REVS Certificates and Encumbrances

May 11th 2017

Two dark cars

What Is a PPSR Certificate

Up until recently PPSR certificates were called REVS certificates, thus many people still continue to call it a REVS check. A PPSR certificate is a vehicle check performed using the vehicle identification number (VIN).

REVS stands for “Register of Encumbered Vehicles” and it is the state agency that used to search the histories of used cars for anyone interested in purchasing a used vehicle. The REVS certificate was replaced with the current PPSR certificate, which stands for “Personal Property Securities Register” and is a program run by the government.

Before 2012 when the REVS name was still in effect, used car buyers who were aware of the risks performed a REVS check on the vehicle. This search provided the purchaser with important information on the car or motorbike. For instance, if the present owner of the vehicle still owes money to a lender, the prospective owner would learn this in the REVS record, before making the bad decision of purchasing something owned by a finance company. If the buyer does not have this information before purchasing the vehicle, it could be repossessed from the new owner.

For example, the current owner of the car is making payments to a financier for the vehicle, but he or she fails to inform you of this fact. You purchase the vehicle without performing a PPSR check, so you have no idea that money is still owed. Some time after you have bought the vehicle, the seller decides to stop making the payments on it, and the financier decides to repossess it. It will not matter that you didn’t know about the current debt on the vehicle, because the financier will be within their rights to repossess it, and you will be left without the car.

If you have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can do a 5 minute check to learn if the car has money owing, been written off or stolen. The PPSR check will also include if the vehicle has had flood or water damage.

If the vehicle is being purchased from a registered automotive dealer, or
licensed auction house, they will provide you with a PPSR prior to purchasing the vehicle. This covers you from the vehicle being stolen, or any previous finance owing on the vehicle. If it has previous been written off, this must be disclosed to the buyer, making sure you don’t buy someone else problem.

All vehicles purchased privately should obtain a PPSR certificate before you buy the vehicle. It is recommended to do the PPSR check on the day you intend to purchase, this way the vehicle cannot be repossessed if there actually is a financier who has a claim on it. However, the certificate will only be valid the day that you purchase it.

A PPSR report is not a car history report. You also need to obtain a car history report to have the full picture on the automobile you are thinking of purchasing. The car history report will give you extra information, such as the ANCAP safety and emission ratings, first sale information, vehicle valuation, vehicle identification, sales listing check, registration details, sales price and odometer reading comparison.

How to Do the PPSR Car Check

The easiest way to obtain a PPSR report is to visit the Personal Properties Securities Register website at Currently they charge $3.40 per vehicle. You will need to perform a Quick Motor Vehicle Search. Then gather your debit or credit card information, the vehicle’s VIN and your email address. Click on the “Quick Motor Vehicle Search Link” and then click on “continue.” From there, you will be able to input your information. Once this is completed, the PPSR certificate will be ready to view or print. At the same time you be emailed a copy of the certificate for future reference.

PPSR check REVS check Vin Check written off WOVR stolen certificate

PPSR Search Fee

There is a small fee for doing a Vin check, depending on the website you choose and what information is requested. There is many third party companies that look similar, but can charge you upwards of 10 times the amount. The lowest price PPSR search is the offical government PPSR check, currently at $3.40. It will be the same amount whether you perform your search online or make a phone call.

Getting a PPSR check done in the haste of buying your new vehicle can be easily forgotten, but knowing the car you are buying hasn’t been involved in a major accident, or owned by the bank, will be the wisest decision you can make in the pre purchase process and should be on the highest priority list. If you are purchasing through a licensed car auction or motor dealer, this certificate will be provided and garanteed by the licensed company. Click here to find the licensed car auction nearest to you.

Click here to perform an offical Australian government PPSR / REVS check

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