Buying a new car is exciting - but before buying, make sure you have all your facts with a Personal Properties Security Register (PPSR) check.

What is a PPSR check?

PPSR is an Australian Government initiative designed to protect consumers. A PPSR check is a search on a national electronic database that registers security interests in personal property. It costs a few dollars to complete one online. 

If you're about to buy a car, completing a PPSR check will determine whether it has any encumbrances, like money owed by a previous owner to a financier, or whether the car has been registered as stolen or written off.

What is included in a PPSR check?

As well as determining whether the car you're about to buy has a security interest recorded against it, a PPSR check will include information about:

  • The car's make, model and colour
  • The car's written off or stolen status
  • Whether the car is part of the faulty compulsory Takata airbag recall and has not yet been recorded as repaired.

Once the check has been completed, you'll receive a certificate which can be used as legal record of your results.

Is it important to get a PPSR check?

Yes. When you purchase a car with a financial encumbrance, you run the risk of losing the car you have just paid for.

What happens if I don't get a PPSR check?

Without a PPSR check, you run the risk of your car being repossessed.

If there are funds still owing to a financier from the previous owner and they stop making loan repayments, your new car could be repossessed to cover their debts.

How do I get a PPSR check?

You will need to supply one of the following vehicle identifiers:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Chassis number

If the car doesn't have either of these, you may need to use its manufacturer's number.

Checks can be run though the PPSR database online, or through assisted phone service.

When should I get a PPSR check?

Complete a PPSR check on the day or the day before you intend to commit to buying a car. The closer you search to the time of purchase, the better, as you'll be obtaining the most up-to-date information possible.

Who does PPSR checks?

Dealership: The dealership will usually run the PPSR check for you, but it's good practice to ask if they have done so. 

Private sale: Before you buy, it’s up to you to run the check.

RAC Finance*: If your loan is financed by RAC Finance, we will run the check for you for a small fee. 

Need to apply for a car loan for your new wheels?

RAC Finance offers car loans with competitive interest rates, no ongoing feed and quick pre-approvals.

Find out more

*This information may be regarded as general advice. Your personal objectives, needs or financial situation were not taken into account when preparing this information. You should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it.
Last updated: April 2021