finance company that has the security interest on the vehicle.

  • This must be done in writing, recently dated and done on the finance company’s letterhead.
  • If the seller is honest you should not have a problem obtaining this important information. But if you can’t get this information or clear answers to your questions better to walk away and find another car with an honest seller.
  • Then match the finance company details to the secured party details on the PPSR report you got in step 1.
  • Next call the organisation that holds the security interest and ask them about their procedures to lifting their interest from the title of the vehicle. You are not asking the finance company to give you specific personal details because they won’t because of privacy laws, you just want to know their payment options to lift the encumbrance (security interest)

Finally Payment Options to Pay Off the Car and Obtain the Title. Going to the bank with the seller to pay off the car and obtain the title. You will need a bank cheque otherwise you will have to wait until cheque is cleared which is not what you want. You may be able to pay by BPAY.

Most Important Used Car Buying Tip

When buying a used vehicle you should only deal with the facts & not assume or believe what the seller is telling you. This is why I recommend you get a Pre Purchase Vehicle Inspection Remember it is not about trust, its about making a good business decision. If you get it wrong you could be out of pocket hundreds even thousands of dollars.

Therefore a Revs Check from PPSR is the best way to know if you are buying a used car with a clear title.

Because if you don’t the vehicle you just bought could be repossessed by another individual or organization because there is a financial interest still attached to it. Ouch!

Also Please Note:
The information contained in this page is for general information purposes only.
All reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that this information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Also If you believe that any information we have displayed is inaccurate, please contact us immediately and we will take all reasonable steps to correct it. Finally this information is a guide only and cannot be used as a reference to a point of law.


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