With just the VIN, you can also get the full vehicle history of a used car in Australia. CarHistory Reports include:
- Written-off and stolen vehicle check
- Flood and storm damage check
- Current valuation
- Vehicle Buyback Insurance
- Odometer windback check
- Safety and emission ratings
More tips for buying a used car in Australia
Looking over the used car and having a mechanical inspection performed are necessary steps. However there are some very important things that can still remain a mystery.
- Is the car really the one it is supposed to be, and does the VIN, engine and registration number match up?
- Has it been reported stolen or ever written-off?
- Is there clear title on the vehicle?
- Has the odometer been rolled back?
- When the car was first sold, the postcode of the first sale and for what purpose was it purchased (taxi, rental car, etc)?
Why are vehicle checks so important?
Licensed dealers are obliged to guarantee that no money is owing on the car, it has not been deregistered or previously declared a written-off vehicle. If a car turns out to be stolen, the purchase price must be refunded by the dealer or, if no longer trading, the Motor Dealer Compensation Fund.
However, if you are buying privately, it is your responsibility to find out if there is any money owing on the vehicle. Doing a PPSR/REVS check and buying a car history report will tell you if a car has been reported stolen, written off by an insurance company, if there is money owing on it or if the rego has been cancelled.
If you purchase a vehicle from a private seller who has an outstanding loan attached to the vehicle (this is called an encumbrance), the vehicle could be repossessed and you could lose your money.
We recommend you purchase a PPSR (previously REVS) Certificate on the day you intend to purchase the vehicle.
If the vehicle is encumbered, you should not purchase it until you are satisfied with the arrangements made by the current owner to repay the debt.
You need to be sure that the registration, engine and Vehicle Identification (VIN/Chassis) numbers on the registration papers are identical to those on the vehicle.
If there are any discrepancies, it would be wise to seek an identification check at an Authorised Unregistered Vehicle Inspection Station (AUVIS), available for a small fee.
Decided to buy?
Make sure you organise insurance before you drive the car away. Also, notify the appropriate authorities that you are the new owner of the vehicle.
Check whether the car you are looking at has been recalled as part of a safety campaign and, if it has, ensure the repairs have been made.
Consider the additional cost of stamp duty / transfer fees when you're working out the total cost of the purchase.
Ask the seller to show you:
- A current certificate of registration
- A safety check report (pink slip*) that is not more than one month old
- Proof that the person selling the car is the owner -- such as a driving licence and sales receipt.
Check that the information on the certificate of registration and safety check report matches the details of the vehicle.
You will need to examine the vehicle and write down the:
- Vehicle registration number
- Engine number
- Vehicle identification number (VIN) or chassis number
Transfer the Registration
After you purchase the vehicle, you must visit a Motor Registry within 14 days to transfer ownership of the vehicle to your name. You will need:
- Your proof of purchase
- At least two forms of identification
- Money to pay the stamp duty and transfer fee.