We want to make it easy for you to do the right checks on a used car no matter what State or Territory you live in or where the car you want to buy is located.
Have a look through our Help page for advice on what to do when buying a used car.
If you are having any trouble finding the answer to your question please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top 5 Questions
Why do I need the VIN?
The Vehicle Identification Number, commonly abbreviated to VIN, is the unique serial number used by the Australian automotive industry to identify individual cars. Each car has a unique VIN that is 17 characters long, and it is the VIN that is used to search against various State and Territory government and industry databases to determine specific information such as if there is any money is owing, if the car has been written-off or stolen etc.
Where do I find the VIN?
The vehicle registration number can be found on the the registration sticker, the vehicle itself, or on the door posts (where the door latches when it is closed). The vehicle's VIN is also displayed on the registration certificate and insurance policy documentation.
Why do I need to do a REVS check?
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.
You can check the PPSR - previously REVS (Register of Encumbered Vehicles) - on this website to determine if the vehicle is encumbered. In addition to doing a REVS check, we also recommend buying a history report that includes information about whether the car has been written-off, stolen, flood damaged or whether the odometer has been rolled back.
Doing a REVS check is the simplest way to prevent repossession by a financier if someone else still owes money on 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.
What if the VIN isn't 17 characters long?
if the VIN is not 17 characters long, please double check that you have the right VIN and that you have copied it down correctly. If the VIN is still less than 17 characters long, the VIN is most likely from a pre-1989 vehicle.
Can I get a REVS check on vehicles manufactured before 1989?
Prior to 1989 VIN numbers varied between 11 and 17 characters. REVS can only report on vehicles with a 17 character VIN. Therefore information on vehicles manufactured before 1989 is limited.